Tag Archives: mushrooms

  1. Hot and Sour Soup {Paleo, Gluten-free, Whole30, Keto}

    This comforting Hot and Sour Soup is a perfect, soothing and healing winter meal. Whether you are fighting off a bug or just looking to have a cozy and quick bowl. Ready in barely about 15-minutes, this soup is paleo, gluten-free, whole30 and keto / low-carb compliant with options for vegetarian and low FODMAP.

    Hot and Sour Soup {Paleo, Gluten-free, Whole30, Keto}

    Hot and Sour Soup {Paleo, Gluten-free, Whole30, Keto}

    Despite my efforts to fight off illness this winter, (dang there is just SO much going around) and despite taking on all of my holistic and natural approaches to protect and boost my immune function – earlier this month I got a cold! Booo.

    The good news is that all of my constant hard work caring for my immune system was not for nothing, it was a very quick and fairly benign little cold, thankfully. Shortest cold I have ever had, to be exact. A day and a half, really. After two days in the hot desert in Joshua Tree and Palm Springs and coming home immediately to teach a sunrise yoga class to 60 people, outside in 45ºF weather, barefoot in wet grass, in a tank top, I kinda put my body through the ringer and it finally hit it’s limit.  A little sniffly nose, a few sneezes and more than anything, a very fatigued body – that I could tell was fighting hard and I finally had to succumb to it. So, I allowed myself the time and space to just rest and relax and to fight off whatever it was working hard to keep at bay, 2 days of chillin’. I continued on my protocol of protecting my body, I took my elderberry syrup several times a day, zinc, vitamin C, oregano oil and all my other witchy remedies, and I was back to myself in no time. What a win. Truly.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  2. Grain-free Veggie Enchiladas with Roasted Hatch Chile Cashew Cream

    Grain-free Veggie Enchiladas with Roasted Hatch Chile Cashew Cream

    Is there anyone out there that doesn’t like Mexican food? I mean really! I feel like there’s a reason that every Taco Tuesday is celebrated with such enthusiasm and why Cinco de Mayo has turned into a way bigger deal here in the US than it is even in Mexico.

    Grain-free Veggie Enchiladas with Roasted Hatch Chile Cashew Cream

    But, I digress, I think it’s just a given that everyone loves the food. Though oftentimes most Mexican food is naturally gluten-free, if you prefer to avoid grains, if you like to limit your corn and dairy, if you tend to avoid beans, or if you are mindful of where your meat comes from and how it is raised – it can leave very few options when dining out at traditional Mexican joints. A lettuce wrapped taco is good, but it’s just not the same. I pack my own plantain chips if we are going out for Mexican, but ya know – they are no tortilla chips.  So, of course, I am always looking for other ways to enjoy delicious, healthy Mexican food, grain-free and dairy-free, at home.

    Grain-free Veggie Enchiladas with Roasted Hatch Chile Cashew Cream

    Grain-free Veggie Enchiladas with Roasted Hatch Chile Cashew Cream

    I was craving enchiladas recently and I thought it was time I created some, with my spin on it. You may remember I created and shared a tutorial on How-to Make Plantain Tortillas a while back and while I absolutely love them, I just wasn’t sure they would hold up in this recipe. So instead I turned to the Urban Poser’s amazing Cassava Flour Tortillas. These tortillas (made with cassava flour), they are serious business, chewy and flexy, they hold up incredible well and they aren’t too much work to make – once you get into the rhythm. They held up fantastically well in this recipe. No breaks and no splits. Clearly you can opt for any tortillas you’d like here, I just love that these allow for grain-free enchiladas. Read the rest of this entry »

  3. Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites – Gluten-free + Vegan

    Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites - Gluten-free + Vegan

    Zucchini!!! We have lots of it and I have been doing my best to get creative with it.  I’ve made a raw zucchini appetizer, I baked chocolate zuccini muffins, I have made more zucchini “pasta” than I would like to admit and the rest have been getting grilled. These simple to make bites are naturally gluten-free and vegan and work well as a bite-sized appetizer or a delicious side dish.

    Last weekend we had dinner plans with Meg and Todd from Beard & Bonnet, who live just around the corner from us and I offered to make something with my homegrown zucchini. Besides being insanely excited to have another food blogger nearby, one who I happen to have a ton in common with, I was also super excited to eat at another gluten-free household where I could be certain everything was 100% safe to eat! Really made for an extra special night.

    Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites - Gluten-free + Vegan

    Meg was making her delicious homemade falafel, so I came up with these Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites. They have so much flavor and they are easy to make, I pre-stuffed the zucchini and popped them in the oven when we got to their house. We ate a few before dinner as appetizers and served the rest as a side dish with our meal. If your zucchini is small enough, these bites are the perfect size for picking up with your fingers and popping into your mouth.

    Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites - Gluten-free + Vegan

    Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites - Gluten-free + Vegan

    What is your favorite way to eat zucchini?

    This recipe originally appeared on The Balanced Platter.

    [print_this]Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites – Gluten-free + Vegan
    Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer or 2 to 4 as a side dish

    • 2 medium-sized zucchini
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little extra, if need be
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
    • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
    • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
    • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, in oil, roughly chopped + some of the oil they are packed in
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced or roughly chopped
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste

    Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly oil a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper or a silpat.

    Slice off the tops and bottoms of your zucchinis, and then cut them into 1 to 1 1/2-inch long segments. Stand each segment up on one of the cut sides, and use a melon baller (or spoon) to remove the center flesh. Be careful not to scoop all the way through the bottom and create a hole (if you do make a small one, it’ll be fine). Arrange the hollowed-out zucchini pieces onto your prepared baking sheet so that they’re ready to go. Set aside.

