Potato Salad

A brief photo of what is left of the potato salad.  It went quick. I guess that’s a good thing.

The weather was a warm 72 degrees, allowing us to bbq on the open fire pit, and enjoy summer style foods, and bask in the warmth in our bathing suits. It’s been a year since we’ve been in our CA wear. Felt great.

Ingredients:

3 large russet potatoes, large diced

1/2 cup mayo (Just Mayo: vegan substitute)

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 + 1/8 cup diced pickles

2 Tbsp. pickle juice

2 tsp. dried dill

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/8 tsp. tumeric

2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. onion powder

Directions:

Boil a large pot of water, then allow to simmer with the diced potatoes until al dente. While potatoes are cooking, prep the “dressing”.  Combine the “mayo”, red onion, dijon, garlic, pickles, pickle juice, dill, paprika, turmeric, sea salt and onion powder. Set aside. When potatoes are done cooking, drain and run cold water on them to stop cooking.  Place in a large bowl and throughly coat with the “dressing” mixture.  Best served chilled.  Adjust sea salt to your liking.

 

 

Udon Noodle Salad garnished with Thai Basil alongside Tempeh-Veggie Wraps with Peanut Dipping Sauce

It started with craving tempeh. The end.

Udon Noodle Salad with Thai Basil

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. mirin

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

9.5 ounce bag of udon noodles

1/2 cup Thai basil, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh spinach or collard greens, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Combine soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, lime juice, and ginger(dressing) . Mix together and set aside. In a pot of boiling water, cook noodles until al dente; about 8 minutes.  Drain well.  Add dressing to the noodles and then stir in the basil and spinach. Serve hot or cold.

Tempeh Veggie Wraps

Ingredients: (makes 10-12 wraps)

Tempeh Marinade:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 cup filtered water

3 cloves chopped garlic

1 Tbsp. minced ginger

1  8-oz bag of tempeh.

Directions: Add soy sauce, filtered water, garlic, and ginger to a bowl and whisk.  Slice the tempeh into strips and place in a sauté pan. Pour mixture over the tempeh and simmer for 20-25 minutes on low.  Set aside.

Wrap Fillings:

1 Pack of rice wraps

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/4 green cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

12 stalks of asparagus, pre-steamed al dente

10-12 leaves of romaine

10-12 leaves of spinach

3 Tbsp. minced mint

Directions:

Place a bowl of warm water on a prep table.  Make sure there is enough room for rolling and keeping finished wraps apart from one another (they will stick together).  Soak 1 rice wrap in the warm water for 5 seconds until pliable.  Then layer with 2 strips of prepared tempeh, green and red cabbage, red bell, a stalk of asparagus, and one each of the romaine and spinach. Sprinkle with mint. Place all the ingredients into the middle of the rice wrap circle.  Fold both ends inward on top of pile of ingredients, and then roll from one side to the other. Set aside. They will be wet and not easy to work with at first, but they will dry up and stay rolled as they sit.  Complete with remaining ingredients the same as you completed the first. Serve alongside Peanut Dipping Sauce. Made to enjoy cold.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. chopped peanuts or peanut butter

2 Tbsp. honey

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk until thoroughly blended.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Crepes with Orange-Cashew Creme

My family and I love waffles, pancakes, and crepes. I don’t make any of them often, as I see them more as a treat. But oh my goodness, when I do make them, they are so dang tasty. Typically a weekend morning splurge, we change-up the components on these bad boys to make them extra special.

This weekend we enjoyed some that I’d like to share with you. They are vanilla bean crepes; lovingly speckled with fresh vanilla bean and filled with home-blended cashew creme with a splash of orange extract. It’s almost like taking in the scent of budding flowers on afternoon day, while lying in tall green grass with the sun kissing your winter skin. It’s the simple things in life that need not be taken for granted.

