Chimichurri Verde

This beautiful sauce hails from Argentina and Uruguay and is used primarily on grilled red meat or poultry. We had it last night on bison burgers…so good! Serve it raw as a condiment or use as a marinade or baste during cooking. This condiment is very vinegar-forward, and can also be very garlicky–if that’s what you’re into, add a couple cloves more than I list below. I enjoy the oregano flavor and have tons thanks to a very robust crop this year, but if you’re not as wild about it, decrease the amount to 3 T.

2 cups fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

5 T fresh oregano leaves

6 T red wine vinegar

1/2 c olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

salt and black pepper

  • In a blender or food processor, blend parsley, oregano, vinegar, garlic, and red pepper to a coarse consistency.
  • Add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Let sit at least 20 min.
  • You can make this a day ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight, but bring it back up to room temp before serving for the best flavor.
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Roasted Grape Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • drizzle of olive oil (about 3 T)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c fresh herbs of choice (I used oregano), chopped roughly

Slice tomatoes in half and combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Mix to coat tomatoes well and transfer to a lined baking sheet (I used parchment paper). I also flipped all the tomatoes to sliced-side up so they’d dry out enough during the roasting process. Cook at 350 for 60 min or until they reach your desired texture.

Drizzle with additional olive oil and store on your counter at room temperature for a day and refrigerate after that.

Oregano Pesto

TONS of fresh oregano and I’ve always thought it was too strong for pesto…I was so wrong! This pesto is incredible. I made it in a cheap food processor and the texture turned out grainy and rough instead of creamy, but it works for the flavor. I changed a few proportions in the recipe on Whole Food Bellies and omitted the parmesan. I’m sure it’s great with the cheese, but I appreciated the concentrated oregano flavor!

2 cups fresh oregano, packed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/3 cup olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to food processor or blender and blend to desired consistency. Freeze extra in the ice tray to have single-serving cubes at the ready.

Paleo (kind of) Strawberry Shortcake

I’m just going to post a link to this recipe–I made it as described on Rubies and Radishes and it’s great! I used coconut milk and not the cream, because that’s what I had, but I think the cream would yield a better texture. The coconut whipped cream turned out well, too. Can’t wait to try it again!

vegetarian (or shrimp) pho

  • 1 small onion, cut into eighths or so
  • 4 garlic cloves, quartered
  • 2-inch piece ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 pods star anise
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 c vegetable stock
  • 4 c water
  • 3 T tamari or gluten free soy sauce (what exactly is the difference??)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb rice noodles
  • assorted veggies, cut into bite-sized pieces (broccoli, pea pods, onion, bok choy, celery, carrots, etc)
  • 8 oz tofu, cubed tinily and fried or sautéed (OR some little cooked shrimpers)
  • 6 scallions, sliced thinly

Table salad and condiments:

  • 1 1/2 c bean sprouts
  • handful of basil, mint and/or cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes, wedged
  • sriracha and hoisin sauce

Cooking Instructions

Heat a large pot over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves and dry-roast, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to char. Add stock, water, and tamari and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Strain into clean pot and discard veggies and spices. Taste broth and add salt if desired. Keep warm over low heat.

In the meantime, prepare rice noodles. Place them in a large bowl and pour boiling water to cover, soak 20 minutes.

When you are ready to assemble the soup, add tofu (or shrimp) to warm broth and allow to heat through. Drain the soaked rice noodles and divide evenly among 4 to 6 large bowls. Ladle the hot soup over noodles. Serve the bowls of pho with the table salad, hoisin sauce, and sriracha for everyone to season to taste.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Red Lentil & Kale Soup

adapted from Delicious Living

Lemony and yummy! The tartness of lemon balances the savory and earthy flavors perfectly. I used kale instead of chard and left out the bay leaves and kombu (only because I didn’t have any on hand). So next time, I’ll try them out. A little of this goes a long way–it’s hearty! Perfect for this late winter Saturday that I swear I thought was supposed to be early spring….