    Heat up the olive oil in a small sauce pan, add in the onion and garlic, sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes, then add the quinoa. Stir it around and let the quinoa get coated in a little oil and let it toast up for a minute.  Add in your liquid (broth or water), thyme and sea salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, take the temperature down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

    While the quinoa is cooking, chop your mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. After the quinoa is cooked, add it to a medium sized bowl. In the same pan you cooked the quinoa in, add a little more olive oil if need be and quickly sauté the mushrooms, just a couple of minutes until they are soft.

    Add the mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and the fresh basil to the quinoa. Stir everything together add salt and pepper, to taste. I like to add some of the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes to the stuffing, maybe 1 tablespoon or two. You could also just use a little more olive oil.

    Spoon the mixture into the prepared zucchini pieces, letting it mound up as much as you’d like. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the stuffing is lightly browned and the zucchini is slightly tender (you don’t want them to get overcooked or they will be too mushy and be hard to eat).[/print_this]

  4. Roasted Veggie Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping – Vegan + Gluten-free

    Roasted Veggie Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping - Vegan + Gluten-free

    I am so excited that it’s comfort-food season!! As much as I adore the fresh local produce and cool and light dishes of the summer, there is something about the hearty, hot and comforting foods of the winter that are so enticing. A good comfort food meal will leave you feeling like you just got the biggest, warmest hug from your favorite loved one! Even better when it can be healthy comfort food! What’s your favorite comfort food?

    Roasted Veggie Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping - Vegan + Gluten-free

    Although this isn’t technically a one-pot meal, since it requires some prep, it is in theory and in it’s final state. I love a meal where it’s all inclusive. One big scoop and you are all set. Plus, a meal like this is perfect for leftovers. For some reason, I find meals like this even better as leftovers, I am not sure if it’s because I didn’t spend all the time prepping just before, or if it just really allows the flavors to come together to their fullest.

    Roasted Veggie Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping - Vegan + Gluten-free

    Please keep in mind, I used what vegetables I had on hand and what I would like best for the filling, but feel free to have some fun and add in whatever you’d like. Other wonderful add-ins for the filling would be squash, cauliflower, corn, green beans, asparagus, peas, lentils, beets, turnips, meat or tofu, etc, etc. The possibilities are endless. You could make this many times, each a totally different way. Another thing to note, you don’t have to roast your vegetables if you don’t want to. You could simply sautee them in a large pan on the stove top, I just personally love the flavor of roasted vegetables.  I didn’t exactly accurately measure, so use my measurements below as a guide, but don’t get too hung up on the specifics, there really is no wrong way.

    Roasted Veggie Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping - Vegan + Gluten-free

    [print_this]Roasted Veggie Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping – Vegan + Gluten-free
    Serves 4-6

    (please keep in mind you can really use whatever veggies you would like and prefer, this is just what I had on hand.)

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
    • 1-2 cups pearl onions, peeled and halved, if need be (I used fresh, not frozen)
    • 1 small bulb of kohlrabi, peeled and sliced
    • 2 cups brussels sprouts, halved
    • 1 leeks, rinsed very well, slice thinly white and light green parts only
    • 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
    • 2 celery stalks, diced
    • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, thinly slices
    • 1 15 ounce can of organic white beans
    • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Fresh or dried herbs, to your liking – I used both fresh rosemary and fresh thyme
    • salt and pepper, to taste


    • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or other stock like chicken or mushroom, etc)
    • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (potato or corn starch would also work)
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

    Sweet Potato Topping:

    • 4 medium organic sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 1 large clove garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons oil or butter (olive oil, coconut oil, butter, vegan butter, ghee, etc)
    • splash of non-dairy milk (I used a bit of coconut milk)
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

    Toss all of your vegetables, leaving out the white beans, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes, together with olive oil, fresh herbs, salt and pepper in a roasting pan. Place in the oven and roast for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the veggies are slightly tender and beginning to brown. While the veggies are roasting, quickly sautee the mushrooms with a small drizzle of olive oil over a medium high heat. Take the roasted vegetables out when they are ready and toss in the white beans, sauteed mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes.

    Lower the oven temperature  to 375ºF.

    In a small saucepan heat the stock for your broth plus your herbs, over a medium-high heat, once simmering, carefully whisk in your starch to thicken. To avoid lumps, sprinkle it in lightly a little at a time or add some stock to a small bowl with the starch in and whisk quickly to fully incorporate. Once the veggies are done and all together, pour the sauce over, don’t add it all at once, you may not want it all, depending on how many veggies you have.

    Pour the filling evenly into a very lightly greased glass baking pan and set aside. Meanwhile boil the sweet potatoes with the garlic in a medium saucepan full of water over a high heat. Once boiling, continue simmering for about 10-12 minutes until the sweet potatoes are nice and tender. Quickly drain the potatoes and then add back to the pot, add your oil or butter (or vegan butter) and mash with a potato masher, a hand mixer, etc. until smooth and creamy. Add a splash a non-dairy milk if you need a bit more liquid or to give just a hint of creaminess. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Smooth the mashed sweet potatoes over the filling, using a spatula to spread evenly. Place in the 375ºF oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the filling is bubbling. If you wish to get a bit of crispy brown goodness on top, place your shepherd’s pie under the broiler for a few minutes.

    Let cool for a few minutes then serve while hot.


