Categories
Sides Uncategorized Vegetarian

French Countryside Leek Gratin

Leeks: the king of all alliums. We all enjoy other members of the allium family on a regular basis: garlic, onions, shallots and chives. So why are leeks so often forgotten? I’m giving you a New Year’s challenge: eat leeks. Put them in lots of things.

Americans tend to seriously underestimate this beautiful, versatile vegetable. Most people have heard of potato leek soup, but struggle to come up with other recipes that include leeks. Leeks are amazing in everything from pasta to quiches to soups. You can slow cook them with chicken and other root vegetables. They add such a gorgeous flavor to everything they touch. 

My favorite way to eat leeks, though, is on their own topped with a delicious mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, and garlic. Leek gratin is about as close to flavor perfection as you can get. Give this simple and DELICIOUS recipe a try and you will be a leek lover for life!

Ingredients:

4-5 large leeks

1 c. water

6 inch piece of baguette

3 garlic cloves

4 oz. Gruyere cheese

2 tsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

Salt and pepper

Cut off the dark green tops and root-covered bottoms of the leeks and discard. Then, quarter the leeks lengthwise and clean between all leaves thoroughly to remove dirt. Place the leeks on a cutting board and cut them into 4 inch long pieces so that they are easier to eat. 

Put the leeks and water in a skillet over medium high heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the leeks are very tender. Drain the leeks thoroughly, and then place them in a baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. In the meantime, combine the baguette, cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper and process until finely ground. Place the mixture into a bowl and mix in olive oil. Spread the mixture evenly over the leeks in the baking dish. Top the gratin with small dots of butter.

Cook into the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until the gratin is lightly browned. 

Categories
Pasta Uncategorized Vegetarian

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Do you have a craving for vegetarian lasagna but don’t want to put in the effort of layering and layering? These spinach lasagna roll ups are super simple to make and will certainly quench your craving for a comforting, flavorful lasagna. These roll ups are perfect for meatless Mondays, or any day of the week that you need a healthy and delicious meal on the table with little effort.

Ingredients:

8 c. fresh spinach

10-12 uncooked lasagna noodles

3 c. marinara sauce

16 oz. whole milk ricotta

¾ c. shredded mozzarella

½ c. Parmesan cheese, shredded

1 large egg

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook spinach until it is wilted, about 2 minutes, and set aside to cool. Cook lasagna according to package directions and drain. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a large baking dish. 

When the spinach has cooled, mix together the spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a large bowl. 

Lay out the dry noodles flat on a clean surface, such as wax paper on the counter. Spread the cheese and spinach mixture evenly over the noodles in a thin layer and roll up carefully. Then, place the roll ups seam-side down in the baking dish. Leave a little space between the roll ups. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the roll ups and then top with mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese melts. 

Categories
Uncategorized Vegan Vegetarian

Red Lentil Vegan Tacos

I know, I know. I make tacos all the time. The thing is, tacos can be made with infinite and fun ingredients. They can be packed with meat, full of seafood, loaded with veggies, or all of those things at once. They can be straight-up traditional Mexican tacos or created with other cultures’ favorite foods weaved in, such as Korean barbecue or Indian masala. 

This taco recipe is vegan and just as flavorful as meat tacos. It’s simple, inexpensive and so yummy. This version of “taco meat” is delicious in corn tortillas, burritos, and salads. It freezes well and easy to portion out for weekday lunches. If you’re a vegan, top these with salsa, guacamole, vegan cheese, and vegan sour cream. If you’re not a vegan and want to add more, load these up with cheese, sour cream, and maybe even a fried egg, and you will love these tacos. 

So, it looks like I’m not planning on reigning in my taco obsession anytime soon. Expect to see lots more taco recipes from me in the near future. 

Ingredients:

Lentils:

1 c. red lentils

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. taco seasoning

3 c. vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Tacos:

Tortillas

Lettuce 

Cilantro

Tomatoes

Salsa

Avocado

Cheese, sour cream (vegan or traditional)

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add the onions and jalapeno and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. 

Mix in the taco seasoning, lentils and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until lentils are soft and most of the broth has cooked off. 

Serve the lentils in warm tortillas or on top of a salad. Top with all of your favorite taco toppings!

Categories
Sides Uncategorized Vegan Vegetarian

Lebanese Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

This version of tabbouleh salad is prepared in the Lebanese fashion, but swaps out the traditional bulgur for quinoa for an extra protein boost. Tabbouleh salad is the most popular salad in Lebanon, and in many other countries across the Middle East and Meditteranean. It’s vegan, economical, and packed with refreshing, clean ingredients. 

I prefer the parsley-heavy Lebanese version of tabbouleh salad, as opposed to the more grainy versions often made in the United States. After all, tabbouleh salad is supposed to be a parsley salad. If you are apprehensive about making a salad that is parsley-based and contains no lettuce, give this recipe a shot. You may decide this herb salad is your new favorite thing. 

