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Spring Lentil Soup

Welcoming Spring with a warm lentil and mushroom soup.  It was 50 degrees here in New Hampshire today, but the ground is still blanketed with snow.  In the early days of a new season, we are invited to lean in.  Transitioning is often more comfortable when we work with food to aide the shift.

So, a pot of beautiful Spring Lentil Soup is in order for our family table today.  Rich with immune supportive mushrooms, this soup could be had in the depth of winter (but I would make it thicker and more hearty with the addition of white beans).  

To make it:
Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot and saute~
1 large onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander

Add ~
1 cup each diced celery and carrot
2 cups crimini or button mushrooms, minced
1 cup green lentils
6 cups vegetable or mushroom stock

Simmer until the lentils are tender and the broth is rich... about 45 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with a salad.  On our table tonight -- torn Romaine and Kale with caramelized yellow beets and maple walnuts  -- its' about the most perfect pairing.  

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Sarah Lawrence

Sweet Potato Walnut Pilaf

I don't know about you, but I am always trying to think of ways to feed my family healthy foods that taste great, are easy to prepare and economical too!  Tonight, I'm sharing part 1 of this two-fer dish.  It's quick (30 minutes including prep), tastes great and will do double duty for you tomorrow night!
Nutritional-Know-How: I use sweet potatoes because they are rich in vitamins A, C, B6, B3, B1, B2, copper, manganese, pantothenic acid, biotin, potassium and fiber!  These high pigment powerhouses are anti-inflammatory wonders, help balance fibrinogen.  It's important to include a little bit of fat when eating sweet potato to unlock the potential of the beta-carotene in your body.* Walnuts not only add an earthy flavor but also contain an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid(ALA), copper, manganese, molybdenum and biotin.  Walnuts are a great source of gamma-tocopherol (a form of Vitamin E that has been shown to provide significant for the heart). The levels of potassium, calcium and magnesium along with other antioxidants in walnuts has been shown to help regulate blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and bone health.* Mushrooms are anti-cancer nuggets that are amazingly supportive of the immune system.  They became a part of our daily diet when I reviewed the studies cited in some work by Dr. Joel Fuhrman that found that "frequent consumption of mushrooms has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer by 64%" -- and we're not talking about a ton of mushrooms... we're talking about the equivalent of 1 button mushroom a day!!! * Millet is a great choice for many reasons... it's gluten free, high in protein(6 g/cup) and fiber(2 g/cup), rich in copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.  It looks a lot like couscous and can be substituted for couscous to make recipes gluten free!*

Sweet Potato Walnut Pilaf IMG_7582 Here's what you need to get started:
  • 2 lbs organic sweet potato, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, minced
  • 1 cup millet, uncooked ~ rinsed and drained
  • 2.5 cups water + 1 Tbsp broth powder OR 2.5 cups broth
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, minced
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  While you're waiting, spread the cubed sweet potato onto a baking sheet, drizzle it with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
  2. In a small skillet, over medium heat, sauté the onion and mushroom for about 5 minutes or until fragrant and soft.
  3. Add millet and water/broth and bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat.
  4. The oven should be hot enough now, so go ahead and put the baking sheet with the sweet potato on in and set your timer for 20 minutes.
  5. When the timer goes off take the sweet potato out of the oven and shut that off.  Remove the lid from your millet and taste it to see if it's done.  It's okay for millet to have a little bite to it, but you can also take it further to get it softer if you prefer.  When you're satisfied with the millet, turn off the heat, toss in the cooked sweet potato, the chopped walnuts and parsley.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as you like.
ENJOY!  And pop over tomorrow for Part 2 -- you're going to love what we do with the leftovers!   *Sources: Sweet Potato Walnut Mushroom Millet