Red Lentil and Kale Soup

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 leeks, sliced (wash well!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 c vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 3 c water
  • 2 c red lentils
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 bunch kale, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 c minced fresh parsley
  • lemon wedges to garnish
  • (2 bay leaves)
  • (1 small strip kombu ~1-3″)

Heat oil in large soup pot on medium, add leeks, garlic, and celery and cook 5 min or until leeks are clear. Add broth, water, lentils, (bay leaves, kombu) and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 min or until lentils are tender. Add lemon zest, juice, and kale, and cook 10 more min. Remove bay leaves and kombu, if used, and stir in parsley before serving. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve with lemon wedges to garnish.

Vegan Ranch Dressing

Oh, Ranch Dressing, how I’ve missed you! It’s not EXACTLY like the real thing, but pretty damn close! Takes 5 minutes to make, but chill for a few hours to let the flavors blend.

This is coconut kefir, an acquired taste for sure, but great blended into sauces and dips with strong flavors.

coconut kefir

Vegan Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 c coconut kefir
  • 1/2 c Vegenaise (or vegan mayo of your choice)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • several grinds of black pepper

ranch spices

Combine all ingredients in bowl and whisk until blended well. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour to allow flavors to get to know each other. :) Dip anything and everything in it!

vegan ranch!

3-Step Roasted Squash Soup

This has got to be one of the easiest and tastiest things I’ve ever made! And you can have 2 giant bowls in a row and not get upset because the only ingredients are veggies, spice, and a little coconut oil. :) Top with roasted squash seeds.

3-Step Roasted Squash Soup

slightly modified from a Vega recipe

  • 1 small onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 medium squash of your choice (I used pumpkin, but next time–acorn or butternut)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • dulse flakes
  • roasted squash seeds

Step 1: Start squash roasting at 350˚: halve, coat with coconut or olive oil, and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Remove from oven after 30-40 minutes, or when flesh is tender.

Step 2: Meanwhile, chop onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, place in saucepan, cover with water, and boil for 25-30 minutes.

Step 3: Remove skin from squash and add to blender with veggies, salt & pepper, cinnamon, and coconut oil (make sure squash and veggies are cooled enough to not explode when you start whirling!). Blend until smooth, adding water if desired to thin the soup. Reheat in saucepan if necessary.

Top with dulse flakes for a little ocean saltiness and roasted squash seeds for a little crunch, and eat immediately. Seriously, don’t wait–this stuff is good!

Kale-Quinoa Salad with Apples and Almonds

It’s soooo good! And you just feel healthy. It’s easy, quick, and satisfying–perfect for school/work lunch. You can use only 2 c of quinoa if you’d rather have a slightly lighter salad.

  • 4 c kale, torn into little, tiny, baby pieces
  • 2 1/2  c cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 c almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped (preferably something tart like honeycrisp or granny smith)

dressing:

  • 2 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 T agave or honey
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Put the quinoa on to cook first–either measure out, or I just boil some water and throw the quinoa in like I’m making pasta and strain it afterward. While that’s cooking, shred the kale by hand, tearing it into smaller and smaller pieces. This allows it to be integrated into the quinoa better, but it also breaks down the kale and makes it less fibrous. You could steam it if you’re completely averse to raw kale, though. Also, toast, cool, and coarsely chop the almonds. Whisk dressing ingredients together, season with cayenne and salt to taste.

When quinoa is done, strain and add to shredded kale, stirring to cool. Add almonds, apple, and dressing, mixing well. Eat immediately!

Kasha Pilaf

Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, grain-free (buckwheat groats are actually fruit seeds!). You can get buckwheat roasted (as kasha), or raw. Kasha is nuttier and kind of earthy compared with the raw groats. Find more info about buckwheat here. This is a great fall dish, hearty and warm with a salad. I had it with squash last night. :) I think mushrooms could work well in this…will try it next time!

Kasha Pilaf

  • 1 cup kasha
  • 2 cups water, boiling
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 T grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp thyme, dried (or 2 tsp fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 c walnuts, toasted

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add kasha, salt, and pepper; lower heat to simmer. Cook until kasha is tender and water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium and add onions, thyme, and a pinch of salt/pepper. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, or until onions are browned and soft. Toast walnuts. Combine kasha, onions, and walnuts…enjoy!