Ingredients:

Salad:

1/2 cup cooked quinoa, rinsed

2 c. fresh parsley, chopped

½ c. fresh mint, chopped

1 cucumber, finely diced

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

3 green onions, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing:

Juice from 2 lemons

½ c. olive oil

1 clove of garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions and allow it to cool completely (this can be done earlier in the day or even the day before). When the quinoa is completely cool, mix in the vegetables, parsley, and mint together in a large serving bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and then pour over the quinoa and veggies. Mix together thoroughly and serve cold. 

Categories
Salads Uncategorized Vegetarian

Detoxifying Kale Salad with Chickpeas

This beautiful, tender, and raw kale salad is so delicious that it might be able to win over even the most vocal kale-haters. Composed of very simple and fresh ingredients, this salad proves that sometimes less really is more. 

The flavor profile of this detoxifying salad is lovely, rich, and tangy. The kale, crispy chickpeas, and toasted breadcrumbs give this salad crunch. The Parmesan cheese, lemon, garlic, and spices give it the zing. The olive oil gives it the richness that provides the perfect balance. This salad is perfect as a side or main course, and is delicious topped with tofu, grilled salmon, or chicken. 

And . . . correct me if I’m wrong, but this kale salad will probably make you feel like you could take on the world.

Ingredients:

1 bunch organic kale, torn into bite-sized pieces

½ 15 oz. can of chickpeas

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cumin

½ c. olive oil

¼ c. lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

½ c. Parmesan cheese, shaved

¼  c. toasted Italian breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix chickpeas with 1 Tbsp olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside. Toast breadcrumbs in a skillet over medium  until lightly browned. Set aside. 

In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. 

Place pieces of kale in a large salad bowl, pour in dressing and massage with your hands until kale is soft and pliable. Top salad with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and serve!

Categories
Uncategorized Vegan Vegetarian

Vegan Cold Winter’s Night Tahini Buddha Bowl

With all of the overindulging I have done over the holidays, all I have been craving over the last few days is healthy, clean food. It’s that time of year when we need to get on the healthy wagon again. I couldn’t be happier to reset my body and nutrition. This delicious Buddha bowl is such a great starting point. It’s satisfying, filling, packed with flavor, and so clean. 

The beauty of Buddha bowls is that they’re adaptable. You can really add the veggies you like and customize. This particular Buddha bowl was comforting, tasty, and warm as-is, but would be delicious with broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, beans, or even falafel. The tahini sauce is so delicious, so be sure to pour it on generously!

Ingredients: 

Bowl:

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. cayenne

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. curry

2 tsp. turmeric

Salt and pepper

Red pepper flakes

4 large handfuls of kale, chopped

Tahini sauce

Chopped green onions for garnish

Chickpeas:

1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. cayenne

1 tsp. turmeric

Salt and pepper, red pepper flakes

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

On one baking sheet, combine all ingredients for the chickpeas. Spread the chickpeas out evenly and bake for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

While the chickpeas are baking, mix together the sliced sweet potatoes, olive oil, and spices in a large bowl. Spread out on a large baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Flip over and cook about 10 more minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft and lightly browned. Massage kale with olive oil and add salt and pepper. Place kale on top of sweet potatoes and cook for about 2 minutes, or until wilted. 

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the tahini sauce and set aside. 

To assemble the bowls, place a large scoop of quinoa in the bowl. Top it with sweet potatoes, kale, chickpeas, and green onions. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Serve immediately.

Categories
Desserts/Sweets Uncategorized Vegetarian

Palestinian Kunafa (Shredded Phyllo Dough Pastry with Cheese)

If you’re looking for a wow-worthy dessert, look no further. Kunafa is not only visually appealing and delicious, it has a long and interesting history that would be sure to generate a fun conversation around any table. 

Kunafa is an ancient and wildly popular middle eastern dessert made with shredded phyllo dough, cheese, nuts, and sugary syrup. The recipe varies from region to region, but has very similar ingredients throughout the middle east. It appears that the exact origin of this dessert is subject to some debate, but it has been mentioned as a popular food since as early as the 10th century. The millenium-long popularity of this dessert proves that kunafa is a tasty treat that stands the test of time. 

Ingredients:

Kunafa:

½ 16 oz box of kataifi* (shredded phyllo dough), thawed

1 stick of melted butter

1 c. whole-milk ricotta cheese

2 c. shredded mozzarella

¼ c. sugar

Pistachios, for topping

Rose Water syrup:

1 c. sugar

1 Tbsp. rose water

Juice from one lemon

¾ c. water

*Kataifi can be found in the freezer section of most Middle Eastern markets

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a deep pie pan with butter so that the pastry does not stick. 

Make the rosewater syrup by combining the sugar, rose water, lemon juice and water together in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a bowl and allow it to simmer until thickened, or about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

Use a food processor to chop the shredded phyllo dough into smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the melted butter into the dough and mix thoroughly with your hands. Place half of the dough firmly into the button of the pie pan, squishing it down all the way around the bottom. 

Mix the ricotta, mozzarella and sugar in a separate bowl and then spread the cheese mixture over the dough in the bottom of the pie pan. Place another layer of the dough on the top and smash down firmly. 

