Roasted Broccoli and Fennel Gluten Free Pasta with Zesty Tempeh Bacon and Shallot Thyme vinaigrette


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For Pasta

2 cups uncooked Brown Rice or Quinoa Farfalle Pasta

2 Heads Organic Broccoli, florets only

3 Scallions, chopped

1 Bulb of Fennel, thinly sliced

4 Basil Leaves, chopped

1 Lemon

1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Peppers

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees. Fill a Medium Sauce pan with water and put on high heat until boiling. In the meantime, chop florets of broccoli, place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle with olive olive, juice of 1/2 a lemon, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Massage the seasoning and oil into the broccoli with your hands. Pop in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the point just before it gets super crispy.IMG_0098IMG_0101IMG_0117

Wash and Chop Scallions, fennel, and basil.IMG_0109 Put pasta in boiling water and cook according to package. I use quinoa and brown rice noodles. Be sure to cook them al dente. Save a cup of pasta water before draining.

IMG_0107IMG_0108Place pasta in a large bowl, drizzle with Shallot Thyme Vinaigrette, add chopped scallions, fennel, basil and broccoli.IMG_0114

Add lemon juice, splash of pasta water. Toss. Add more Dressing, salt and pepper for flavor. Serve into bowls and top with Tempeh Bacon, Enjoy!!!

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Tempeh Bacon

1 Pack Organic Tempeh, Thinly Sliced

Chimichurri, homemade or store bought

Olive Oil

Make before broccoli. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle with Olive Oil. Place tempeh strips on pan and smother in chimichurri sauce. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until brown and crunchy, but not burnt. Chop into small squares, place in bowl and toss with extra chimichurri sauce. This gives the pasta a delicious, salty crunch!

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Shallot Thyme Vinaigrette

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons of Honey

1 Tablespoon Thyme, Finely Chopped

1 Large Shallot, Finely Chopped

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Pepper

Mix all ingredients into a mason jar, place top on jar and shake it up. Give it a taste and add more honey, olive oil or vinegar needed to balance out the flavors.IMG_0118

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Sesame Citrus Tempeh with Peanut Sauce and Steamed Vegetables

Tempeh is a delicious soy product that can be marinated and grilled in place of meat or fake meat. It is a much cleaner form of protein than fake meat. It is simply cooked soy beans that form a white block during a fermentation process. I recently had a request for a tasty Tempeh recipe, here is what I concocted… It takes some time but is worth it to fully marinate the tempeh. It is amazing served with home made Peanut Sauce and Steamed Vegetables. The Peanut Sauce is my mom’s recipe, it is so tasty up will want to lick the pan!

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For the Tempeh you will need:

1 Pack of Organic Tempeh (found at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc)

1 Teaspoon Cumin

1 Teaspoon Curry Powder

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos

2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon Diced Fresh Ginger

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

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Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cut tempeh into 1/4 Inch Slices and place in a glass baking dish preferably with a cover.

Add Cumin, Curry Powder, lemon juice, Braggs Liquid Aminos, Toasted Sesame Oil, diced fresh ginger. Mix ingredients with tempeh, make sure each piece of tempeh is being marinated. If it looks too dry, add more toasted sesame oil and Braggs.  Place in oven and cook on 250 for one hour. This will ensure that the tempeh will marry with the spices. While the Tempeh is cooking prepare the peanut sauce and vegetables. After one hour, put a sauté pan on medium heat, add olive oil. Fry each piece of tempeh until golden brown. If you are on a strict diet you can skip the frying party, but it won’t be quite as delicious. Place on paper towel and get ready to serve.

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For the Peanut Sauce you will need:

1 Can Lite Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce or Tamari

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, chopped

Fresh Grated Ginger, to taste (1 Tablespoon)

1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Peppers

1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro

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Place all ingredients except cilantro and red peppers in a medium sauce pan, turn heat to medium low. Let simmer, stirring occasionally. after 20 minutes or so the sauce should thicken and begin to smell good. At this time add cilantro and desired amount of red chili flakes. If you can handle the heat, add more chili peppers. They go a long way, so don’t over spice. Continue to simmer until cilantro has blended in. Voila, you have delicious Peanut Sauce, great for all Asian inspired dinners. It is packed with protein and good fats!

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For Steamed Vegetables

1 Head of Broccoli

1/2 Red or Yellow Onion

1/2 Cup Sliced Mushrooms

1-2 Carrots, peeled and chopped

Dark Leafy Greens such as Kale or Spinach, washed, and chopped.