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Sarah Lawrence

Simple Detox Recipes ~ because I love you <3

Special Waves and Warm Welcome to all you new Blog followers!  So glad to have you here.  I can't wait to hear from you and get to know you.  Please join me over on Facebook too --- click the link on the right side of this post.  I just can't get enough of all you lovelies!  xoxo ********** So, last week I completed a 10 Day Detox with a great group of people.  I designed the Detox to be gentle by reducing stimulants like caffeine and sugar before cutting them out, then using a clean dietary approach to support the body’s natural detox pathways.  Gotta tell ya… my Detoxers were ROCKSTARS!  Most lost 4 pounds during the 10 days and one SuperStar dropped 7 pounds and was absolutely glowing.  I confess that I feel a bit guilty to have kept the 10 Day Detox on the hush, but I’m ready to share a secret with you --- (you’re truly the first to know!)  --- On March 4th I am launching my next program:  “10 Weeks to a Healthier You!”  Because I work really closely with my clients, I am only opening 15 spots in this exclusive program.  I will be accepting applications from people who are ready to make some healthy habits a reality, so if this is you, be on the lookout for an update with all the deets tomorrow.  I have great bonuses and goodies for all you Early Birds who want to jump right in!  Just think --- you can be on your way to achieving any of your New Year’s weight loss resolutions in time for Mother’s Day!  Build on the momentum of love from Valentine’s Day and give yourself this gift.  Promise I’ll be back tomorrow with more so you can get in on the goodness.  (You’re totally worth it!) Phew!  Now that I’ve let my secret slip, I feel much better!  (Here’s the song in my head --- “I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it…”)  Back to business ~ I meant to post and share the love before Valentine’s Day, but life got busy with classroom parties and lots of valentines to prepare.  I want all of you to feel the love so this post is a host of pics and recipes from the detox.   Simple meals make me happy and keep me healthy and they can do the same for you!  Foods that support detoxification are tasty, colorful and filling, but don’t take my word for it… try it yourself and let me know what you think!   Breakfast = Breaking the Fast Liquid nutrition in the form of smoothies and juices is a fabulous way to FLOOD your cells with nutritional love! Mixed Berry Blast 1 cup frozen mixed berries 1 frozen banana 3 kale leaves, stems removed A big handful or two of baby spinach, washed (go for two cause you're a rockstar!) 1 - 1½ cups almond milk Put everything in the Vitamix or blender and whiz 050until quite smooth. My Beeting Heart Juice 1 large organic beet, scrubbed 1 large organic cucumber 3 kale leaves, stems removed 6 swiss chard leaves, stems removed 3 large carrots, peeled 1 red apple Cut all the veg in pieces that will fit in your juicer.  Juice according to your juicers directions or blend in a Vitamix and strain using a nutmilk bag or several layers of cheesecloth. [caption id="attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="256"]Juice shots for my boys and the pint glass for me! Juice shots for my boys and the pint glass for me![/caption]   043 [caption id="attachment_705" align="alignright" width="300"]Juicy Smiles from my 6 year old! Juicy Smiles from my 6 year old![/caption] Mid-day and Evening Meals Go for 80% raw and 20 % cooked whole foods for your lunch and dinner meals.  Raw foods provide live enzymes and accessible nutrients.  Cooked whole foods provide the comfort of warmth and variety in texture. Simple Salad for 4 8 cups of mixed salad greens (mesculin greens, kale, romaine, spinach, chard, frisee, red or green leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, endive, mustard greens, beet greens, dandelion greens) 4 cup diced veg of your choice (tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, red or green onion, celery, carrot, mushroom, beet) 1 diced avocado 1/4 cup of hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds or sesame seeds ¼ cup chopped cashew, almond or brazil nuts ¼ cup fresh herbs (dill, basil, cilantro, parsley, mix of thyme/oregano, mint) 2 cups mixed fresh fruit (optional, but great for variety) The possibilities with salad are never ending.  I use a variety of greens for lots of color and texture. Family Friendly tips: 