Ingredients:

Batter: 

1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. ground flax meal

4 Tbsp. expeller pressed safflower oil

2 1/2- 2 3/4 cups of almond milk, adjust if you need it thinner (I light mine a bit on the thicker side)

1/2 of 1 vanilla bean, scraped

1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon scented vanilla extract (by Edwin and Lesha)

Cashew Creme:

2 cups of roasted cashews

1/2 cup of filtered water

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp. organic brown sugar

1/4 tsp. of orange extract

pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees for holding prepared crepes until you are ready to fill.

For the batter: Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk thoroughly (flour, baking powder, sea salt, sugar, and flax meal) Add wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk well (safflower oil, almond milk, vanilla bean, and cinnamon-vanilla extract).  Combine dry to wet and mix well.

For the cashew creme: Add  all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Set creme aside in a bowl.

To prepare the crepes: In a crepe pan, heat a small amount of safflower oil, and then place 1/4 cup of batter into heated pan.  Swirl into a circle and prepare the same way you would a pancake. Make sure one side is cooked before flipping to the other. Place on a cookie sheet in the warmed oven until you are ready to fill.  When you are done preparing the crepes, take each one and place 1 Tbsp. of cashew creme on half of the crepe and then fold in half, or roll.  It’s all up to you how you’d like to display or eat them. We like them folded two ways, and garnished with fresh fruit.

 

Black Bean Mushroom Burgers with Cilantro Aioli

My kids fought over who got the last burger. THAT is a good sign. This was an attempt on my part to create a gluten-free burger that was satisfying, full of flavor, and a great source of fiber/protein.  Cost effective, and easy to prepare, this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Ingredients (yield: 6 burgers)

Burger:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup diced leeks

1/2 cup diced crimini mushrooms

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds coarsely chopped

1 Tbsp. garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

2 Tbsp. flax meal

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. cinnamon powder

Breading:

3 Tbsp. ancient grains GF flour

1 Tbsp. organic cornmeal

1 tsp. sea salt

Cilantro Aioli:

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 clove of garlic

4 Tbsp. mayo substitute (Just Mayo)

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup filtered water

1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds

1 pinch of sea salt

1/8 tsp. jalapeno pepper hot sauce

Directions: 

Burgers: In olive oil, sauté leeks, mushrooms, and garlic for 7-10 minutes. Add pumpkin seeds, and cooked black beans, sauté for 5 more minutes. Add flax meal, cumin, paprika, sea salt, chili powder, and cinnamon.  Saute for 5 more minutes.  While still warm, mash well with a potato masher, then set aside while preparing breading and aioli.

Breading: Combine ancient grains, cornmeal, and sea salt onto a platter.  Mix well.  Form burgers mixture into circular patties (about 2 inch L x 2 inch W x 1/2 H) Bread each side of burger with the platter mixture.  Lay on parchment and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours+ prior to grilling.

Cilantro Aioli: This is not a traditional aioli. There are no eggs in this combination.  To prepare this mixture, you can place all the ingredients into a bowl and emulsify until pureed.

To Grill Burgers: When you’re ready to grill the burgers, heat olive oil in a pan and carefully grill on each side until darkened.  They are gluten-free, so handle with care. I served mine with avocado, butter lettuce, grilled pineapple, grilled red bell peppers/red onions, and cilantro aioli on a sourdough baguette. Sourdough, from research, is better for digestion. Some gluten-free folks believe it is okay to consume because of the fermentation that occurs when preparing. If you are incredibly gluten-free sensitive, and prefer not to take a chance, I know Udi’s make’s decent burger buns.

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Matcha Tea Ice Cream

I’ve been on a matcha kick lately. Traditionally introduced in Japan as part of meditation, it is an incredible source for antioxidants, detoxification, enhances mood/concentration, and boosts metabolism. Additionally, it helps fight cancer, calms the mind/relaxes the body, and is an excellent source of vitamins. I typically enjoy matcha as a warm beverage, but decided to try it as a dessert component today. Subtly sweet, this creamy treat needs nothing but your smile.

