Tuesday, March 18, 2014


If you are not a brussels sprout person, this salad may change your mind. You'll get the amazing benefits of eating this healthy veggie loaded with essential vitamins A, B, C, folate, and antioxidants that can reduce your risk of cancer. The recipe calls for broccolini which looks just like broccoli but with longer stems and shorter florets. The cooking time for broccolini is shorter than broccoli because it is more tender. If you can not find broccolini for this recipe, you can substitute it with regular broccoli. 

The original salad dressing calls for 1/4 cup fish sauce. I replaced it with soy sauce and followed the author's instructions to use 2 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup. 

  • 2 cups brussels sprouts, sliced in half
  • 1 cup sliced broccolini
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • a bit of coconut oil, for the pan
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 cup (cooked) black rice
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • handful of fresh mint
  • handful of sliced almonds
  • handful of micro sprouts
  • sprinkle of sesame seeds
  • extra sriracha, for serving
  • extra lime slices, for serving
  • dressing:
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablesooons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
  1. Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside. (You can take a taste but remember that it might seem a little strong - it'll become more tame once it's on the brussels sprouts and everything else).
  2. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add a few teaspoons of oil. When it starts to sizzle add the brussels sprouts, cut side down (or as many as you can get cut side down quickly), with a few pinches of salt. Don't touch them for a few minutes until the cut-side starts to turn golden brown (turn one over to check). Once they have a good sear, flip them over, add the broccolini and continue cooking until tender, but not mushy. At the very end, toss in the scallions.
  3. Transfer the vegetables to a large plate, let them cool slightly, then toss with a bit of the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Toss the brussels sprouts & broccolini with the black rice, sliced avocado, mint, almonds, sprouts and sesame seeds. Taste & toss with more dressing. Serve warm, and with extra lime slices and more sriracha if you like.
Vegan/vegetarians: sub soy sauce or tamari for the fish sauce, but add only 2 tablespoons, not 1/4 cup. (you can always add more, to taste).
Feel free to roast your brussels sprouts & broccolini in the oven if you prefer.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mushroom and Tofu Pot Pie

I love mushrooms so naturally when I saw the recipe for mushroom and tofu pot pie, I was excited to try it out. This is another of Ian Knauer's fantastic recipe. I have to admit, this recipe is a bit labor intensive but the result is definitely worth it. You won't be disappointed.


    • 4 cups all-purpose flour      
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 sticks cold unslated butter, cut into pieces
    • 1 cup whole milk plus 2 tablespoons for brushing

    • Filling:

    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    • 2 heads garlic
    • 4 large onionschopped
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms such as crimini, white button or maitake
    • 2 pounds tofu, drained and crumbled
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoons dried sage
    • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups vegetable or mushroom stock


Preheat the oven to 400F.
Roast garlic: Cut off the top 1/4 inch of the garlic heads, then drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Wrap the heads tightly in aluminum foil, then place in the oven for 45 minutes. Squeeze cloves from their skins and reserve cloves.
1) Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. 
2) Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a food processor,pastry cutter, or your hands. 
3) Add the milk and gently kneed until dough just comes together. 
4) Wrap dough in plastic wrap until ready to use.
1) Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers. 
2) Add onions, 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and saute until golden, about 15 minutes. 
3) Slice mushrooms and add to onions along with tofu, soy sauce, sage, thyme, and roasted garlic cloves, then cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid put off by mushrooms has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
4) Whisk 3 tablespoons flour into vegetable stock, then whisk into skillet with mushroom mixture. Bring liquid to a boil and boil until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. 
5) Transfer filling to 3-quart baking dish.
1) Line work surface with plastic wrap, then place dough on top and cover with another layer of plastic wrap. 
2) Roll dough into a rectangle 1 inch larger on all sides than baking dish. (Dough will be about 1 inch thick.) 3) Using plastic wrap as a guide, transfer dough to top of filling. 
4) Cut 6 steam vents in dough, then brush with additional 2 tablespoons milk. 
5) Bake until dough is golden brown and filling is boiling, about 30 minutes. 
6) Let pot pie cool 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe by: Kitchen Daily

Monday, March 3, 2014

Vegan Wheat Berry, Kale, and Grape Salad

Super healthy and the curry-orange vinaigrette dressing is excellent. The wheat berry takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes from cooking to cooling time. You can make it ahead of time. 