  5. Vegan Grain-free Stuffed Mushrooms (Gluten-free + Vegan)

    Vegan Grain-free Stuffed Mushrooms (Gluten-free + Vegan)


    If you know me even just a little bit, you’d know how much I love a good party, especially those centered around eating, and OK yes, drinking, too! Everything in moderation, right? I love an excuse to wear a fun outfit, make some special treats and just enjoy myself. Our house is fairly small so it is very rare that I entertain at home, so I have to wait on other people to have parties and invite me, but when they do, I always jump at the chance to create something yummy to share with others. Besides the joy I get by making people happy with the food I make, the biggest reason I enjoy bringing something to share is the guarantee that I will have at least one thing to eat. Being that I am gluten-free and dairy-free and I also refrain from eating processed foods, it can be quite hard to indulge at parties and other get-togethers.

    Vegan Grain-free Stuffed Mushrooms (Gluten-free + Vegan)


    The other reason I love being able to bring some food to share to a party, is so I can spread the good word about eating clean and healthy. I think many people attribute the words “clean”, “processed-free” or even “gluten-free”, to mean taste-free and unexciting. I love changing people’s perceptions on food and eating and showing them just how much fun you can have with your food, even with a clean diet.

    This recipe would be great for many different types of cocktail parties, whether it be a casual sports party for the Super Bowl or a fancy New Year’s Eve bash. They are as dressed down or dressed us as you need them to be. These stuffed mushrooms are grain-free and vegan, they are perfectly bite-sized and so full of flavor and texture. They are so quick to make, too. Plus, you could make these ahead of time, stuff them and put them in the oven just before the guests start to arrive.

    Vegan Grain-free Stuffed Mushrooms (Gluten-free + Vegan)


    These Vegan Grain-free Stuffed Mushrooms are so simple to make and are the perfect small-bite party food. If the party isn’t at your place, make them ahead and pop them in the oven just before serving at your holiday or cocktail party destination. They are of course perfect for any gluten-free and/or vegan eaters, but I promise all of the party guests will enjoy them and the bonus is they are easy on the waistline at a time of year when temptation is around every corner.

    It was fun making these on a random work day (since we work from home) and eating them in the middle of the day, felt like we had a little party of our own.

    Do you like bringing a dish or a treat to share when you go to a party or would you rather just eat what others make?

    This recipe was originally shared on Cara’s Cravings as part of her Clean Eating Cocktail Party. Cara’s site is full of creative and delicious recipes that are always seasonally inspired and clean. Cara’s recipes will always give you the excitement and comfort we crave from food, but without any of the guilt.

    Vegan Grain-free Stuffed Mushrooms (Gluten-free + Vegan)

    [print_this]Vegan Grain-free Stuffed Mushrooms
    YIELD: 4-8, depending on size and quantity of mushrooms
    What’s a party without the ever-popular stuffed mushrooms? These ones are loaded with walnuts, spinach and sundried tomatoes, a savory burst of flavor to feed any appetite.

    • 1 1/2 lbs. mushrooms, you can use baby portobellos, cremini or button
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
    • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped – reserve a little for serving
    • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, finely diced
    • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely, roughly chopped
    • 1 cup baby spinach, finely, roughly chopped
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

    Remove the stems from the mushrooms, set aside to dice and add to the filling. Brush mushrooms with a little olive oil, place stem side up and bake for 8-10 minutes.

    In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Saute the shallots, bell pepper, garlic and sun dried tomatoes for about 3 minutes until they start to get tender. Add in the parsley, finely chopped mushroom stems and chopped walnuts, cook another 2-3 minutes. Add in chopped baby spinach and allow it to wilt. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Remove the mushrooms from the oven, pour off or soak up any water that accumulates in the mushrooms. Spoon the filling into the mushrooms and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes. Topped with fresh, raw diced red bell peppers and serve warm.[/print_this]


  6. Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Mango Black Bean Salsa – Gluten-free + Vegan

    Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Mango Black Bean Salsa - Gluten-free + Vegan

    Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Mango Black Bean Salsa - Gluten-free + Vegan

    Tuesdays have slowly, inadvertently turned into Taco Tuesdays here at our house. Totally unplanned every week I have been making some type of fun vegan, grilled tacos! This portobello mushroom taco has become a new favorite in our house. Even though we both eat meat (though very rarely), it is always a super welcomed challenge to come up with fun vegan versions of classic meat dishes. In my opinion, portobello mushrooms are better than any creepy overly processed meat alternative on the market. By grilling the portobellos slowly over a smoky charcoal grill, they end up so loaded with flavor, even the most hardcore meat eater couldn’t turn it down.

    Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Mango Black Bean Salsa - Gluten-free + Vegan

    I keep these fairly simple and they are always a little bit different each time I make them. I have served them with this tangy, sweet and spicy mango black bean salsa, but I have also just used the traditional pico de gallo or salsa verde. I have topped them with baby spinach and tatsoi instead of arugula, and sometimes I add avocado or a drizzle of sriracha, it just depends on what I have on hand and what I feel like. Play with this recipe, add and take away as you’d like, that is one of my favorite things about tacos, they are so versatile and really hard to screw up. This is just a nice, simple recipe to use as a guide.

    Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Mango Black Bean Salsa - Gluten-free + Vegan

    In keeping with the Taco Tuesday thing we have going on around here, tonight we are having Crock Pot Korean Beef Short Rib Tacos. We have a few servings of short ribs from the 1/4 share of a pasture-raised cow we purchased from our local farmer and I honestly have no clue what to do with them. Now that it is so hot, I have no interest in slow braising them in the oven and turning the house into a sauna, so I thought slow-cooking the short ribs in the crock pot all day will make for a very simple and incredibly delicious dinner (here’s hoping). I plan to make a tangy cabbage and cucumber slaw to serve on top of the tacos and possibly a dairy-free creamy spicy sauce. I have never made anything like this before, so it is an experiment. If it works out, I will definitely make it again to share the recipe. So cross your fingers for me!


