Adzuki Bean Pasta With Zucchini Spaghetti

With the move to a new neighborhood came new supermarkets and a new summer CSA with an abundance of zucchini. While my new local supermarkets lack some of my favorite ingredients, I did discover a pasta made from adzuki beans in one of them. Adzuki beans are packed with fiber, protein and plenty of vitamins and minerals so I decided to trade it in for my usual quinoa pasta and put all of the zucchini to good use. Below is the recipe for a fresh summer pasta perfect for lunch or dinner.

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Quinoa, Red Cabbage & Fennel Salad With Smoked Tahini Vinaigrette

This week marks many new things. A new apartment, a lovely new roommate, and with that a new collaborative recipe. Theo (friend, new roommate and fellow chef) and I have been cooking together for a few years now and so when we decided to become roommates, we were naturally excited about the idea of coming home at the end of the day and getting our culinary creativity on together. After days of unpacking boxes, we finally had our kitchen in decent enough shape to make this happen. After procrastinating at work and passing recipe ideas back and forth, this dish came to life and it’s been nourishing us for lunch and dinner and satisfying our stomachs all week. Here’s how to make it… Continue reading →

Chia, Flax, and Coconut “Oatmeal”

I’ve never been a huge fan of oatmeal. I like my breakfasts savory and usually toasted – so much so that I eat a sprouted grain english muffin with hummus almost every morning. But a week ago, an undeniable sweet tooth took over me and since then I’ve been craving pancakes for dinner and maple syrup and honey all over my breakfast.

So, I decided to feed that sweet tooth some homemade gluten-free pancakes for dinner, and I used my craving as an opportunity to ditch my usual savory breakfast and instead, I made an improvised version of a chia seed  “oatmeal” that I had recently come across. Continue reading →

Vegan Pine Nut Cheese Artichoke Dip

vegan artichoke dip

When I was a kid we used to spend the holidays at my mom’s best friend’s house down the street and aside from it being one of my favorite nights of the year, it was also the night that I got to indulge in my favorite party snack: artichoke dip. I would eat so much of it that I would feel ill in minutes. To this day, I still repeat the same routine when it’s in front of me. Throughout the years I’ve adapted a few family friends’ recipes and always cringe when I see the amount of cheese and mayonnaise that I’m about to dig into. Yet, I still cannot resist it. Tonight, I decided to try to health it up a bit, with hopes of not sacrificing flavor. Continue reading →

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Black Eyed Pea Salad With Ginger, Garlic & Sherry Vinaigrette

black eyed pea salad

Last week was the week of beans. Between my bean demo and practicum at school and my vegan challenge, I’ve been consuming a lot of them recently. One of the perks to being in culinary school is taking home leftovers. There were a ton of soaked black eyed peas left over at the end of our practicum class, so I tossed them in a baggy and brought them home to cook. Up until now, I’ve been a canned bean kind of girl. I had never soaked and cooked dried beans before – it seemed like too much of a time suck. After taking this class, I now know there is a world of difference when you make them from scratch.

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21 Day Vegan Challenge: Halfway Point

So, I’m a week and 3 days into this vegan challenge and here’s the hardest part: eating out. Not because I’m eating strictly vegan, but because I also try to avoid gluten. So, at most restaurants, that leaves me with some very bland options. Thankfully my wallet doesn’t allow for me to eat out very often, but I did this week. I went out for vegan pizza with a friend and while it was delicious and I avoided the thick crusts, I paid for the gluten indulgence later. A few other things I’ve noticed while eating this way: 1. I can’t stomach as much alcohol as I usually can. Continue reading →

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21 Day Vegan Challenge: Days Two, Three and Four

Well, I had 2 glasses of wine at dinner the other night, along with a smidgen of gluten and dairy and I woke up with a headache. I’m blaming the headache on the wine because my gluten and dairy consumption was so minuscule. Interestingly enough, I found that while I normally could drink a whole bottle of wine with dinner, after two glasses I felt my body say “no more, please.” I’m still feeling like my body is not feeling the alcohol. I’m only on day 5 and my cravings for cheese are growing. But thus far, I’ve resisted temptation – including the ball of fresh mozzarella staring at me in my refrigerator day after day. Continue reading →

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Burdock Root & Shiitake Mushroom Stir Fry

burdock stir fry

I was introduced to burdock root in one of my first classes at Natural Gourmet. I had seen it in my local market before, but I never knew anything about it. During this veggie demo class, our teacher sliced up the burdock and sauteed then with some shiitakes, sesame oil and shoyu. It was so simple and yet so delicious, and chock full of health benefits. So when I came across some burdock at my market this week, I decided it was time to try cooking with it.

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21 Day Vegan Challenge: Day One

Last night, I was catching up with a close friend and during a conversation about health supportive eating and my new adventures in culinary school, she brought up a woman named Kris Carr. I googled her and when I landed on her website I was met by what looked like an infomercial for healthy eating – one that wanted my money. But I decided to dig a little deeper and by the time 1am rolled around, I had watched her full length documentary, browsed her recipes and watched all of her YouTube videos. I suddenly found myself sucked into a deep and wonderful hole of inspiration. This, coupled with a lovely conversation with another friend about making an effort to write more, led me to a a realization that it was time to check in with myself. I’d had intense nightmares the previous few nights and have been feeling a general tension in my neck, stomach and even calves, and with this inspiration pushing me forward, now felt like a better time than ever to start to really dig deep and explore the root of all of this tension.

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Sweet Summer Tomato & White Bean Salad With Fresh Herbs, Lemon Zest & Olive Oil

These days, time spent in my kitchen has been limited and meals have been quick. It’s for good reason though – I’ve been spending much of my spare time in a different kitchen. In June, I began attending culinary school at the Natural Gourmet Institute, something I had thought about doing for quite some time. I’m completely loving every minute of it thus far and in addition to cooking, I’m learning an incredible amount about nutritional healing. The founder of Natural Gourmet, Annmarie Colbin, believes that there is a direct correlation between the food we eat and our general state of well-being – eating well is the key to living well. This is something I have believed in for some time, and something that I have proven to myself with my own diet.

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