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Arugula Pecan Pesto *Cheese Free*

20 Oct

I absolutely love making pestos in bulk.  I store and freeze them in 4-ounce containers. They thaw beautifully and are so versatile. Use pestos for salad dressings, marinating meats and fish, or simply instead of jarred pasta sauce.

But a cheese free pesto, really?  Yes.  Here’s why.  

1. They freeze better and last longer without the dairy.

2. What’s a finished pasta dish without some cheese, right? By omitting it in the original recipe, there is less guilt involved when loading on the parm!

3. Ever have a vegan or lactose-free friend come by for dinner?  I see a lovely dairy free pasta dish in their future…

Need I say more?…

You can substitute a plethora of fresh baby greens and herbs like spinach, basil, cilantro, even parsley. Pecans are less buttery than the traditional pine nut pesto, but still add some protein and substance. Try using almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, or omit if you’re allergic!

Arugula Pecan Pesto

Ingredients:

5 (packed) cups baby arugula (this is about 1/2 a pound)

1/2 cup pecans

2 large cloves garlic, halved

1 t Celtic sea salt

1/2 t freshly ground pepper

1 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Procedure:

Place all ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor.  Pulse until greens and nuts are finely chopped.  With the motor running, pour in the olive oil until just blended. Over-processing your pestos may cause your greens to turn brown (and really, who wants a brown pesto?).  Pour pesto into 4-ounce plastic, or freezer-safe glass containers.  Label and store.  Your pesto will keep up to 2 months in the freezer.  I prefer to thaw at room temp or in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!

Creamy Rosemary Potato Leek Soup

17 Oct

This soup is great for Fall weather.  Easily made vegan with the substitution of vegetable stock. It also freezes well and is easily scaled up for crowds.  Perfect as a meal, as a side or starter.  Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Cups sliced leeks, (white and light green parts-discard the fibrous tops)

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 sprig fresh Rosemary, or 1 t dried

6 Cups Chicken (or veggie) stock

1 1/2 pounds Potatoes, skin on, cut into 1” dice (I like to you red potatoes, but if using a heartier variety, like Russets, I recommend peeling)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Procedure:

In a large pot, heat 3 T olive oil.  Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic & rosemary and cook for half a minute, careful not to burn the garlic. Add the stock, potatoes. Cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, until the veggies are fork tender.

Remove from heat. Remove the rosemary sprig. I highly recommend blending with an immersion blender, but a regular blender or vitamix will do as well.  Puree until smooth and creamy.  Serve with a sprinkle of parsley.  I sometimes like to add a dallop of greek yogurt, too!

Raw Zucchini Ribbon Salad

19 Sep

Those of us in the Northeast are experiencing a cold snap!  While Fall is upon us, you can still snag summer veggies at your local greenmarket!  I love this raw zucchini salad.  The vinegar lightly pickles the zucchini and the tomatoes add a bit of sweetness.  Enjoy!

Raw Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Ingredients:

3 Zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 Yellow Squash (about 1 pound)

1 cup Grape or Cherry Tomatoes (one medium sized heirloom tomato works well, too!)

1/2 cup fresh herb, chopped (I like flat leaf parsley, basil, or cilantro)

1/4 cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 T Lemon Juice

1 Garlic Clove

1/2 t Celtic Sea Salt

Pepper to taste

Procedure:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil.

2. Wash and trim ends off squash and zucchini.  Using a peeler, shave zucchini ribbons directly into vinegar mixture.

3. Toss well, add pepper to taste.

4. Halve the tomatoes (if using cherry or grape).  If using a larger heirloom tomato, chop into medium dice.

Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Fries

27 May

Memorial Day weekend is upon us and so is barbeque season!  This recipe for Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Fries is a healthy twist on the conventional spuds and couldn’t be easier to make. This recipe will feed a crowd, but you can scale it up or down very easily.

Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Fries

4 pounds peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 t chipotle powder

1 T Maple Syrup (optional)

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1 t celtic sea salt

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 400*.

2. Whisk evoo, chipotle powder, salt, lime juice, and maple syrup (if using).

3. Place potato wedges into a large bowl and toss with liquid mixture.

4. Arrange wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet.

5. Cover pan lightly and roast for thirty minutes, tossing every 10.

6. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

7.  Sprinkle chipotle powder and any additional salt, if needed, toss, and enjoy!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo: Green Pea Guacamole

5 May

1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1/2 pound frozen peas, thawed

1 large avocado

1/2 shallot, diced small

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup grape tomatoes, diced small

Juice of one lime

1 small jalepeno, diced (optional)

Scoop avocado into a bowl and add peas.  Mash lightly.  Add all other ingredients and incorporate well. Salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy with veggies or tortilla chips!

Hooray for the (gluten-free) Pumpkin Pie!

24 Nov

What is Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie?  This gluten-free version is easy to prepare and will be enjoyed by gluten-phobes and gluten-lovers alike.  What’s more- this pie is even better the day after it’s made.  I know what I’ll be doing this Thanksgiving-eve!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Adrianna

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 6 ounces gluten- free gingersnap cookies
  • 1 tablespoon maple crystals (or you may use brown sugar, sucanat, or date sugar instead)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter (or coconut oil), melted

Filling:

  • 16 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 3/4 cup maple crystals (or, substitute maple crystals, date sugar, or palm sugar)
  • 3 eggs

Procedure:

Heat the oven to 350*F.

For the crust: Combine the gingersnaps, brown sugar, and ginger in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the cookies are fine crumbs. Drizzle the butter into the crumb mixture. Pulse 8 to 10 times to combine.

*Tip* If you find yourself without a food processor, place cookies in a large ziploc bag.  Have at them with a frying pan or rolling pin, crushing until the cookies are fine crumbs.  Open bag and add melted butter (or oil).  Zip up bag and shake until the crumbs are evenly covered with butter.

Press the gingersnap mixture into the bottom, up the sides, and just over the lip of a 9-inch glass pie dish. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool crust at least 10 minutes before filling.

For the filling: Bring the pumpkin puree to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the half-and-half, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Stir and return the mixture to a simmer. Remove the pumpkin mixture from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk the sucanat, eggs, and yolk until smooth. Add the pumpkin mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the prepared filling into the warm pie crust and bake approximately 45 to 50 minutes, or until the center jiggles slightly but the sides of the filling are set.  Remove and cool on a cooling rack for at least 2 to 3 hours before slicing. Pie can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.

Recipe Box: Gluten Free Chocolate Macaroons

23 Nov

Makes approximately 25 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 large egg whites

1/8 t celtic sea salt

1 1/4 cup sucanat (or maple crystals), ground

1 t vanilla

2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut

6 T raw cocoa powder

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350*F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using a double boiler, melt chocolate and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, add salt to egg whites and beat with an electric mixer.  Slowly add sucanat and beat until soft peaks form.

Using a spatula, fold in the vanilla and coconut.

Add cocoa powder and cooled melted chocolate

Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop, scoop out the cookies onto the cookie sheet leaving room for slight spread.

Bake 10-12 minutes, turn off oven and leave macaroons in oven an additional 5 minutes.  Remove immediately and place macaroons on cooling rack.

Enjoy!!

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