    Oh and in other news, we finally got the house on the market yesterday morning. I couldn’t be happier to start this process and to begin our journey into the next chapter of our life. Who knows how long it will take before we get to make the move to California, there is so much out of our control and we are OK with it, but it feels good to have accomplished this first major feat towards our new adventure. Hold some positive house-selling thoughts and vibes for us, if you will, we would love if we could move past this part and start this journey, as soon as possible. We are so excited!

    Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Mango Black Bean Salsa - Gluten-free + Vegan

    [print_this]Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Mango Black Bean Salsa – Gluten-free + Vegan
    serves 2-4

    Mango Black Bean Salsa

    • 1 mango, diced
    • 1-2 tomatoes, diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
    • juice from 1 lime
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chipped
    • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
    • 1 cup cooked black beans
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl, stir/toss well to combine. Set aside while you make your tacos. Taste again just before serving to see if it needs any additional seasoning.

    Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos
     makes 6-8 tacos

    • 4 portobello mushrooms
    • 1-2 tablespoons hot pepper spread or a teaspoon or two of red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
    • juice from 1/2 lime
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 6-8 corn tortillas (store-bought or you can make your own)
    • 3 cups arugula, roughly chopped or torn (or baby spinach or tatsoi, etc)
    • 3 or 4 green onions, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
    • fresh lime wedges

    Additional topping options:

    • avocado
    • queso fresco or vegan cheese
    • sour cream or vegan sour cream
    • tomatoes
    • black olives
    • radishes
    • pickled red onion

    Place the portobello mushrooms stem side up on a plate, drizzle olive oil over both sides of the mushrooms use a brush to evenly disperse, divide the hot pepper spread (or red pepper flakes) and garlic evenly over all 4 mushrooms and salt and pepper, to taste. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lime over them all. Set the mushrooms aside to marinate a bit while you preheat your grill. We have a charcoal grill that we burn all natural wood charcoal in. We allow it to heat up for approximately 15 minutes before we start grilling. Once your grill is a medium-high heat, add the mushrooms, stem side facing up and close the lid. Allow the mushrooms to cook for 15-20 minutes or until they are tender and getting some nice browned/blackened grill marks. It may take less time if you have them on a direct flame on a gas grill. Just keep your eye on them, we check ours every 5 or so minutes.

    Once the mushrooms are cooked, place them on a plate and allow them to cool enough to cut them into strips or cut into small cubes, whichever you prefer. While the grill is still hot, add your corn tortillas, heat for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minutes per side, until the edges are slightly browned, being careful not to burn them or dry them out.

    When you are ready to serve the tacos, top each corn tortilla with grilled portobello mushroom pieces, a small handful of arugula (or green of your choice), fresh cilantro, green onions, the mango black bean salsa and a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice. If you are looking for even more heat, squeeze a little sriracha on top. Our salsa was perfectly spicy, so we didn’t need it.

    Have fun with these tacos, add any other toppings that you prefer. [/print_this]

  7. Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad with Mushrooms and Almonds

    Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad with Mushrooms and Almonds

    Hey guys – I apologize for the lack of recipes right now, but I have had my head buried in work while we get ready for SXSW and the Flatstock Rock Poster Convention in Austin, Texas. We leave next Saturday for the long and fun road trip down there and we will be on the road for a total of 11 days. Many of you probably recall me talking about it last year at this time, it is such an enjoyable excursion that comes at the perfect time of year for us. We get to see so many of our wonderful and talented friends from all over the world, we eat lots of delicious Mexican food, plus some of the best BBQ food you will ever have, oh and we get to sell all of our handmade goods and wares to music fans from all over the world for 4 days! Plus, did I meantion it is usually somewhere in the 80s, with the sun shining every day. Ahhh, see it couldn’t come at a better time, it is the perfect break at the end of a dreary, grey and cold Buffalo winter. The only thing I dislike about this trip is how much time I am away from my own kitchen, the comforts of my own homemade foods and my daily yoga practice. In an effort to circumvent the lack of these daily comforts, I plan to pack a cooler full of my homemade Kombucha and some tasty snacks for the road trip down and I will most definitely have my yoga mat rolled up in a corner of the car somewhere so I can squeeze in some practice and meditation each day of the trip.

    I plan to get a couple more recipes up here before I leave and if I can pull it together, I plan to get some guest posts together from some of my favorite bloggers! It is funny, this is the first trip I have taken that I am actually feeling weird about the lack of posting on here while I am away. I think because I am finally getting a really decent amount of visits each day, I don’t want people to get bummed when they stop by and nothing new has been added. Yup, my blogging obsession is officially official, I don’t wanna leave Tasty Yummies the way I don’t wanna leave my pets! haha

    Anyhow, this recipe is one that I have been sitting on for a few days and I finally made time tonight to get the photos edited and the recipe fully written up. This salad is my take on a salad I had recently at local food shop/deli/cafe, Globe Market. They are located on Elmwood, literally right at the front door of my yoga studio, East Meets West Yoga. Though I rarely grab food after yoga, since I just head home and eat something light, I stopped in there one day after yoga, about two weeks ago to grab a quick gluten-free hummus and veggie sandwich before heading to a meeting. When he found out I was stopping there, Mark asked me to grab a serving or two of one of their delicious-looking side salads, for him to eat alongside sandwiches at lunch at home during the week. I opted for a creamy raw broccoli salad with red onions, bacon and almonds. That sounded just up his alley, healthy enough with some naughty stuff, too. Mark loved it, but truthfully I ate most of it. I couldn’t help it, it was so tasty, it was perfectly simple. It wasn’t even the bacon that got me, it was the delicious dressing and the combination of all of the ingredients.