  1. Let you kids choose the veggies and fruits for the salad. 
  2. Once your greens are washed have your kiddos tear the leaves into fork friendly pieces.
  3. Fill it up!  We have a large oval platter that is great for serving salad family style.  How much salad do you need?  It is really easy to judge once you’ve served salad family style a few times because you will be able to eye-ball it based on your experience.  I know that if we fill up the platter with greens, pile on the veg and add the toppings that the whole thing will go… so all I need to say is “Fill it up” and my people can have fun while practicing a healthy habit.
  4. Let your kids serve themselves if they are old enough to manage a fork.  It’s a life skill.  I find that my kids take what they need and it’s usually more than I would have put on their plates. 
  5. Pour on the props!  Praising the kiddos (and any reluctant adults at the table) is a great way to ensure that they will feel good about making healthy choices.  Praise builds confidence, so when they try a new combo, give them credit and ask them how things taste and if they would make the same salad again.
*** Just think, it’s as easy as P-I-E ~ Praise Involve Encourage! [caption id="attachment_704" align="alignleft" width="640"]Simple Salad for 4 Simple Salad for 4[/caption] [caption id="attachment_711" align="alignleft" width="640"]Simple Salad for 4 with Beet Hearts and berries Simple Salad for 4 with Beet Hearts and berries[/caption] Raw Bowl with Beans 1 cup raw mushrooms, sliced 2 cups kale or spinach, stems removed and leaves sliced into strips ¾ cup raw sauerkraut (homemade or one like Bubbies) 1 cup cooked beans of your choice (homemade is great; no sugar if using canned beans) 040 Triple Nut Veg Burger 1 large onion, quartered 2 stalks celery, quartered 1 clove garlic 1/2 cup almonds 1/2 cup cashews 1/2 cup walnuts ½ cup hemp seeds 1 bunch parsley, stems removed 2 slices gluten free, dairy free millet bread or GFV breadcrumbs ¼ cup nutritional yeast 1/2 tsp sea salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup lemon juice ½ cup white beans (optional, makes patties a firmer texture) Put onion, celery, garlic, nuts, seeds and parsley into your food processor and pulse until everything is fine but not a paste.  Tear the GFV bread into pieces or add the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and pulse again.  Add lemon juice a little at a time to get the mixture to a consistency that you can shape into patties. Heat a cast iron skillet (or your favorite skillet) and place ½ cup size patties on until one side is golden, then flip.  Serve. An alternative to cooking these bad boys is to shape them and pop them into your dehydrator.  The flavor remains bright and the texture becomes much firmer than what you get in the skillet, even with the bean option.  I like the non bean burger, dehydrated and crumbled into lettuce leaves with salsa for a tasty taco like yum. ***Depending on the size of your veggies you should get at least 6 patties, likely a few more. [caption id="attachment_712" align="alignleft" width="640"]Triple Nut Veg Burger Triple Nut Veg Burger[/caption] Tomato Vegetable Soup  ~ you may want to double this one and freeze half 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 cup chopped red onion ¼ teaspoon sea salt 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup shredded carrot 1 cup chopped celery 1 24-ounce jar diced tomatoes or 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, diced 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (gluten free) 2 cups cooked white beans, drained and rinsed ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp cayenne, chipotle or smoked paprika (optional) fresh parsley leaves, garnish Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley just before serving. 026