Bake the pastry for 20-25 minutes, or until the dough is lightly browned and the cheese is bubbly. Carefully remove the pastry from the pan, place on a platter and pour cooled rose water syrup over the top. Top with pistachios. Slice and serve hot.

Categories
Beef Uncategorized Vegetarian

Swiss Fondue Feast

For as long as I can remember, our family has enjoyed this fondue feast every Christmas Eve, and some of my very happiest memories are centered around this meal. Our family tradition of fondue feasts began in Vail, Colorado sometime in the early 1960s. My grandparents had bought a vacation home in the Alps-like village of Vail and frequently enjoyed eating in the Swiss and Austrian restaurants after skiing. They developed a love for fondue, and started the Christmas Eve tradition of serving fondue feasts at family gatherings. 

I have so many amazing memories of this meal . . . the most vivid memory is of me and my sister begging my grandpa every single year to just let us open one present after dinner. He always caved and let us open one present . . . and sometimes even snuck into the other room with us and let us open another one. Sixty years later, my family still lovingly adheres to this tradition, and likely will continue celebrating around this memory-making meal for generations to come. 

Although we enjoy this meal on Christmas Eve, it’s definitely appropriate for any wintertime occasion. This meal is guaranteed to make everyone smile and will result in creating unforgettable memories!

Ingredients and directions:

Cheese fondue:

1 clove of garlic

1.5 lbs. grated Gruyere or Emmental cheese

1 c. dry white wine

2 Tbsp. kirsch liqueur

Pinch of nutmeg

Before adding cheese to the fondue pot, cut the garlic clove in half and rub it all over the inside of the pot. Turn on the heat to medium and add the wine. When the wine is simmering, slowly add the cheese and stir until smooth. Add the kirsch and nutmeg. Stir again. Turn the heat to low and enjoy! I recommend serving with a baguette.

Beef fondue:

2 lb. sirloin

½ c. soy sauce

½ c. corn oil

3 cloves of garlic

½ c tomato juice

½ c. brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Two days before cooking, cut the sirloin into bite-sized pieces in a glass container along with all of the ingredients listed above. Allow the meat to marinate in the refrigerator until it’s time to cook so that the flavor really sets in. 

To cook beef fondue, fill the fondue pot half way with corn oil. Turn the fondue pot to medium high. Using fondue forks, cook the meat in the pot until it is cooked to your liking. Serve with a sour cream horseradish dipping sauce (just simply mix raw horseradish with sour cream to taste). 

Categories
Uncategorized Vegetarian

Vegetarian Breakfast Tacos with Microgreens

Are you more a savory breakfast person? Me too! While I do love occasional sugary treats, I usually prefer a savory, protein-packed breakfast over one that will leave me feeling the ol’ sugar crash. 

Since tomorrow is Christmas morning, I thought I’d throw this out there as another option to the standard cinnamon roll Christmas morning breakfast. You’re probably going to need plenty of energy to open presents, clean up wrapping paper, organize all of your many gifts (hopefully), and then cook a fancy meal, so why not have a breakfast that will energize you and take less than 5 minutes to make? Happy holidays, and you’re welcome. 

Ingredients:

½ can vegetarian refried beans

1 Tbsp. butter

1 avocado, diced

4 eggs

¼ c. shredded cheddar cheese 

8 corn tortillas

Hot sauce, I like El Yucateco 

½ c. microgreens

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat up the refried beans in a small saucepan on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Heat up the tortillas in a skillet. Scramble the eggs in a buttered pan. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble, divide up the beans, eggs, cheese and avocado equally among the tacos. Top with avocado, hot sauce, microgreens. Enjoy!

Categories
Salads Sides Uncategorized Vegetarian

Grilled Rainbow Salad with Microgreens

Huge, beautiful salads are one of my favorite meals. They are healthy and fresh, but also filling and crunchy and full of diverse flavors. Lately I have been eating a lot of comfort food, so that has caused me to have a serious craving for a big, veggie-packed salad. 

I usually make this salad in the summer when my garden is overflowing with zucchini, peppers, herbs, and greens, but sometimes in the winter a summer salad is just what I need to feel alive and strong. The flavor combo of this salad truly makes your tastebuds feel like they are basking in the summer sun. 

Ingredients: 

4 c. mixed greens 

½ c. mixed herbs, fresh parsley or cilantro

1 zucchini, sliced

1 can of corn

½ c. roasted red peppers, sliced

½ c. feta cheese

2 c. microgreens

2-3 Tbsp. olive oil

Juice from 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle zucchini with olive oil and cook in a grill pan until charred on both sides. Remove from pan and place in a bowl. Add the corn and cook until golden brown. Set aside and let zucchini and corn cool. 

To arrange the salad, fill a large bowl with mixed greens and herbs and mix together. Place zucchini on top of the greens, followed by the corn, red pepper, feta and microgreens. 

When you are ready to serve the salad, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle on top of the salad. Mix and serve!