Creamy Avocado ‘Carbonara
- 1 medium sized ripe Avocado, pitted
- Juice and zest of half a lemon
- 2-3 garlic cloves, depending on your taste (I used 2 only)
- Pinch of salt (to taste)
- ¼ cup of fresh herbs (I used half basil and half parsley, I’d probably opt for all parsley next time)
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup of walnuts, chopped and toasted
- Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- Fresh parsley, to garnish
- Pasta, to serve (2-3 serves, around 80z?)
- Begin by cooking your pasta according to instructions.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by place lemon juice (not the zest), garlic and olive oil in a food processor. Process until fairly smooth.
- Add in the remaining ingredients except for those used to garnish/decorate (ie everything except walnuts, pepper, parsley for garnish, pasta and zest). Process until very smooth and creamy.
- Toss the pasta in the sauce.
- To serve, garnish with fresh parsley, pepper, lemon zest and walnuts.
Korean Fried Cauliflower
Ultra-crisp fried cauliflower Korean-style, served with a sweet and hot chili sauce or a sweet soy glaze.
- 2 quarts vegetable or peanut oil
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
- Bottle of Sweet Soy Sauce or Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce
- 4 to 5 Finely sliced scallions
- Preheat oil to 350°F in a large wok, Dutch oven, or deep fryer.
- Combine cornstarch, flour, baking powder, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, sesame seeds, and coconut in a large bowl and whisk until homogenous. Add water and vodka and whisk until a smooth batter is formed, adding up to 2 tablespoons additional water if batter is too thick. It should have the consistency of thin paint and fall off of the whisk in thin ribbons that instantly disappear as they hit the surface of the batter in the bowl.
- Add cauliflower to batter. Working one at a time, lift one piece and allow excess batter to drip off. Carefully lower into hot oil. Repeat with remaining cauliflower until wok or fryer is full. Do not crowd pan. (You'll be able to fit about half of the cauliflower in each batch). Fry, using a metal spider or slotted spatula to rotate and agitate pieces as they cook until evenly golden brown and crisp all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt. Keep warm while you fry the remaining cauliflower.
- Toss fried cauliflower with sauce and serve immediately, sprinkled with extra sesame seeds and scallions.
Vegan Garlic Toast
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 small cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley leaves
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 slices whole grain sandwich bread
- Combine olive oil, garlic, parsley, pepper flakes, and salt in a small bowl and stir with a spoon. Spread mixture evenly over one side of each slice of bread. Toast bread in a 450°F toaster oven or regular oven until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.
Creamy Tomato Soup
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
- 1 small onion, finely sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into rough 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes packed in juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Minced chives, basil, or parsley as garnish
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat until shimmering. Add garlic, onions, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently until onions are softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add bread and tomatoes. Roughly mash tomatoes with a whisk or a potato masher. Add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Transfer half of soup to the jar of a blender. Blend soup, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high (be careful starting up, it can shoot out the top of the blender—open the vent and hold a kitchen towel over the lid to prevent blowout). With blender running on high, gradually trickle in half of remaining olive oil. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining half of soup and olive oil. Ladle into individual serving bowls, top with minced herbs, drizzle with more olive oil, and serve with toast or grilled cheese.
Chickpea, Coconut, and Cashew Curry
- For The Spice Mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds, toasted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted
- 1 whole star anise, toasted
- 2 cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, toasted
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 blade mace
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 black or green cardamom pod
For the Curry
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, butter, or ghee
- 1 small onion, finely minced (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, grated on the medium holes of a box grater
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated on the medium holes of a box grater
- 1 small red or green chili, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 2 (14-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch (about 3 ounces) flat spinach leaves, trimmed, rinsed, and roughly chopped
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup fresh juice from 3 to 4 limes
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, coarsely chopped
- Combine cumin, coriander, star anise, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, turmeric, and cardamom in a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
- Heat oil, butter, or ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until melted (or until oil is shimmering). Add onion, garlic, ginger, and chili. Cook, stirring frequently, and scraping bottom of pan until golden brown and starting to burn in spots, about 10 minutes. Add cayenne, cashews, and half of spice mixture. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add coconut milk and remove from heat. Scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan.