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Sarah Lawrence

Spanakopita in a SNAP! (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nutrient Dense)

On busy school nights, quick dinners are helpful.  This comes together in a flash and is full of flavor.  My cheat is using frozen organic cut leaf spinach.  It is loose in a bag rather than a frozen block so it thaws in about 2 minutes in the pan rather than 15!  You can absolutely use fresh greens, fresh onion and garlic if you have the time; using fresh vs. dried and frozen adds about 20 minutes onto the cook time. Want raw?  No problem!  I make a raw Spanakopita Salad using the same recipe and fresh raw ingredients.  Beacuse I find raw onions difficult on the stomach, I choose sweet vidalia onions when I can get them or red onions. While I love raw food and am about 90% raw, it just so happens it's a cool New England night and something warm feels good to me!  Without further ado, here you go... (try it for yourself and let me know how yours turns out!) Quick Vegan Spanakopita Sarah's Spanakopita 2 lbs frozen organic cut leaf spinach or fresh, minced 1 lb frozen kale or fresh, minced 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, minced 2 Tbsp dried garlic or 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced 2 Tbsp dried onion flakes or 1/2 onion, minced 1 cup hot water Combine ingredients in a cast iron skillet and cook over medium heat until the spinach is thawed, the mix is fragrant and most of the liquid is gone. While the spinach is cooking, grab your blender or food processor and whiz this up: 1 cup raw unsalted cashews 1/2 cup nutritional yeast 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar 1 tsp dried oregano 1 Tbsp dried dill 1 tsp dried garlic powder 1 tsp salt This quick nut cheese is nothing like feta's salty briny flavor, but it is tangy and has great flavor. To plate, spoon out about 1 cup of the spinach mixture and top it a spoonful of the nut cheese and a good sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy with white beans(go for canned if you don't have home cooked ones in your fridge) dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of tarragon or oregano and add a cup of berries for a sweet, fiber-rich and nutrient dense meal that has all your essentials -- Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds A refreshing drink with this meal is Cucumber water --- if you have a juicer, go ahead and juice a few big cukes, then add to a pitcher of water with a sprig of mint and a slice of lemon.  If you don't have a juice, slice a cucumber and put it into a pitcher of water with the mint and lemon.  Mild, fresh and good for you! My question of the day:  (Talk to me!  I love reading your comments!) What are your favorite tips and tricks for making quick, nutrient dense, meals?

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Sarah Lawrence

Fresh and Fabulous in 4 Minutes

Fresh, Fabulous Food in a Flash!  Start to finish on this meal is 4 minutes.  If you have a little extra time to let the mushrooms marinate, all the better… but you can SO do this in a pinch.  No excuses!  Need a fast, fresh and nutritious meal?  I invite you to give this a try! Mushrooms are like superheroes of nutrition.  Studies have shown that even 1 ordinary button mushroom a day can cut your risk of breast cancer by 64%!  SIXTY-FOUR percent!  Couple that mushroom with daily consumption of green tea and you increase the cancer fighting power to between 82% (post-menopausal) and 89% (pre-menopausal).  I say, let MUSHROOM MANIA begin tonight!    Raw marinated mushrooms are an amazing treat.  My first experience with them was trying Mimi Kirk’s recipe for Shitake Skewers in “Live Raw.”  Something magical happens when you marinate.  I think it’s the same magic that we dip into when we rub kale because rubbed, marinated kale is the thing that legends are made of!  In any case, marinating doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes, but if you have 30 minutes to let them sit they do become more flavorful and tender.     Everything you eat should contribute to your health.  Instead of fast food meals that make you feel gross and contribute to disease, choosing nutrient dense, plant strong fast food can do nothing but figure into the future of your health.  Here’s the lowdown on the other nutrient superstars in this meal: Cashews – rich in copper, magnesium, and phosphorus; support heart and bone health Hempseeds – rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Onion – anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, heart protective Cabbage – cholesterol lowering and cancer preventative Cucumber – anti-inflammatory, heart protective, rich in anti-oxidants Meals like this one come together in a flash in my kitchen.  Here’s how I do it:

