I love pasta! One of my favorite childhood memories is watching my Nonna rolling out long sheets of homemade pasta from her hand cranked pasta machine. Over and over again, through and through, until the pasta got just the right thickness; cannelloni, raviolli, fettuccine, spaghetti-you name it, she made it. She would drape the long sheets of pasta over the back of a chair until she was ready to cut them and fill them. It was magical. Once the heaping bowl was placed in front of me, I would eat as much as I could in hopes that I would never forget the taste and smell of my Nonna's kitchen. Luckily, every time I go home for a visit, there is undoubtebly, pasta waiting for me.
So, it's true that my every day pasta experiences aren't so romantic, but I still do love a good pasta dish. There are about as many sauces you can put on pasta as the number of pasta varieties, but there is something so comforting about a thick, rich red sauce. I love using lentils as a meat substitute because they are hearty and so nutritious that once mixed with the other flavors, you don't even really know that you're missing the meat. You can put this sauce on virtually any pasta shape; semolina or gluten free-it will still be delicious! I hope you enjoy it!
1 lb pasta of your choice; reg or g/f
3 garlic cloves; minced
1 small yellow onion; diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1-14 oz can brown lentils; drained & rinsed
salt & pepper
Fill a large pasta pot with water and set to boil. Heat a dutch oven or medium size sauce pan on medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and add onions, along with a generous pinch of salt. Saute the onions for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the oregano, tomatoes and another pinch of salt and stir. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add the lentils and stir together. Note: if you have any red wine on hand, feel free to add 2-3 tablespoons to the sauce at this point. It will add a nice depth and richness to the sauce and the alcohol will cook out.
Let the sauce simmer together for about 15-20 minutes. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a heavy handed dash of salt. Remember, your pasta water should taste like the ocean-that's how it gives your pasta it's flavor! Cook your pasta according to package instructions. Taste your sauce and adjust seasonings if necessary. Your sauce should have reduced down a little bit and may be a little thick. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a few spoonfuls of the pasta water to the sauce until you achieve the desired consistency.
Once the pasta is done, use tongs to gently shake the pasta and put it directly into a pasta bowl-DO NOT RINSE YOUR PASTA, PEOPLE! You will wash away all of the beautiful starch and flavor that work into the sauce! Add the desired amount of sauce to the pasta and enjoy! Sprinkle with a little nutritional yeast or vegan parm!
Happy New Year! I hope it was a beautifully, blessed year for you all. 2012 was very busy. We finally got our cookies onto Ralph's shelves (for those of you who don't live in Southern California, Ralph's is a huge grocery retailer). That was a huge deal for us. The cookies have done well and we're looking to introduce some new gluten-free products very soon!
Life was a bit of a blur this past year. My youngest is about to turn a year-eek! And with two kids, a business and a household to run, some days I feel like my head is going to fall off. It's wonderful though and I feel blessed to be apart of this crazy life!
There were a few vegan goodies that I ran across this year and had to share. If you haven't had the chance to try any of these, you should definitely make it a priority.
just pure foods crispy onion rings knocked my socks off! I ran into these at Aptos Natural Foods when home for the holidays and they were awesome! They also have zucchini chips and tomato chips which looked divine!
These Go Raw pizza snacks are awesome! They taste just like pizza and provide the perfect cracker crunch without all the crap. Kids will love them too!
I also had the pleasure of trying Real Foods Daily's Tu-nut salad. It's their take on tuna salad and it was delicious-hence no picture! Instead of a soy base, it's made from almonds with lots of yummy herbs and flavors. It wasn't until after I had inhaled the salad that it dawned on me that I should have taken a picture.
I will be blogging more this year; recipes, products, restaurants, personal stories-you name it, I'm writing about it. So stay tuned and have a wonderful week.
My family and I just signed up for our first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box. For a reasonable fee, we will receive a fresh box of fruits and vegetables from our local farm, delivered to our doorstep, every week. Not only is it a convenient way to get our farm fresh produce, but also supports local agriculture by buying directly from the farm. And it’s financially viable too. It works out to be less expensive than buying the same quantity of fruits and vegetables at a conventional grocery store and you buy the peace of mind that what you’re eating is local, fresh, seasonal and organic. You are guaranteed to get the freshest, items available -- whatever they have in season that week is what's going in the box. A quick search online will help you find the nearest CSA provider in your area.
I'm a farmer's market junkie, a produce fanatic, locavore-vegan and a new mom, so naturally a CSA box fits my family’s lifestyle. But the most exciting thing about the box is the weekly surprise of what's going to arrive. Think of it as your own version of The Food Network’s “Chopped” at your doorstep every week. Sure it's easy to go to the grocery store with a list of stuff; kale, broccoli, carrots, but to get a surprise every week, well that keeps me on my toes.