- Transfer mixture to blender and starting a low speed, slowly increase speed to maximum. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Return mixture to pot. Add chickpeas, spinach, and remaining spice mix and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until vegetables are heated through and spinach is wilted, about 10 minutes. Add salt and lime juice to taste. Stir in half of cilantro.
- Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with extra cilantro, and serve with lime wedges, basmati rice pilaf, grilled naan, and cilantro chutney, as desired.
- 1 tablespoon of store-bought or homemade garam masala or curry powder can be used in place of dry spice mix.
Pancakes | Egg & Dairy-Free
These pancakes are moist and fluffy and just about perfect for a Sunday morning brunch.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (or vinegar)
- 1/2 cup apple sauce*
- 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1 to 2 tsp canola or vegetable oil
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- *If you have griddle or flat top, then preheat it to medium-high.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk and lemon juice. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Next, combine together the non-diary milk mixture, apple sauce and oil.
- *Note: If you do not have apple sauce, either mash up 1/2 a banana or use flax eggs instead. If using flax eggs, the pancakes will be a bit heavier. To make flax eggs, mix together 2 tablespoons of flax meal with 6 tablespoons of water.
- To mix the batter, first push the dry ingredients to one side of the bowl and then pour the wet ingredients into the opposite side.
- Then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet. As soon as the batter comes together, stop mixing.
- Let the batter sit for about 5 minutes. The batter will thicken slightly as it sits. Do not remix once the baking powder has started to react.
- Before you start cooking, make sure your griddle is nice and hot. If you do not have a griddle, then preheat a fry pan (preferably non-stick) to medium or medium-high.
- Once hot, ladle about 1/2 to 1 cup of batter onto the griddle. Let the pancakes cook until you start to see bubbles break the surface.
- Then flip and continue to cook on the other side. It should take about 3 to 5 minutes to cook the pancakes, but this will depend on your heat source, and how thick your pancakes are.
- To serve the pancakes, stack 2 or 3 onto a plate, coating each of them with some non-dairy butter as you stack them (if desired). Drizzle with maple syrup and serve immediately.
Garlic Fried Quinoa
This simple yet flavourful side dish will most definitely become part of your regular cooking repertoire.
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 2 3/4 cups stock or water*
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/3 cup finely chopped chives
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- To start, bring the stock, quinoa and salt to a boil in a small pot. Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Keep covered and let rest for about 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool. *Note: If using plain water, be sure to season the water with a pinch or two of sea salt.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the garlic — while 3 tablespoons of garlic may seem like a lot, it really is not too overpowering. Besides, this dish is called "garlic-fried" quinoa.
- Lastly, chop the chives and set aside.
- To cook the dish, first be sure that you are all set up. Have the cooled quinoa ready; because once the garlic has cooked you want to immediately add the quinoa to cool down the pan — so that garlic doesn't overcook.
- To start, heat a large fry pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring frequently, until it just starts to turn to a nice light golden brown. Taking the garlic to this stage really adds a nice flavor to the final dish, but you don't want to go to far or it will become very bitter.
- As soon as the garlic is ready, quickly add the quinoa to the pan and stir to combine. Continue to cook the dish until the quinoa has heated through.
- Lastly, taste for seasoning and then add the chives. Serve immediately.
Moroccan Yellow Pea Purée | Bissara
Bissara, which is a legume purée, is a typical Moroccan appetizer. This mellow, yet flavorful dip can be served with bread or crackers. It even makes a deliciously healthy soup.
- 1 cup yellow split peas*
- 3 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 to 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
- extra virgin olive oil (optional)
- lemon wedges (optional)
- To make the purée, first sort and wash the yellow peas in several changes of water.