1.       Grab glass pie plate and assemble marinade; pour, grate, stir.

2.      Toss pre-sliced mushrooms into the marinade; set aside or start warming.

3.      Slice cabbage/lettuce/bok choy and cucumber; drizzle all with vinegar 

4.      Blitz all ingredients for onion sauce in the Vitamix; 15 seconds and done! 

Gingered Mushrooms with Creamy Onion Sauce, Vinegary Purple Slaw and Cucumbers -- serve with Iced Green Tea and Fresh Berries for Dessert [caption id="attachment_588" align="alignright" width="300"]Raw Veg Bowl Raw Veg Bowl[/caption] Gingered Mushrooms – 4 or 5 servings 3 large Crimini/portobello mushroom caps or 3 cups mushrooms, cleaned and sliced ¼ cup nama shoyu or tamari 1 tsp coconut oil ½ tsp liquid stevia or 1 dried stevia leaf, ground 1 Tbsp grated ginger from a big knob of fresh ginger Mix all ingredients except for mushrooms in a shallow dish that is large enough to hold all the mushrooms.  Once the marinade is combined, toss the mushrooms to coat.  You may need to rub them and turn them quite a bit, but rest assured, there will be enough marinade.  Set the mushrooms into a dehydrator set at 105 for 30 minutes.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, simply boil a pot of water (the pot needs to be small enough to be able to support the mushroom dish without the dish falling into the water); take the pot off the heat and set the mushroom dish on top.  The residual heat from the water will gently warm the mushrooms and encourage them to release quite a bit of liquid.  Once warmed, turn the mushrooms in their own liquid and serve.  Alternatively, just set the mushrooms aside for a few minutes while you slice and prep the remaining bits of the meal.  Creamy Onion Sauce 1 cup water ½ cup cashews ½ cup raw shelled hempseed 2 tsp onion powder salt and pepper to taste Blitz everything in Vitamix or blender until smooth; about 15 seconds. Purple Slaw – per serving ½ cup purple cabbage, sliced thin ½ cup lettuce, bok choy or green cabbage, sliced thin splash of apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar Cucumber – per serving 2 small yellow cucumbers or your favorite variety splash of vinegar Assembly: I plated this meal with each component in its own space in the bowl.  The onion sauce was on the side in a tasting cup, which made dipping delightful.  A few slices of fresh avocado and a heap of sliced pickled ginger garnished the center and made every bite that much more heavenly!

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Sarah Lawrence

Taco Bell Peppers with Spicy NutMeat

[caption id="attachment_568" align="alignleft" width="300"]Taco Bell Peppers with Raw Nut Meat Taco Bell Peppers with Raw Nut Meat[/caption] About 90% of what I eat is raw food. Not only do I find meal prep quick and easy, but tasty too! Try a few bites of my Taco Bell and you’ll see! Walnuts are a meaty nut and while there are a ton of raw taco filling recipes out there, I've come to rely on my concoction that blends walnuts and portobellos with a great texture and satisfying flavor. Taco Bell Peppers with Spicy NutMeat A few crisp Bell Peppers, your choice of color Avocado, sliced greens of your choice tomato, sliced or cubed Salsa, fresh or purchased (optional) NutMeat Ingredients: 1 cup walnuts 1 portobello mushroom cap, black gills removed; minced ½-1 tsp chipotle chile powder (adjust to suit your taste) 1 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp olive oil 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s Pulse all of the NutMeat ingredients in your food processor until mixture resembles ground meat. It only takes a few pulses. Alternatively, you can put the nuts in a plastic bag and crush them by bashing them with a fairly solid can (I use canned tomato for this) or roll over the bag with your rolling pin. You can also use a chefs knife and mince the nuts and mushroom by hand. Using hand methods will take a bit longer and will yield a slightly uneven texture, but the taste will be the same once you mix all the ingredients together. When I made this using hand skills, I used my mortar and pestle to grind the spices into a small amount of the nuts and then mixed everything. The smaller the mushroom bits, the more the mixture will resemble ground meat --- texture does make a difference, especially when you are introducing a raw food as a substitute for something as familiar as taco meat! Set the nut mixture aside while you clean and prep the peppers. This step involves nothing more than washing your produce, slicing off the green stem portion and cleaning out the seeds with your hands. For portioning the peppers I used, I found that 3 segments worked, but you will need to gauge that with your peppers since some peppers have 4 lobes and some 3. Work with the natural segmentation of your pepper and make slices that will become the vessel for your tacos. Prepare your remaining veggies and then assemble by laying down some greens in the cavity of the pepper shells. I go greens, salsa, avocado, tomato, nut meat… repeat, plate and eat! If you want an easy variation that is not raw, consider adding some cooked black beans on top of the nut meat. Equally tasty and a nice transition into a high raw meal.