    So, I decided that it was a simple enough salad that I could make my own version at home, but with a Tasty Yummies twist. I wanted to make it vegan. I was determined to make it just as delicious without the bacon and with a delicious egg-free and dairy-free creamy dresssing. So I bought some Grapeseed Veganaise from Follow Your Heart, to make the dressing creamy and I went from there. I was honestly surprised that I pulled it off and was even happier with my own version that the bacon containing version from Globe. I decided to use shallots instead of red onions for a bit milder of a flavor and I added in some mushroom slices that I had on hand. This salad has been the perfect side dish with so many different lunches and dinner. I made sure to make a large enough batch that we could eat it throughout the week.

    If you aren’t crazy about totally raw broccoli, feel free to blanch or steam yours for about 3-5 minutes. I love raw broccoli, myself, though I should probably consider steaming it to take down on the :ahem: gassy after-effects (sorry TMI, but it’s the truth)!

    If you aren’t vegan, you can use your favorite mayonnaise and you could even consider adding in some crispy bacon crumbles. It really is quite complimentary.

    Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad with Mushrooms and Almonds

    [print_this]Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad with Mushrooms and Almonds
    Serves 6-8

    1/2 cup grapeseed oil veganaise (or other vegan mayo)
    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon coconut sugar (you could also use brown sugar, maple syrup, honey or any other sweetener of your choice)
    1 tbsp gluten-free unsalted whole grain mustard
    kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1 clove garlic, minced

    Approximately 8 cups of broccoli florets (about 2 pounds of florets)
    2 shallots, chopped
    9 ounces mushrooms, sliced
    1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds

    In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, until well combined and smooth. Set aside.

    Place the broccoli in a large serving bowl, toss with the shallots, mushrooms and almonds. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve.

    This salad can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Toss well before serving. You can serve this room temperature or cooled.


  8. Red Curry Peanut Sauce + Vegetable Stir Fry (gluten-free + vegetarian with vegan option)

    Red Curry Peanut Sauce

    I have made a version of this sauce a couple times now, once a few weeks ago when I served delicious Thai inspired meatballs to dip into it, I have tossed it with rice noodles for a quick and flavorful meal and this time I made it specifically for a stir fry. This sauce is so full of flavor and very simple to make. It is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, easily made vegan by skipping the fish sauce and adding in gluten-free soy sauce instead.

    In a stir fry that is jam packed with your favorite vegetables, it is perfection. I love how robust the flavors of red curry is, there is a strong taste of lemongrass and chiles with a hint of ginger. If you have never tried it, you need to. It has a bit of heat to it, but it isn’t too strong, if you don’t like spicy, start with just a tablespoon of curry paste in the sauce and go from there. I always go with 2-3 tablespoons myself, since we both love spicy food.

    I included my recipe for this particular stir fry, to give you an idea on how to serve it, but the vegetables can really be whatever you want them to be. I happened to pick up a beautiful large head of napa cabbage since I had been craving something like that, but you could also use bok choy, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, etc. Make it to your liking and have fun with it. I just wish I had a bit more color in my vegetables, but I used the red bell pepper I had meant to use for this in another recipe earlier in the week, so I used the yellow instead. As you can see in the photo below, the peppers, cabbage and noodles all blend together in color, but I can promise that the flavors are all distinct and complimentary of each other. I just have this funny thing about having tons of colors in my stir fries, must be a graphic designer thing. It is one of my favorite things about them.

    What are your favorite vegetables to use in a stir fry?

    Since I always end up making more sauce than what I need, I store it in a glass mason jar with a tight lid for up to a week. This sauce make a great dipping sauce or could be served over steamed broccoli, rice or rice noodles for a quick and easy bite.


    [print_this]Red Curry Peanut Sauce (gluten-free + vegetarian with vegan option)
    makes about 2 cups

    1 – 13.5 ounce can unsweetened light organic coconut milk
    2 tablespoons red curry paste
    1 tablespoon gluten-free fish sauce*
    1 tablespoon coconut sugar (you could also use brown sugar or raw sugar)
    1/3 cup natural chunky peanut butter (creamy will work, too)

    In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, coconut sugar, curry paste, and fish sauce. Whisk to combine. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add peanut butter and cook over a low heat, whisking, until peanut butter is well blended.

    * NOTE: to make this sauce vegan, leave out the fish sauce or replace with a gluten-free soy sauce


    Red Curry Peanut Stir Fry

    [print_this]Red Curry Peanut Vegetable Stir Fry
    Use your favorite stir-fry ingredients. This is just to show you how I served mine
    serves 4

    2 teaspoons sesame or peanut oil
    1 head of napa cabbage, about 1lb, cleaned and sliced thin
    1 bell pepper (I used yellow, red would work as well), sliced thin
    1 clove garlic clove, minced
    1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
    1/2 inch piece ginger, minced
    8 oz sliced mushrooms
    large handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
    green onions, sliced thin
    1/4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
    6 ounces thin rice noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained

    Heat the oil in a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, lemongrass and ginger, saute, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add the cabbage and bell pepper and cook until the cabbage is just starting to wilt, about 5-8 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and continue to stir fry until they are cooked. Add in some cilantro and green onions to your taste, toss around to combine. Lower the heat and add about 1 cup of the red curry peanut sauce (you can add more or less, depending on how saucy you want it). Toss to coat all of the vegetables in the sauce. And remove from heat. Add the rice noodles to a large bowl and pour the stir fried vegetables and sauce over top. Toss gently to combine. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, green onions and chopped peanuts. You can also drizzle a little more sauce overtop if you want it saucier.

    NOTE: This sauce can be used in any stir fry of your choice, use whatever vegetables you would like. This was just what I had on hand.