Ingredients (yield: 1 1/4 quart)

32 oz. unsweetened coconut milk

1-14 oz. can of unsweetened coconut creme

1/3 cup unsalted roasted cashews

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 Tbsp. unsweetened matcha powder

1/4 tsp. almond extract

5 medjool dates, pitted

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients into a blender, and blend until completely smooth.  Add to an already frozen ice cream maker, and turn on until thoroughly frozen.  Enjoy with a smile.

 

Tempeh Reuban

I’ve eaten a vegetarian diet for 22 years now.  When I first began, I was constantly traversing my way back and forth through the local health food market trying to gain knowledge of all of the unique products. The benefit of this, is that I was inspired to use new and unique ingredients, and educate myself on this alternative way of eating.

This way of eating is more common socially these days, not having every parent in an uproar about where your protein is coming from.  What first was intimidating is now second nature, as I adapt almost every recipe that sounds delicious, into an alternative version.

This Tempeh Reuben is an incredible way to get plenty of protein in a meal.  With just one package, that serves 3, a serving contains 16 grams. I like to use the brand Light Life for it being non-gmo. I typically serve this along oven-roasted, rosemary & garlic root vegetables. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. It’s roaring with flavor, and is extremely satisfying.

IMG_5789 IMG_5791 IMG_5792

(Yield: 4-6 sandwiches)

Marinade: 1 pound of tempeh (cut in half (in the middle)), then cut into triangles. Cut those squares into triangles. Split those triangles down for thinner slices.

1 1/3 cup organic apple juice

3 Tbsp. shoyu

3 Tbsp. organic mustard

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. caraway seeds

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/3 cup cold pressed olive oil

Thousand Island Dressing
1/4 cup of mayo alternative (I use the brand Just Mayo)

2 Tbsp.  organic ketchup

1 Tbsp. organic dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. organic minced pickles

1 Tbsp. of pickle juice

1/2 tsp. dried dill

1/2 tsp. sea salt

pinch of ground black pepper

Sandwich fixings: 1 loaf of rye bread, 1 tomato, organic spinach, organic sauerkraut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare marinade: place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.  Place the cut tempeh into a glass baking dish, with the marinade covering the tempeh. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

To prepare the dressing: Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl, and whisk until well combined.

To prepare sandwich: Toast 2 slices of rye bread.  Take the prepared dressing and coat 1 side of each slice of bread with the dressing, layer two tomato slices onto the bread, along with spinach , 1 Tbsp. or so of sauerkraut, and two slices of tempeh.  Eat while hot.  Great also alongside home-made oven fries, and a sliced pickle.

 

 

 

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Bolo De Laranja- Orange and Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Candied Orange

Last August after moving from Southern California to Washington State, I was eager to find some new recipes and crept into my wordpress feed to see an inspiring recipe by nutmegandwhiskey.wordpress.com

The recipe she put up called for 5 eggs; quite a challenge to make vegan.  Strapped for cash, I put this recipe aside to make later, not realizing it has been almost a year.  Yikes.  Alas, today was that day.  I am sitting beside it with the wafting aroma of orange. Having made the alterations to it that I desired, I cannot wait to take a bite. It looks absolutely incredible.  It smells even better.

This cake is a dessert that is served in Portugal.  Thank you nutmegandwhiskey for such an incredible recipe to work off of.  I enjoy reading your blog.

 

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Intrigue

I am sitting in my yoga pants as I write this, reflecting on a certain article I read this morning.

Who knew that at seventeen I’d have been lucky enough to find a guy who respected me, who loved me for who I was, who nurtured personal growth and motivated me in ways only he knew?  I certainly didn’t think it possible. My previous job working with teens, would tell me it was impossible because they seemed so unsure of themselves; so immature. As I look at my own three girls, I think that when they turn seventeen, I’d try to steer them completely clear of such a serious relationship. But, it worked for us…..because we found God together.