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Sarah Lawrence

Gluten Free Veg Pot Pie

Boy, have things gotten busy around here!  There are so many things I've intended to post... I'm just going to add a few recent kitchen bits and ease back into the fray. This pot pie comes together pretty quickly.  Reheats well.  Easily adapted to accomodate a bit of meat if you feed a variety of eaters.  Vary the veg to what you have on hand.  This version was heavy on cauliflower because organic cauliflower was looking good at the market!  Big salad on the plate with a slice of hearty pot pie is a lovely meal.   [caption id="attachment_522" align="alignright" width="300" caption="GFV Pot Pie + mesculin greens"]GFV Pot Pie[/caption] Pot Pie Filling:| 3 cloves garlic, crushed 4 carrots, sliced into coins 1 cup mushrooms, sliced 1 cup onion, diced 1 cup green peas 1 cup corn 2 cups cauliflower florets 1 small sweet potato, diced Sauce: ½ - 1 cup vegetable stock or water 1 Tbsp brown rice flour ½  tsp salt ½ tsp pepper 1 tsp dried lemon peel 1 tsp dried onion 1 tsp dried dill or thyme or sage 1 cup cauliflower or potato ¼ cup dried mushrooms (optional) Crust: ¾  cup brown rice flour ¾  cup garbanzo bean flour ½  tsp xanthan gum ½  tsp baking powder ½  tsp salt 1 Tbsp Earth Balance, softened or Olive Oil ½ - ¾ cup water, as needed to form non sticky dough   Optional Add-Ins: 1 cup chopped/shredded cooked chicken 1 cup white beans or garbanzo beans, cooked 1 cup tofu, cubed
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prep a 9x9 or 10x12 baking dish by lightly rubbing with oil.  Set aside.
  2. Start filling by putting veg into a large skillet with a bit of water (2 Tbsp).  Get things going over medium heat and let the veggies sweat while you prep the sauce.
  3. In Vitamix or blender, combine the sauce ingredients and blitz until smooth.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.  Pour into skillet with the veg.  Stir to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the crust.  Give those a nice stir to combine, then add the Earth Balance or Oil and about ½ cup of water.  Use a spoon to combine, then use your hands to make a ball of dough.  Add more water as needed to create a dough that is not sticky, but holds together enough to roll out.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface with rice flour.  Tip the crust dough onto the floured surface and roll it out to the size of your baking dish.
  6. Veg filling should be nicely cooked, so tip it into the prepared baking dish, then top with the rolled out dough.
  7. Place pot pie into pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is lightly golden and fragrant.

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Sarah Lawrence

Quick Veggie Pad Thai (gluten free vegan goodness)

