Since the weather outside has been too hot for even this heat junkie to handle — with temperatures reaching close to 100 °F — I’ve been avoiding my oven and stove-top and instead looking to water-packed raw fruits and veggies to get me through these sweltering days of summer.
This light summer salad is reminiscent of the pasta salad I used to enjoy as a wee one… except I left out the heavy pasta and replaced it with my fave go-to summer staple: zucchini “noodles”. If you don’t have a spiralizer, a vegetable peeler works great too.
Back when my husband and I first became acquainted outside of art school (some people call it dating), we both participated in an ambassador program that had us painting, drawing, art appreciating, and eating throughout Italy. The culture, beauty, and history of Florence, Venice, Bologna, Siena, and Rome combined with thinking critically about art and intention…well, changed my life forever.
Of all the amazing memories that I recall of my time in Italy, one of my favorites is the first meal that we had in Florence in a tiny eatery across from our hotel. Within what felt like minutes of being seated to large rustic wooden tables covered with bubbly frizzante water, red wine, fresh baked bread, and olive oil, we were greeted with a beautiful pesto gnocchi. It was served up in gigantic flat dishes that seemed even larger than the tabletops they were placed upon. The pesto was bright green and deeply fragrant, and the gnocchi itself was tender bites of perfection. I sadly cannot remember the name of that trattoria where we feasted almost every single night, but I do remember that they served the best friggin’ gnocchi I have ever had.
So today, to bring back some savory memories, I whipped up a batch of my own gnocchi- with just a touch of pesto. And, it’s a pretty good gluten free and vegan substitute for the meal I had years ago. I mean, except that the authenticity and scenery of Florence is pretty much non-existent (unless of course you live in Florence- in which case- you probably don’t need a recipe like this at all because you are constantly surrounded by delicious balls of pasta, right? Oh, and make me your house-guest for a year or two… k?). But it works well in a pinch.
I dressed mine simply with olive oil, green beans, and nutritional yeast, and laced a thick basil pesto into the gnocchi itself… rather than serve the pesto as sauce.
Tomorrow’s the very last day of VeganMofo… can you believe it?!
Sometimes (especially towards the end of the Vegan Month of Food) some of us (eh-em) tend to feel a bit lazy… but still need adequate fuel to get us through that last stretch. These simple rice noodles do just that- not altogether a complete powerhouse of a meal, but definitely a nice accompaniment to a larger dinner, or alone as a light lunch.
I had them midday today and am using the leftovers to accompany some sort of gingery tofu with a cucumber salad for tonight’s dinner.
Also, I really enjoy how this dish looks… kinda leopard-like, you know?
Yes, you read that right. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I like to celebrate in style.
So, I have synced up with (Jessy and Kittee), both of whom I adore and admire, to bring you a triple dose of gluten-free vegan pierogi madness! Instead of just one dose of pierogi, you get a three way! Are you excited yet?
Well, brace yourself, because this is gonna be one humdinger of a pierogi overload.
Jessy and I both grew up on these Polish dumplings, and ever since we first went gluten free- we had been yearning for their stuffed goodness to dance back into our lives. Kittee, well, she is simply a master of all things food. Period.
So, we all three decided to team up and do a simultaneous gluten free-vegan pierogi post for VeganMoFo!
Being that it is now freezing and gloomy outside in my part of the world, I have had quite a hankering for pasta Bolognese. I always think of it as the perfect food to warm me up on a not so cozy evening.
I tried to make it using tempeh just last week. And well, it didn’t exactly hit the spot. So, off I went to purchase some textured vegetable protein. I never buy this stuff on a normal trip to the market- but for this dish, I am very glad that I did. It makes a great (although very tomato-y) Bolognese sauce in mere minutes.
Mmmm… thank you Bologna.
Out of my crazy cat lady-like obsession with pumpkin (and, who am I kidding? all things orange) during the Autumn months, came this gem of a simple dinner. This pasta/pumpkin combo may not sound too appealing for some folks , but each and every person I served this stuff to absolutely loved it.
It is utterly delicious.
This is a delicious pasta recipe that takes very little time to prepare. Walnuts and sage dominate the flavor of the creamy sauce, and walnut pieces provide some texture; turning a few simple ingredients into a hearty meal.