  9. Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing (Vegetarian)

    Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing (Vegetarian)

    Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing Muffins (Vegetarian)



    When I found out I was going to be a part of Book of Yum’s Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving Event – I was so excited. This is the first time I have had the pleasure of participating in something like this, but I have wanted to ever since I started my blog a year and a half ago. This one felt like the perfect place for me. Although I am not exactly a traditional vegetarian, I consider myself to be a “conscientious omnivore”, meaning I only eat meat that I feel good about eating that comes from a local farmer where it is raised humanely, free to roam, eat pasture and not be filled with hormones or antibiotics.  We get all of our meat from Sojourner Farms in Olean, NY. This is the ONLY meat we ever have in our home and I feel like it is the right choice for us. We probably only eat meat anywhere from once a week to once a month at home, depending on what we have on hand and what we feel like. The rest of the time we eat completely vegetarian. I really love cooking vegetarian and find that eating a mostly vegetarian diet plus eating a small amount of local pasture-raised meat to have really changed my health immensely. I also feel like for me, it is a wonderful way for me to take a stand against the factory farming industry.

    Sea, from Book of Yum, really wanted this event to not only make the transition into the first holiday season for newly diagnosed gluten-free folks to not seem so daunting, but to also highlight all of the wonderful options for those who are, or are cooking for those who are gluten-free and/or vegetarian (or vegan). Many of us find ourselves bringing our own food since many times the hosts are so terrified and paralyzed by what to cook, plus it alleviates the stress we have on wondering what we are even going to eat when we show up at someone else’s house. I love all of the wonderful recipes that have been featured so far, it’s such a great collection of classic dishes and new unique Thanksgiving options.

    This year, like last, hubby and I are making the healthy and gluten-free Thanksgiving meal that we want and eating early in the day. After I get up and go to an early morning yoga class, while hubby takes our dog, Seri, to the park, we’ll spend the day cooking together, watching the parade and football and a enjoying a relaxing day at together at home without any work. After we are done eating, we will head over to my parent’s where they are having nearly 30 people for dinner (!) and we’ll join them for dessert, a cocktail or two and it will be the perfect way to have it all.

    We took a nice long drive out to the country yesterday to pick up our Thanksgiving turkey from our farmer, Pierre, at Sojourner Farm in Olean. Since we will be having a turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted to plan the rest of the meal without any meat. I was really excited to take on the challenge of making a meat free stuffing this year. So making it ahead of time for Book of Yum’s event was even more exciting since it was a test run of this recipe, for me. In the past I have sought out some type of healthy sausage to make my mom’s famous stuffing recipe that I had to have, but it always feels so redundant and unnecessary to have a side dish with meat in it, alongside the turkey. I really don’t need or want that much meat in one meal.

    Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing Muffins (Vegetarian)

    I decided on making mushrooms the stars of the stuffing this year. This delicious side dish is so full of rustic and earthy flavor, the mushrooms have a nice chewiness to them and the beautiful fresh thyme pulled it all together so nicely. Additionally, as you can see by the above photos, I also decided to experiment with making little individual stuffing “muffins”, if you will. I dreamt this up as a way to make sure that everyone gets lots of the crispy goodness that makes stuffing so darn delicious. Come on, admit it, you’ve gotten into with a family member on Thanksgiving over who get’s the edges. In our house, my hubby usually gets the crispy edges on anything that has them, by default. If you don’t care about the crispies (as my husband calls it) or don’t want to mess with a muffin tin, this will perfectly fit into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. I ended up having a little bit leftover after filling the 12 muffin cups, that I put into a very small glass casserole dish. I didn’t want to call this recipe “Stuffing Muffins”, as I feared it would turn people off, since it does sound pretty disgusting, really. Even if you don’t try the stuffing “muffin” approach for this Thanksgiving, you have to try it soon, it is so worth it and I honestly cannot believe I didn’t think of it sooner.

    This stuffing does have two eggs in it, so if you are vegan you could experiment with an egg replacer such as Ener-G or making your own flax-seed egg replacer (To replace one egg: 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds plus 3 tablespoons hot water. Stir together until thick and gelatinous.) I have never made my stuffing vegan, but I am sure it would work perfectly. Please let me know if you try it out. Additionally, you will obviously have to make sure the bread you use is vegan.

    Besides being very excited about how this recipe turned out, I am also very excited that I get to have stuffing twice in a week’s time, that isn’t a bad deal at all. Stuffing is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t think I have it any other time during the year, so it always feels so special. Between that and the mashed potatoes, those are two things that will NEVER be missing from my Thanksgiving menu. For my husband, Mark, I always have to make him a single-serving of his Momo’s famous sweet potato casserole, complete with an ungodly amount of butter, brown sugar and yes, it is even topped with marshmallows. It’s not for me, but I can totally appreciate how it won’t be Thanksgiving for Mark without it, so I will always make it for him.

    What dish will always be a part of your Thanksgiving dinner?

    Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing Muffins (Vegetarian)

    Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing Muffins (Vegetarian)
    Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing (Vegetarian)
    serves 6-8

    1 loaf of gluten-free bread, dried and roughly torn into small pieces (I used a loaf of Rudi’s all natural gluten-free multigrain bread, you can use your favorite bread)
    1 – 1 1/2 cups mushroom broth, vegetable broth or water
    1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated
    2 stalks celery, finely chopped
    8 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
    1 cup wild mushrooms, fresh or reconstituted from dried, roughly chopped
    1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
    2 large farm fresh brown eggs
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Crumble or tear the dried bread into small pieces and place into a 9″ x 13″ glass baking pan. Wet the bread with enough broth or water so it starts to get soft, but you don’t want it insanely soggy, either. If you add too much liquid, just pour it out. Mix with eggs, mushrooms, onions, celery, herbs, olive oil and salt and pepper. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, roll your sleeves up and just get your hands in there to mix it all up, it’s the only way to do it. Once everything is evenly mixed in you can either leave it in the baking pan and bake it as is or start scooping with your hands, an ice cream scoop or a large spoon into a greased non-stick muffin pan. (I greased mine with a very small amount of vegetable shortening). If it doesn’t all fit into the muffin pan, scoop the remainder into a small glass casserole dish.