After the ridiculous story that broke yesterday about pizza being qualified as a vegetable by the USDA for US School Lunches, I just have to write!  When the pizza industry rules the world, it’s a SAD day!   According to an ABC news article the details boil down to cost and big business influence where dairy, wheat and mystery meat are the standard.  Well, this momma doesn’t play that way... and I'm not alone!  I think it’s time that we stand up and say, “There’s a new sheriff in town!” and actually mean it!  UGH!  Stand with me and make a change in your family.  Start where you are able.  If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I adore Dr. Fuhrman.  His “Nutritarian” approach to eating literally changed my health in the span of a few months and has given me back a balanced, nearly pain free body despite my psoriatic arthritis diagnosis.  I make  nutrient dense foods the main players in my meals (I almost wrote that I “try” to make them the main players, but, as my inner Yoda reminds me: “Do or Do Not.  There is no Try.” LOL!)   Now, if any of you follow Dr. Joel Fuhrman, you may have heard this acronym that he uses “GOMBBS” --- it’s an easy way to remember a list of potent antioxidant rich foods that Fuhrman cites not only as being superfoods, but also as being part of a cancer preventative way to eat.  So, GOMBBS foods are Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries/Beans, and Seeds/Nuts.  There is a plethora of science backing the goodness of these guys.  You can read more about that here.  My vegetable rich, GOMBBS filled Pad Thai is an example of how I pack our family meals with all the goodness I can while still making something that tastes great, is high in fiber, gluten free and dairy free (to meet our requirements from allergy and intolerances). I used to make this dish with white rice noodles but have found brown rice noodles that offer more fiber than their counterpart while adding a pleasant nuttiness.  If you can find them, give them a try.  If not, use traditional white rice maifun.  Either way, know that you are making a meal that is colorful, flavorful and healthful!  This makes a generous 6-8 portions and it reheats beautifully for lunch or a meal another day. Enjoy! [caption id="attachment_500" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Quick Veggie Pad Thai"]Quick Veggie Pad Thai[/caption] Quick Vegan Pad Thai with Veg, Greens and Goji (serves 6, 15 minutes start to finish) 2 packages dry brown rice noodles (maifun) 1 package firm, cubed tofu (I use Nasoya organic), drained 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb cabbage or bok choy, shredded ½ lb carrot, sliced thinly on the diagonal or into matchsticks ½ lb celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal or into matchsticks ½ lb onion, sliced thinly ½ lb kale, shredded ½ lb mushrooms, sliced ½ lb zucchini, sliced thinly on the diagonal or into matchsticks (optional) ½ cup peanuts, unsalted 1/3 cup gluten free tamari 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar 1 Tbsp tamarind paste 1/4 cup goji berries dash of sriracha or fresh red thai chili 2 dates green onions, for topping 1-2 Tbsp oil for the pan Put rice noodles into a large bowl and pour hot water over them.  You want the noodles covered with hot water so they soften. In the now, heat a wok or large cast iron skillet and add a bit of oil.  Toss in your garlic and tofu.  We want them to get golden, but not brown.  Stir often with a metal spatula and remove everything to a big serving bowl after about 5 minutes or when yours are golden and fragrant. In the same hot skillet that you just took the garlic and tofu out of, throw in all the veggies except the mushroom and get them going.  These guys are going to work for about 4 minutes. While the veggies are sweating, mix the tamari, vinegar, tamarind, sriracha, goji and dates in your Vitamix or food processor until you have a smooth sauce.  Taste it and adjust the seasoning to suite your taste if necessary. Check the veggies and give them a few good stirs.  Add the mushrooms into the mix.  We are looking for the veggies to get soft, but not mushy and the mushrooms end up keeping a nice toothsome bite since we're arriving to the party fashionably late.  Give the veggies another 3-4 minutes then transfer them to the serving bowl right on top of the garlic and tofu. Add a tiny bit of oil to your pan.  While it’s heating, drain the noodles that were soaking.  Add the noodles to the hot pan and immediately stir them around.  Pour the sauce over the top and use tongs or a big spoon to combine everything.  You want to keep the noodles moving so they don’t stick.  Once they’re hot and the sauce is fragrant tip the veggies, tofu and garlic back into the pan.  Add the peanuts.  Use tongs to combine everything.  Transfer the lot to the serving bowl or straight onto dishes if you prefer.  Top with the sliced green onion and extra peanuts if you like.  YUM!

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creativecalligraphy

30 Minute Garden Tomato Sauce

If your garden is also at the height of tomato glory then this recipe is for you. I feel like typing, set it and forget it, because this guy is so easy. Basically your only prep work is washing your veggies and maybe cutting some in half so they fit in the pot! This is the kind of sauce that can handle a myriad of additions.  Great way to utilize leftover veg purees or bits that you might save for stock.  I added in 1/2 cup of leftover carrot puree and 1/2 cup of leftover spinach puree.  A handful of sundried tomatoes finished this off for me, but the sauce is bright and lovely just as it is.  The bottom line is that you can and should make this your own with what you have available. Enjoy!
30 Minute Garden Tomato Sauce 2 lbs tomato, whole 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled 1 onion, whole (if the skin is in great condition), peeled (if the skin is compromised) 2 celery stalk, halved or leftover celery ends Reserve: 1 lb zucchini or summer squash, diced Note: If you are serving your sauce over pasta, set up a 2nd pot with water for your noodles now.  Your water will be boiling in 10-15 minutes and you can drop the pasta in time to be ready for the sauce.  (You can thank me for tip this later.) [caption id="attachment_435" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Right out of the gateNearing the finish line"]Right out of the gate[/caption]
Now: Add all ingredients into a stock pot with 5-6 cups water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat just after the pot boils and simmer for 20 minutes.  Turn the heat to low, use a slotted spoon to rescue the garlic and onion (if you dropped the onion with skin on, otherwise it will go with the other veggies); put these on your cutting board for a minute to cool.  In the meantime, transfer the veggies to your blender and whiz them until chunky or go further for a smooth sauce.  [caption id="attachment_437" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Softened Garlic"]Softened Garlic[/caption] Now, press on the garlic cloves and let the soft garlic squish out.  Add this to the blender.  Do the same thing with the onion, if you left the skin on… it’s pretty cool how it works the same way!  Add this to the blender too and whiz for a minute to blend everything.
 