As soon as I receive my first box, I’ll let you know what I get, as well as what I made from it, happily sharing my recipes with you. In the meantime, I’d like to leave you with my favorite snack:
1 head Black Kale
2 Tbsp. Olive or Safflower Oil
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
Sprinkling of course Sea Salt
Sprinkling of Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roughly chop kale and toss with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper flakes, taking care to coat each leaf. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes. Kale will be wilted and crunchy and absolutely delicious!
This post originally posted on www.greenwala.com on 1/27/11
For the last couple of weeks, I've been preparing Ayurvedic postpartum meals for a client of mine. Part of the idea behind Ayurvedic cooking for new moms is that we want to promote quick healing and support healthy digestion for mother and baby. Encouraged foods are warming soups and stews that focus on sweet, sour and salty tastes, with a healthy dose of fat. I put together a delicious green pea dal with ginger, garlic and spices and tied it to together with a sweet and soothing coconut rice. This is a hearty and comforting dish that is sure to warm you from the inside out. Enjoy...
Green Pea Dal:
1 C dried green split peas
3 C water
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 inch ginger, grated
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 C coconut milk
Rinse split peas thoroughly, picking out any discolored peas. In a large pot, combine water, peas, 1/2 of the diced onion and a generous pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, turn down heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 45-60 minutes, until peas have absorbed most of the water and are tender.
When peas are almost cooked, heat a skillet on medium and add a couple of tablespoons to sesame oil and add the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds, coating in oil. Heat seeds until they start to pop and become fragrant. Add onion, garam masala and cayenne (if using), coat with oil and cook until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, being careful not to burn. Cook for another minute or two.
Add onion mixture to split peas and cook together for a couple of minutes to let flavors meld. Add coconut milk and warm through.
Adjust salt as necessary. Serve over coconut rice with a wedge of lemon.
1 C white jasmine rice
1 C coconut milk
3/4 C water
1 tsp. sesame oil or vegan butter
2Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
Generous pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Once rice is done, turn heat off, but leave pot covered to finish cooking for another 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and adjust salt if necessary.
Split Pea Dal with Coconut Rice
Ok, ok, I know we're still technically in summer and you're probably thinking, soup? But I tell you, this soup is delicious and so amazingly simple that it's a must try. I happened into some gorgeous baby bok choy this weekend at the Farmer's Market and got so excited. I just couldn't pass up these adorable little bundle of green stems and leaves! At first I immediately thought, tofu stir fry. But then, last night as I was rummaging through the kitchen for some inspiration, I found some white miso paste and mushroom broth and it hit me-SOUP! Enjoy!
Bok Choi Miso Soup
1 qt. Mushroom Broth (not soup)
2 C Water
1 Red Onion, sliced
3-4 Tbsp White Miso
1 block Firm Tofu, cut into cubes
4 baby heads Bok Choy (or 1 large one)
1/2 C Shitake Mushrooms, sliced
Soy Sauce (optional)
Warm up large soup pot with medium heat and a splash of olive oil. When pot is hot, add onions and a dash of salt. Cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and coat in oil. When mushrooms have started to wilt a bit add the broth and water and give a little stir. Whisk in miso to break up any clumps. Bring to a boil (only for a minute) and then low heat to simmer. Add tofu and bok choy. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until bok choy is wilted. Serve immediately! Sprinkle on sesame seeds and add a dash or soy sauce or Sriracha sauce for a little kick! Enjoy friends!
It's summer, so why not delve into some delicious, seasonal produce! This pizza salad is the perfect meal to serve at your next get together. A classic cheese pizza (vegan, of course) topped by an organic arugula salad with heirloom tomatoes and California avocados. It's bound to become one of your favorite, go-to suppers!
For all my pumpkin lovers out there, here is another recipe. These bite size muffins are perfect any time of day; in the morning, with your afternoon tea or a sweet treat after dinner. They're packed with fiber from the whole wheat flour, contain a ton of omega 3s from the flaxseed and walnuts of course I've already mentioned all of the benefits of pumpkin. Enjoy and share these little guiltless delights!
Mini Pumpkin Walnut Muffins-Makes 48 muffins
1 ¾ C White Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 Tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
¼ tsp. salt
1 ¼ C Pure Cane Sugar
1 C Pureed Pumpkin
½ C Vegetable Oil
½ C Soymilk
2 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp. Flaxseed meal
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
¾ C Chopped Walnuts
In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, spices and salt. In a larger bowl mix together sugar, pumpkin, oil, milk, maple syrup and vanilla until most lumps are gone. Fold the dry ingredients in 3 additions. Add the walnuts and incorporate well. Use a teaspoon to fill muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.