- Bring the peas, garlic and turmeric to a gentle boil over medium low heat. Turn the heat to low and partially cover the peas and let cook for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the peas are very tender.
- In the meantime, gather the remaining spices.
- *Note: This recipe is often made with dried split broad beans (fava beans), which can be found in Middle Eastern grocery stores.
- Once the peas are tender, remove the cloves of garlic, peel and mash with a fork and add to the peas. Next, depending on how broken down the peas are, you may need to use a potato masher to break them down a bit. Ideally, the mixture should be thick with a somewhat coarse texture.
- *Note: Typically, the purée should be thick enough to be able to pick it up with some bread, but not so thick that it is solid-like. However, the final consistency is up to you. If it's a bit thinner, it can be served as a soup. Also note that the purée will thicken as it cools. Once cooled, you may even need to add a touch more water to thin it out a bit.
- To finish the dish, add the salt, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon paprika and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Taste for seasoning, adjusting the salt and other spices as desired.
- To serve the dish, you can serve it family style in a large bowl, or you can serve it as follows. Ladle the purée into 3 shallow bowls — leveling out the surface with the back of the ladle. Next, sprinkle each bowl with 1/4 teaspoon, cumin, paprika and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne. If desired, pour a tablespoon or so of olive oil over the surface. Each bowl is intended to be shared between 2 people.
- Serve hot with lemon wedges, if desired.
Lentil Saag Dahl
- 2 cups red lentils*
- 1 cup yellow split peas*
- 1 lrg onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tsp onion seeds
- 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp chili powder* (or to taste, can also just add a jalapeño is you like)
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 7 to 8 cups water or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp oil (optional)*
- 7 to 8 cups water
- 8oz baby spinach (optional)
- To Finish The Dish
- fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- fresh lemon juice, to taste
- salt, to taste
- garam masala, to taste (optional)
- cooked basmati rice (brown or white)
- *Note: Any combination of red lentil and yellow peas can be used. You can even use part split mung beans if you like.
- To prepare the lentils and peas, simply rinse them well to remove any dirt or small stones and then drain.
- To cook the dahl, heat a large Dutch oven or pot over low heat. Then add the oil, followed by the onions and a good pinch of salt. *Note: Alternatively, the onions can be dry-sautéed.
- Let the onions cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and ginger and let cook for about 30 seconds. Next, create a hole in the middle of the onion mixture and add a touch more oil (if needed) and then add the cumin, mustard, onion, fenugreek and fennel seeds. Turn the heat up to medium and toast the seeds until they become fragrant. Be sure to stir the seeds frequently so they do not burn.
- Once done, add the remaining spices, as well as the salt and pepper. At this point, turn the heat back down to low and then add the remaining spices and stir to combine.
- Note: from this point forward, everything can be added and finished in a slow cooker.
- Lastly, add the lentils, split peas, diced tomatoes and 7 cups of water (start with 6 cups if using a slow cooker) and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Cover the pot with a lid slightly ajar and let cook for approximately 1 1/2 hours, or until the split peas are soft and fully cooked through. Stir frequently, to ensure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pot and add more water as needed.
- If using a slow cooker, cook for approximately 8 to 10 hours on low, or 4 to 5 hours on high.
- Add Baby Spinach (Optional)
- Once the dahl has fully cooked, add the spinach. Note, if making this dish the day before, do not add the spinach until ready to serve. This will help maintain it's vibrant green color.
- If not using baby spinach leaves, be sure to roughly chop the spinach before adding it to the dahl.
- Cook the spinach until it wilts and becomes soft.
- Finishing and Serving
- To finish the dahl, add the cilantro and fresh lemon juice and taste for seasoning — adding more salt and/or a touch of garam masala, if needed.
- Serve the dahl with basmati rice, pappadums and additional toasted cumin and onion seeds, if desired.
- fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- While this dahl makes a delicious meal or side dish, it also happens to make a healthy dip and/or spread for sandwiches, crackers or vegetables.