Walnut Sage Fettuccine
- 1 cup walnuts chopped finely, plus 1 cup coarsely crushed walnuts
- 12 oz silken tofu, extra firm
- 1 cube vegetable bouillon
- 2 tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling onto pasta
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 package fettuccine noodles, gluten free or regular
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In food processor, combine 1 cup finely chopped walnuts, 12 oz silken tofu, 1 cube vegetable bouillon, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/3 cup almond milk, sea salt, and sage leaves. Puree until smooth. Sauce will appear liquidy.
Drain pasta, (if using gluten-free pasta, rinse with cold water) and while still in colander, drizzle with extra olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss pasta with sauce and half of the amount of the larger crushed walnuts. Place into serving dishes and top with the remaining crushed walnuts.
This cold noodle salad combines a lot of great flavors and textures to make the perfect summertime meal. It also includes my newly discovered friend, the purslane.
These beautiful and nutritious succulent plants are often weeded from folks’ gardens. Last week, as I was weeding my own garden, I came across this little plant that resembled a jade plant. I decided to let it go, as it simply was too beautiful to pull up from the ground. That exact same day, I was researching edible wild plants (one of my fave things to do), and wouldn’t you know it… the plant I left alone turned out to be something that should be in my garden!
Purslanes were apparently one of Ghandi’s favorite foods, and they are quickly becoming one of mine.
I had never heard of them prior to my recent discovery, but the purslane is actually a nutritional powerhouse! Now that I recognize the greatness of this little plant, I have been encouraging it to spread far and wide in my garden. It seems to prefer the company of my kales to any other veggie. Seriously, so would I …
I have never seen a purslane at the grocery store, unlike it’s edible weed friend, the dandelion. Like I said, I had no clue what it was before I almost weeded the poor thing. But, then again, I’m hardly a foodie. Feel free to substitute fresh green peas, spinach or arugula for the purslane. Those veggies aren’t quite as awesome as the humble purslane, but they’ll do.
I made a culinary discovery in my very own backyard!
Let me preface this by saying that we had just moved into a new place in December, and we weren’t sure what to expect from our new patch of land. Since spring first sprung, we have been delightfully watching new baby plants pop up everywhere. And, about two or three weeks ago, we noticed that we had tiny fern babies sprouting up all over the place. While I immediately admired them for their curly adorableness, I never once thought to eat them. What kind of food blogger am I? Shameful…
But yesterday, for some reason, I had an epiphany: those little curly baby ferns sure did look a lot like the one’s on Vegan Yum Yum’s site last year about this time- and they also look very similar to the one’s we saw at Whole Foods last weekend. Hmmm….
A quick Google search (not recommended unless you are totally familiar with wild edibles and/or have a reliable guide) told me that my backyard was full of exactly those gourmet treats: a delicacy referred to as Fiddlehead Ferns. Cool!
It also told me that we were just catching the very end of Fiddlehead season. Damn.
Fiddleheads are the teeny fronds of young ferns before they have unfurled. There are a few varieties, but in our case, we have Ostrich Ferns. They are best enjoyed when just two inches tall. I recommend reading Ms. Yum Yum’s very well written explanation if you are curious about them. Our fern sprouts were a tad bigger than desired, although there were still a few stragglers scattered about. Score!
Despite our late harvest this year, I am excited to know that come this time next year… we will have Fiddleheads a plenty.
Depending on where you live, you may still be able to catch some Fiddleheads in your neck of the woods (literally) or at your local Whole Foods or similar store. If not, top this creamy pasta with your favorite sauteed veggie and get prepared for next year’s forage!
And, if you do decide to go out and hunt for your own Fiddleheads, use common sense and some caution… there are definitely some not so yummy look-a-likes out there. Just warning you…
So, this may not be the most glamorous food I have posted, but let me start with a word in it’s defense. This stuff is freaking incredible. I mean it. Sure, the sauce isn’t a brilliant bright red since it uses avocados and red wine (kinda pinkish orange), but once you taste it, you simply will not care how it looks. I promise.
This is more of a how-to, rather than a recipe. But I would like to share my basic process of creating a dish that has served my family happily for many years. There are so many variations on pierogi… but I find this version to be pretty fool-proof. And, it’s really the only kind I have ever known since I was a wee little thing. (My mother and father were born and raised in West Virginia–tis why I named them “Appalachian Pierogi”) When my mother would make her version of pierogies- the entire family would gather like vultures. In a way, they still do. There are a few steps… but if you get your timing down, they are not at all overwhelming to make. In fact, they are pretty fun!
And, for all of you gluten free folks- try this gluten free pierogi recipe I created : (updated)