 
 
 
Add your diced zucchini or squash to the pot and cover with the puree.  Bring the pot back to a simmer for 10 minutes.  If you are serving your sauce with pasta, now is the time to drop it into the water. Serve. Optional add in’s: a few carrots ½ cup leftover carrot soup ½ cup pureed greens ½ cup sundried tomatoes (you can toss these in at blending time if you have a Vitamix, otherwise let them soften with the other veggies while the pot is simmering.) This is how I enjoyed the sauce.  Post and let me know what you serve it with! [caption id="attachment_438" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Portobella caps with 30 Minute Sauce over greens"]Portobella caps with 30 Minute Sauce over greens[/caption]

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creativecalligraphy

Quick Chickpea Portobello Ragout

Quick Chickpea Portobello Ragout (Serves 4 as a main dish with salad or 8 as an app) ~ ready in about 15 minutes ~ Quick Chickpea Portobello Ragout Warm or cold, this ragout is scrumptious.  My 5 year old requested that I make this for dinner every night from now on! LOL!  What I love it that this comes together in a flash with a rich flavor that works just as well on top of greens as it does over polenta.  Chill it down and you’ve got a great topper for bruschetta using your GF bread of choice or try chilled polenta squares or even cucumber cups! Leftovers make a good vegan wrap filling because the sauce gets thicker as it chills.  YUM, yum and yum… You can go with some pantry shortcuts if needed --- sub canned or boxed fire roasted tomatoes and canned chickpeas for fresh.  If you make these subs, omit the salt until you can give everything a taste so you don’t end up with an overly salty dish. 3 jumbo Portobello caps, diced, about 2 cups 1 onion, diced, about 1 cup 4 cloves garlic, minced 3 small zucchini, diced, about 2 cups pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper ½ cup dry white wine 3 gorgeous tomatoes, diced, about 2 cups 2 cups cooked chickpeas 1 Tbsp veg broth powder + 2 cups water or 2 cups veg broth 2 Tbsp tapioca starch + ¼ cup cold water 4 -6 cups raw baby spinach or kale  Grab your wooden spoon and get ready for some quick work! Toss your mushrooms, onion, garlic and zucchini into a hot sauté pan and stir, stir, stir!  We’re not using any oil in this recipe, so we need to rely on the heat to draw some liquid out of the zucchini pretty quickly.  As things start to sear, throw in a pinch of salt to coax the liquid out of the veg and keep stirring until that garlic is fragrant.  We’re about 5 minutes in at this point and I need you to pour in the wine and deglaze the pan by using the edge of a wooden spoon to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add your tomatoes, chickpeas and broth/broth powder + water.  Stir to combine.  Cover and let this simmer for 8 minutes.  While the ragout is simmering pull out your bowls and divide the greens among them.  If you’re using kale, tear it into bite size pieces so it’s easy to eat with the veg.  Reluctant to try kale?  Before putting it into the bowls, give the torn pieces a really thorough massage with about a tsp of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a clove of crushed garlic.  Something magical happens to kale when you give it a good rub.  I can’t guarantee you’ll love it right out of the gate, but I can say that this preparation got me eating more kale in the beginning!  Maybe it will work for you too. Let’s get back to business… Uncover the ragout and bump up the heat a bit.  Pour in the tapioca starch slurry and stir.  The heat will get the sauce bubbling and things will thicken up quickly.  If your ragout gets too stiff, add ½ cup of water and stir to loosen it up.  Otherwise, turn off the heat and you’re set to plate.   Scoop 1 cup portions on top of the greens you’ve already plated.  You’re good to go!

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