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Chop all vegetables. Place in Large Saute pan or wok. add 1/4-1/2 cup of water. Cover for 10 minutes or until water is evaporated. Depending on how you like your vegetables, pour more water and steam for longer. I personally like my vegetables to have a little crunch to them. Serve with the delicious Tempeh Slices and Peanut Sauce.  ENJOY!

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Delicious Potato Leek Soup

It is starting to feel like fall in LA…. kind of. With fall brings one of my favorite things to make, Potato Leek Soup! Creamy and delicious, this dish is sure to keep you warm on chilly nights. This is for a large batch of soup, you can have a soup party or freeze it for later. Serve with a salad, tea sandwich, panini, or just on it’s own! ENJOY

You will need:

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8 Peel Russet Potatoes

5 Large Leeks Whites Only

3 Celery Stalks

2 Tablespoons of Butter

10 Cups Vegetable Stock

1 Bay Leave

2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

Parsley

1 Cup Heavy Cream

Chop green section and tip off leeks, wash thoroughly and dry. Cut in half the long way and then slice in 1/2 inch pieces (does not have to be exact). Wash and chop celery. Peel and chop potatoes into medium sized chunks.

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Put Large Stockpot on medium heat, add butter, once melted put leeks in pot with a dash of salt. Sweat the leeks for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat down to medium low and cook leeks for 25 minutes until tender.
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Add the vegetable broth, potatoes, and bay leaf. Chop the thyme and add it. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes. Check to see if potatoes are soft, if they are you are ready for the next step. Place half of the soup in a large mixing bowl or pitcher and the other half into a large blender. Blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Pour back into Stockpot and then blend the other half. Once all the soup is nice and cream and the cup of heavy cream. Stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste.                    IMG_6514-2IMG_6513-2

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Serve healthy bowlfuls with a handful of chopped parsley on top and voila, amazing potato leek soup.

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Disclaimer: You will want seconds.

Recipe inspired by Alton Brown and Robert Irvine.

Celebrating the Summer Solstice with a Fresh, Plant based Feast

On Saturday, the farmer’s market was full of so many fragrant, colorful fruits and vegetables. I chose to get bright yellow summer squash, basil, juicy tomatoes, fresh avocados, peaches, bloomsdale spinach and some tangy lemons. I had no idea what I was going to do with them….. but to me half the fun of being in the kitchen is creating unique and custom recipes. Letting the ingredients I have determine what make. Last night, I made a brief plan and improvised along the way.  I served:

Grilled Summer Squash with Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese Drizzled with Balsamic Glaze

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Slice the Squash into thirds, the long way.

Grill on low for about 8 minutes per side. You want the squash to still be a little firm, to hold it’s shape.

While grilling, thinly slice Humboldt Fog Goat cheese.

While the squash is hot, place a healthy amount of cheese on the squash.

Let sit for 5 minutes. Drizzle balsamic glaze or reduction over the top and enjoy!

Basil Chimichurri and Avocado Quinoa

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  Add  1 Cup of rinsed Quinoa and 2 Cups of liquid into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. I use 1 Cup of water and 1 Cup of  Vegetable stock to add flavor. I also add Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Once the water is boiling, turn to low and cover for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

In a small bowl, add 3-4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, 1 Teaspoon of Pepper and 1/2 Teaspoon of salt. Rinse 1 1/2 Cups of Basil Leaves, chop finely and mix into sauce. Creating a fresh and delicious pestoey/chimichurri sauce.

Once Quinoa is cooked, put it in a large glass bowl and toss it with the Chimichurri Sauce. Finely chop 2 Scallions, peel and cube 2 ripe avocados. Toss together and enjoy this delicious and nutritious dish! Quinoa is a complete protein, so this can act as your main dish as well as your grain.

 Bloomsdale Spinach salad with Truffle Parmesan and Tomato

Spinach!

Wash, Slice and Half 1 large flavorful tomato. The tomato juices double as a component to the salad dressing. Rinse and rough chop about 4 Cups of Spinach. Finely slice 1/4 of a red onion. Add the juice of 1 Lemon. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the spinach. Grind about 1/2-1 teaspoon of pepper into the salad.  Give the salad a drizzle of about 2 Tablespoons of High quality olive. Toss with your hands. Add a handful of sunflower seeds and voila, your salad is ready!

Enjoy The Taste of Summer!!

The full Meal