    Place the glass pan or the muffin tin into the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until the top(s) are browned and crispy. Let the stuffing “muffins” cool slightly before attempting to pop them out of the muffin tin and don’t worry if they don’t come out like a perfect muffin shape, most of mine didn’t, some even fell apart a little. Don’t worry, it’s stuffing, its rustic and it isn’t about the shape and look of them, it is all about the crispies!


    NOTE: since I didn’t want to dry my bread overnight or for a day or so, I placed the sliced loaf in a single layer on a baking pan in the oven at 200º for about an hour to dry it out.

  10. Thai Chicken Soup

    Thai Chicken Soup

    I absolutely love Thai food! The layers of flavors and the spices are so amazing and there are so many naturally gluten-free options. One of my favorite things are the different soups. The flavors are always so distinct in Thai soups from the curry pastes, lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, etc. I have wanted to try making a Thai coconut milk soup at home with all the fresh herbs and spices. With the lingering chilly weather, last week was the perfect time. The original recipe I found was a bit basic, so I added in mushrooms, fresh ginger, fresh lemongrass and jarred kaffir lime leaves (which I was very excited to finally find), I also went with a light coconut milk instead of the full fat version and I used more of it, I find it is still quite creamy and it has a bit less fat and calories. I also added a bit more broth, curry paste, fish sauce and noodles so I would have more leftovers for lunches and dinners on some of the busy nights we have this week. Don’t worry if you can’t find lemongrass or the kaffir lime leaves, the soup will still be really great even without them. The curry paste really has a lot of flavor. I just find that adding those extra fresh ingredients makes this soup more authentic. I know from eating a lot of Thai food that lemongrass can be a bit annoying to eat, since they are a bit tough to chew, so I decided to cut the stalk in large pieces so that I could easily pull them out just before serving.

    Since we normally buy whole chickens from the farm we get all of our meat from, I just grabbed two organic chicken breasts from Wegmans, I honestly can’t tell you the last time I bought meat from the grocery store. Thankfully Wegmans has a great selection of organic and grass-fed meats, though it just isn’t the same as getting it from a local farm. You could also roast a whole chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken and shred some of the cooked chicken and add it in to the soup at the end. This soup could also easily be made vegetarian/vegan with vegetable broth and by skipping the chicken or you could make a seafood version and add shrimp or scallops.

    Serve the soup with lime wedges and maybe even a little Sriracha if you want a bit more heat. Enjoy, this soup really is incredible.

    Thai Chicken Soup
    serves 6
    loosely adapted from Food Network Magazine

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 lb of sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely
    1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces
    4 tablespoons green curry paste (If you don’t like spicy, start with 2 and go from there. It seems some curry pastes are spicier than others)
    8 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
    2 15-ounce cans organic lite coconut milk
    2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more to taste
    2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
    6 ounces thin rice noodles, broken into pieces
    2 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts preferably local and hormone and antibiotic free (about 1 pound), very thinly sliced crosswise
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
    1 tablespoon kaffir lime leaves (I used were jarred, you can also find them fresh or frozen, use about 3 or 4 leaves)
    1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

    Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often until they begin to soften and get a bit brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and set aside. Add a bit more oil if you need it and add the onion to the pot over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and curry paste, cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk and fish sauce; cover and bring to a boil.

    Add the mushrooms, bell peppers and noodles and simmer, uncovered, until the noodles are al dente, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer until just cooked through, about 3-5 more minutes. Stir in the lime juice, kaffir lime leaves and cilantro. Remove the chunks of lemongrass just before serving. Add more fish sauce and lime juice, if desired.

  11. Gluten-Free Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms

    Gluten-Free Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms

    There is not much else to say about this dish, than “WOW!” This is a super simple and easy, perfect Autumn weeknight meal. Every year when we are in Seattle, I spend a significant amount of time (and money) at Delaurenti – Specialty Food and Wine, at the Pike Place Market. They have a great selection of artisanal foods, gluten-free products, wines and chocolates (and so so much more). That is the only place I have ever found gluten-free gnocchi. They are imported from an Italian company called rustichella d’abruzzo . So each year, I pick up a bag or two and I usually just serve them with a little fresh marinara and some nice cheese. I came across this recipe on Food & Wine’s website recently and decided to give it a try with the gnocchi I bought this year. I definitely want to find a great recipes for homemade gluten-free gnocchi (if you know of one, please send it my way) and I am sure that would take this dish over the top, but for a weeknight, packaged or frozen artisanal gnocchi is perfect. You could also use a homemade chicken, mushroom or vegetable stock as well, but since I didn’t have any homemade stock on hand, I went with a low-sodium organic free-range chicken stock. Certainly you could also use a store-bought vegetable or mushroom stock to make this recipe vegetarian. And obviously, if you aren’t gluten-free buy a nice store-bought gnocchi (frozen or fresh) or make your favorite gnocchi recipe. I unfortunately didn’t get my hands on any truffle oil to finish this, but that just means I will have to make this again with fresh homemade gluten-free gnocchi and truffle oil. Darn!