2 c. wheat berries
5 oz. baby kale (or thinly sliced full-sized kale such as lacinato aka dinosaur kale)
1 c. seedless red grapes, halved
1 c. seedless green grapes, halved
2 oranges, segmented
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c. raw, unsalted walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. Rinse the wheat berries and put them in a medium pot with 6 c. water and 1 tsp. salt. Bring them to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for 1 hour, until the wheat berries are just tender. Add a few cups of cold water to the pot, stir, and then strain. Place the wheat berries in a very large bowl to cool, stirring occasionally to help them along.
2. Combine the cooled wheat berries with the kale in a large bowl. Toss with ½ cup dressing (recipe below).
3. Add grapes and orange segments and another ¼ cup of the dressing and toss again. Add more dressing if desired, and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the walnuts right before serving.

Curry-Orange Vinaigrette
⅔ c. extra virgin olive oil
¼ c. golden balsamic vinegar
Zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 tsp. agave nectar
1½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. curry powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Seal the lid and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside at room temperature.

Recipe by: Daily Candy

Tofu Fruit Smoothie

A great non-dairy smoothie using silken tofu in place of yogurt or milk. Tofu Fruit smoothie is rich in potassium and protein making it an awesome morning smoothie.


  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries $
  • 1/2 cup white grape juice (or any juice of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • firm ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • (12.3-ounce) package light silken tofu (such as Mori-Nu)

  • Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
Recipe by: My Recipes

Coffee and Banana Morning Smoothie

Give yourself a happy boost and start your day with a stress-relieving coffee and banana morning smoothie. Here are just a couple of the many health benefits of bananas and why adding them to your daily diet is important:

:) regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation
:) contains high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin - the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter
:) protect against heart attack and stroke
:) high in potassium and low in salt
:) rich in pectin to regulate digestion
:) a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn and GERD


1 sliced peeled banana
1 cup 1% low-fat milk 
1/2 cup cold black coffee 
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1/2 cup ice in a blender
Blend until smooth—and enjoy!

Recipe by: Health.com

Moroccan Mushrooms with Couscous

The Moroccan Mushrooms sauce was simply delicious. I let it boiled a bit longer for a thicker consistency and I added a pinch of sugar to balance the sourness of the tomatoes and of course some salt too. The sauce tastes much better the next day.


1 red onion , sliced
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
300g mushrooms , quartered
400g can chopped tomatoes
410g can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
1 tsp clear honey
175g couscous
50g soft dried apricots , diced
handful flat-leaf parsley , roughly chopped 


1) Fry the onion in the oil for 6 mins until softened. Add the cinnamon and cumin and cook for 1 min, stirring. Add the mushrooms, cook for 2 mins, then stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas and honey. Season and simmer for 7-8 mins.

2) Mix the couscous with the dried apricots and some seasoning in a bowl. Pour over 250ml boiling water, stir to mix, then cover. Leave to stand for 7 mins or until softened. To serve,  fluff up with a fork, stir in the parsley and top with the mushroom mixture. Great served with some green beans.

Recipe by: Arabic Food 

Easy Veggie Crock-Pot Lasagna

Nothing beats making a healthy homemade meal using just a few ingredients AND requiring minimal hand power. A no fuss and easy clean-up recipe that you will surely enjoy. Tasty and simply easy to make! 


(2) 24 ounce jars or cans of Italian tomato sauce (you will need only one and a half jar)
9 thick lasagna noodles with wavy edges (mine were called bronze cut)
24 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese OR cottage cheese
3-4 cups chopped vegetables of choice (broccoli, zucchini, yellow summer squash, kale, etc)
2 cups shredded Mozzarella or Provolone cheese
Parmesan cheese for topping
fresh parsley for topping


1. Spray the crock-pot with nonstick cooking spray. Spread ½ cup tomato sauce to
the bottom so the noodles don't stick.

2. Break noodles so that they fit and mostly cover the bottom. They will probably be awkward looking - not a big deal. Cover with about one third of the ricotta, veggies, sauce, cheese, and end with noodles. Repeat layers two more times for a total of three complete layers. End with a layer of noodles on top, covered with a thin layer of sauce and a little bit more shredded cheese.

3. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours. Turn the crock-pot off completely and let the lasagna sit for at least one hour. This allows all the moisture to get soaked into the lasagna, and if you don't do this it will probably be more like lasagna soup - still good, but not pretty. Depending on how long you let it sit, you can either scoop pieces out or just cut with a knife like normal lasagna.

I didn't use ALL the sauce in both jars - I probably used a total of 36 ounces (about one and a half jars), and it was really saucy.

Recipe by: Pinch of Yum