We were young, made mistakes, had our break ups. But, there was always something that kept us bound together.  Creating memories together, saturated our relationship with tons of familiarity and understanding that paved way the desire to make more. What challenges we did have, only made us stronger; creating a relationship that was honest with the intent for strong communication.

What first led me to him, was purely physical.  As I am sure, was the same for him. I was attracted to his style, his tanned skin, long blond hair, and the fact he drove a “hot boy” red pick-up truck.  He on the other hand, loved me best in my train conductor striped baggy overalls and baseball cap. Was I being alluring by wearing this?  No.

There is a certain woman who is in the media because she blogged about her desire to stop wearing yoga pants or leggings in public because she and her husband find that those articles of clothing draw unnecessary attention to her sexually.  I have to say, as a Christian woman, it has never crossed my mind that an item I wear for comfort to exercise in, would create a stir from the opposite gender.  It was a bit eyebrow raising on my part, reading this article, “really?”  But, I honestly think what one person feels convicted for, the next does not.  Do I think she’s ridiculous for feeling this way? Not at all. I really feel that God places things on each of our hearts that we can choose to listen to and obey, or to ignore and continue to feel convicted for.

I also feel that a woman can be completely covered up, and an intrigue can come simply by her stunning eyes displayed amongst a drapery of attire. Think back to the iconic National Geographic woman who is completely robed and her stunning green eyes grace the cover.  She is completely gorgeous. While it is only natural to feel attracted to others, and find beauty in them, I do agree that dressing provocatively cheapens the package.  But, then comes the argument of what is provocative and what is not? Besides, isn’t it our hearts God wants us to work on?

http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/2013/10/thoughts-on-afghan-girls-third-cover-as-national-geographic-looks-back-forward/

In a world where we are constantly sending the message to girls to be alluring, accept their bodies, cover up because we will attract the wrong type of attention, ….we send mixed messages.  A child who grows up with a moral foundation and a parent modeling good choices, hopefully helps shape the way for their young minds. And, I mean this for BOTH sexes.  Why is it solely the responsiblity of a woman to cover up?  Temptation has been there since the beginning; The Garden of Eden.  Raising both sexes to respect the other is the responsiblity of a parent. You’re not going to find support in the media or in pop culture.

In an age where there is so much pressure to grow up, to be cool, to fit in…..I really hope to raise my children to focus on intelligence, sense of humor, adventure, and exploration.  I hope they find someone as wonderful as their dad. I know those teen years are right around the corner, and my window of time to instill wholesomeness in them is greater than me. It seems that age of innocence is getting more and more narrow.  I try not to put God in a box for what he is capable of doing and where he leads each of us. We all have our own paths to take in life, we all have our own agendas, and what leads one person to stumble does not lead the next.

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Author Book Signing/Reading.

If you’re in the San Francisco (Noe Valley location) on January 22nd, please come by Rare Device.  At 10:30 a.m. my wonderful husband, Kevin Gard, will be reading his book “Oh, Sully!” aloud and signing copies available for purchase at Rare Device. He is both the author and illustrator of this book. His second book, “Sully and His Bike”, will be available for purchase at the end of spring 2015.

Currently, on a month long author’s tour, Kevin will be presenting his book at elementary schools, at book stores/boutique shops, blessing children in need through his book-for-book campaign, and presenting/attending an annual Author’s Festival in Southern California.

Don’t miss out on visiting Rare Device. This store is incredibly cute with workshops available and carries some pretty wonderful items.  http://raredevice.net/blogs/blog

Extracts

I have to say, without sounding like a braggart, that I am surrounded by some pretty amazing people. So many people I surround myself with, lend such a delightful presence and are filled with such talent.

I’ve mentioned these extracts before in some of my food blogs, but my friends Edwin and Lesha has harnessed flavor combinations in their extracts that make the foodie in me completely satisfied. These extracts only emphasize a great recipe, lending more depth and character!

It’d be a shame if I ever run out!