    Gluten-Free Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms
    serves 4
    adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, November 2006

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 – 1/2 pounds mixed wild mushrooms, stemmed if necessary and thickly sliced (I had a nice mix of baby bella, shiitake, oyster, porcini and chanterelle)
    2 shallots, minced
    1/4 cup dry vermouth
    3/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth (you can also use vegetable or mushroom broth or stock, to make this vegetarian)
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon chopped thyme
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 pound fresh or frozen prepared gluten-free gnocchi (I love rustichella d’abruzzo brand gluten-free gnocchi)
    6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1 teaspoon white truffle oil (optional)

    Preheat the broiler. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil with the butter. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 12 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook until evaporated. Add the stock, cream and thyme, season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil.

    Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the gnocchi until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Add the gnocchi to the mushrooms and simmer, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan on top.

    Broil the gnocchi 6 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Drizzle with truffle oil and serve.

    Gluten-Free Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms

  12. Quinoa and Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers


    There is something about stuffed peppers that is always good, no matter what’s inside. I have been wanting to make quinoa stuffed peppers for sometime now and when I came up with the idea to add goat cheese, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. These peppers were so delicious and had the perfect balance of crunch and creaminess. The fresh mint from our herb garden, was the perfect compliment to the tangy goat cheese. These would be great as a entrée or as a side dish. We served these on the side with some fresh Italian sausage patties from Sojourner Farms that we picked up on Friday (which by the way, was better than any Italian sausage I have ever tasted).

    Quinoa and Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers
    serves 4

    4 organic bell peppers (green, red, orange or yellow, any will do)
    3/4 cup cooked quinoa
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
    1/2 cup frozen organic corn kernels
    freshly ground black pepper
    6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

    Preheat oven to 475º.

    Cut off top of peppers and remove seeds. Set aside.

    Rinse 1 cup of quinoa thoroughly. In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1 cup of quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes; fluff with a fork. (I refrigerated the leftover quinoa for a salad tomorrow after yoga.)

    Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chopped mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender; add corn and 1 tablespoon of fresh mint. Cook until heated.

    In a large mixing bowl, add cooked quinoa, mushroom mixture, 4 ounces of goat cheese, remaining 1 tablespoon of fresh mint, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

    Arrange peppers in a small glass baking pan, brush skins with a small amount of olive oil. Stuff peppers with filling, top each pepper with the remaining crumbled goat cheese. Bake until peppers are slightly blackened and the filling top is golden and crispy, 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes,

  13. Springtime Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto


    I have been making some variation of this risotto for years, changing the ingredients around by the season and to what I have on hand, sometimes adding shrimp, scallops or crab meat, sometimes with chicken stock, others with vegetable broth. White wine, peas, mushrooms, squash, there are so many possibilities. Looking at the list of ingredients and directions may seem daunting, but it really is fairly simple. You just need the time to dedicate and a good parking spot in front of your stove. The perfect recipe for a Sunday night.

    This particular version of my risotto showcases some of the lovely ingredients in season right now, asparagus, fennel and chives. I thought about adding peas, but I didn’t want to over do it. I recently saw a recipe, on an episode of Barefoot Contessa, where Ina Garten added mascarpone cheese at the end of her risotto to add creaminess. This was the first time I tried it and wow, what a delicious finishing move it is. This will remain a part of my recipe moving forward.




    Springtime Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto
    Serves 6

    1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
    1 tablespoon of butter
    1 cup fennel, chopped
    1 small white onion, chopped
    1 large clove garlic, minced
    2 cups Arborio rice
    6 to 7 cups simmering mushroom broth (I like Pacific Foods Organic Mushroom Broth)
    1/2 pound of asparagus
    1 cup of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
    .5 oz package of dried porcini mushrooms (equals 2 ounces fresh)
    1/2 tablespoon of freshly grated lemon zest
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme
    1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra for serving
    1 small bunch of fresh chives, chopped

    Place the dried mushrooms into a bowl and cover with warm water. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes or until all the mushrooms are soft and pliable.

    Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.

    Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, garlic and a pinch of salt, saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for about 3 to 5 minutes to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter or until the rice is transparent around the edges. Careful not to brown the rice or the vegetables. Add the mushroom broth, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more liquid, just enough to cover the rice and continue stirring or moving as before. This process should take 30-35 minutes.

    Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water.

    When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with both the baby bella and the dried mushrooms, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons pepper and the fresh thyme. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

    Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture and the Parmigiano Reggiano. Taste and season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmigiano Reggiano.

    And here is the best part – LEFTOVERS!


  14. Vegetable Cashew Stir Fry


    We eat a stir fry of some sort in our house weekly. I just change the ingredients to the season and our cravings. This particular recipe produces an amazing, colorful and crunchy plate of deliciousness. I serve it over brown rice, but it would also be delicious over thin rice noodles. This recipe is very easy and you could most definitely substitute and change things around often to keep it new and exciting. I will be making this often.


    Vegetable Cashew Stir-fry

    adapted from Gourmet, May 2007 and Fresh365

    Yields 4 servings

    3 T sesame oil
    1 red bell pepper, sliced
    1 green bell pepper, sliced
    1 c of shitake mushrooms sliced
    1 c of julienned carrots
    1/4 lb snow peas (apx 2 c)
    1 bunch scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 1/2 T grated peeled fresh ginger
    1/4 t dried red-pepper flakes
    3/4 c vegetable broth
    1 1/2 T soy sauce (I use gluten-free low sodium tamari soy)
    1 1/2 t cornstarch
    1 t honey
    1/2 t salt
    1/4 t black pepper
    1/2 c salted roasted cashews
    1 T sesame seeds

    Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates immediately. Add oil, then stir fry peppers, mushrooms, peapods, carrots, garlic, ginger, red-pepper flakes, and scallion whites until vegetables are just tender. In a small bowl, stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, salt and pepper. Add to veggies in wok. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in scallion greens, cashews and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


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