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Vegan Pesto

Vegan Pesto, As my family receives what feels like endless amounts of greens from our CSA I have vastly expanded the definition of pesto beyond basil. So far I’ve made arugula pesto, basil parsley pesto, and last night, cilantro pesto. I love pesto because it’s easy to make, and gives you a fresh splash of greens that can be added to pasta, grains, avocado toast and crackers to name a few. I offer you this recipe, but really it is best to use it only as a guide. This is one of those things that its best to play with until you get the taste and consistency you want.

• 2 garlic cloves, cut in half, green shoots removed
• 2 heaped tablespoons nuts: either walnuts or pine nuts
• 2 cups of fresh herbs or greens- you choose: basil, parsley, cilantro, arugula leaves, stemmed and washed, tightly packed. Choose one herb or a combination of all.
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ⅓ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, as needed
• Optional, 1-2 teaspoons sweet white miso -—miso is a vegan alternative to parmesan cheese

1. Using cuisenart, chop garlic. The garlic usually stick to the sides. Stop cuisenart, scrape the garlic down, add nuts and blend until finely ground.

2. Add the 2 cups of herbs and greens mix and salt. Pulse until the it is finely chopped.

3. Keep cuisenart running and drizzle in the olive oil, adding enough oil that the everything blends in well. You might need a bit of extra olive oil to do this. Stop machine and taste. 

4. Depending on the freshness of the greens and the nuts you might be satisfied with the taste at this point. If not add 1 teaspoon of miso and taste. You can add more miso if needed. 

5. Use immediately, or store or freeze in an air tight jar.

 

Snowy Day Soup

I love making soup when it’s snowing. I don't follow a recipe, but rather use whatever I have on hand. I get the onions sautéing, add celery and carrots, a bit of sea salt, and then I consider what else I might throw into the pot. If possible, I make a large pot of soup so there's plenty to give away to neighbors and to the surprise person who may be in need of some home cooked yumminess. I learned this from my mother. She always has several kinds of soup in the freezer! Here is a rough estimate of a soup I made on a snowy March night in 2022!

1-2 medium onions

1-2 carrots

2 stalks celery

1 sweet potato

A generous handful of kombu

1/2 dried wild mushrooms

1 1/2 cups French green lentils

14 ounce can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup red wine

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1.2 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon Marrakesh Sitar Moroccan Blend

4 cups vegetable broth

3-4 cups water, depending on how soupy you want it. 

•  Sauté onions until they are translucent.                                                                           •  Add red wine and let it cook about 5 minutes.

• Add carrots, celery, a pinch of salt, and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
• Add everything else. Bring to a boil, lower heat and allow the soup to simmer 30-40   minutes, until everything is soft. 

Garnish options

Sheep feta, parmesan, parsley

Chicken Coconut Curry Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Kale

Chicken Coconut Curry Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Kale, I love this stew because it is a delicious one pot meal that is relatively easy to make. I often use a combination of wild mushrooms, both fresh and dried, in this recipe, but cremini mushrooms will well too. This stew freezes exceptionally well so double the amount and enjoy it on a night when you don't have time to cook. 

Prep time: 20 min       Total Time: 50 min       Servings 8


Ingredients

2 pounds boneless chicken, cut into bite size pieces                                               1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
3-4 tablespoons curry powder (It can get spicy depending on the curry you use.)
2 cups kale, rinsed and chopped roughly
28oz petite diced tomatoes with juice
1 can full fat coconut milk
8oz tomato paste                                                                                                         2 cups cremini or wild mushrooms, chopped
2-3 medium sweet potatoes (peeled, chopped into 1 inch cubes)
salt and pepper (to taste)
cilantro to garnish

Directions
1. Cut chicken in bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

2. Combine coconut oil and curry powder in large pan over medium heat and stir for one minute. Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes, stirring as needed.

3. Add chicken and mushrooms into mixture. Turn heat down to medium low and allow chicken to cook. Stir regularly.

4. While the chicken mixture cooks, combine coconut milk, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and set aside. 

5. When chicken is cooked add tomato mixture and sweet potatoes to the pot. Stir gently to combine well. Simmer covered for 30-40 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Add kale the last 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

6. Optional, garnish with cilantro.

Ginger Snap Cookies

Ginger Snap Cookies, This is a great winter holiday cookie! It is delicious to eat, simple to make, and also kind to your body. It is made with almond flour and sweetened with honey. I have tested it on kids and adults alike and all have enjoyed it. Follow this link for the recipe.

 

I found it on the Comfy Belly site, which is my go to website for healthy baking recipes. 

 

 

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins, Makes 24 mini muffins

For most of the kids who live on my street, the arrival of fall and the beginning of the new school year is a mixed experience. It has been my tradition for years to mark and celebrate this transition by sharing of pumpkin muffins with them. The recipe is both delicious and healthy, and people of all ages enjoy them.

 

Ingredients 

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder

1/4 teaspoons sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup pumpkin puree 

1/4 cup butter, melted (you can substitute avocado oil or any other non-dairy oil)

1 egg

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup whole milk (you can substitute the non-dairy milk of your choice)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk wet ingredients together.

2. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients to form a somewhat thick batter. 

3. Grease mini muffin trays. Fill mini muffin tins to the top. Bake for 13-16 minutes. (Keep watch after 13 minutes.)

Variations: This is a basic muffin recipe. Change it as you feel inspired. For banana muffins use banana puree instead of pumpkin, substitute 1 t cinnamon instead of pumpkin spices.

 

 

 

 

Muhammara Red Pepper Spread

People LOVE this muhammara dip! I first had it while doing a week long meditation retreat the the Insight Meditation Retreat Center in Barre, MA. I was so amazed by the interesting combination of tastes that I made sure to get the recipe before heading back home. Muhammara is originally from Syria, and traditionally made with pomegranate molasses. Out of convenience I often use honey, and it works perhaps not quite as well, but certainly good enough. You will likely need to play with the amounts a bit as the taste of the red peppers varies quite significantly and will effect the overall balance of tastes. 

10 ounces canned roasted red peppers, or 2 fresh red peppers roasted and peeled         1 cup almond meal or 3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup walnuts – lightly toasted
4 cloves garlic – minced

1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey or pomegranate molasses 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 cup olive oil

Preparation

Mince garlic.
Put garlic in food processor along with all other ingredients except olive oil and feta cheese.
Blend until smooth. Add olive oil gradually.
Serve with pita bread and feta cheese.

Tumeric Tea

This is one of my favorite warm drinks. I came across this recipe in the NY Times a few years ago. It is sweet, warming, and a great winter tea to heal what ails! I have sometimes made it with black tea, sometimes with Rooibos Chai. Enjoy!

 

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