This Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream is a summertime dream dish. Great as a starter or add your favorite protein for a perfect, super quick one-bowl meal.
Well, it’s that time again. Zucchini season. The abundance of my favorite veggie at the grocery, farmers markets and home gardens everywhere, means a new year to get creative and find new ways to cook up this tasty little green squash.
I personally find zucchini to be incredibly versatile, stepping in as noodles like spaghetti or fettucini or even rice noodles in Pad Thai. It works well in desserts like cookies or muffins, it makes amazing savory fritters, shoot it’s even amazing in smoothies.
I really enjoy pureeing raw or slightly cooked zucchini, as it brings a really hearty creaminess without the need for dairy, dairy alternatives or nuts.
This Super Quick Coconut Red Curry Soup is ready in just about 15 minutes and it’s highly adaptable. Add chicken or shrimp, drop in whatever veggies are in season and you have on hand, add noodles, or don’t. It’s creamy, rich and a breeze to make.
In continuing with the simple weeknight meal ideas, I bring you one of my go-to, super quick meals. I make and share this often on my Instagram stories and I am constantly receiving messages for the recipe. It hardly seems like a recipe to me, given what a breeze it is and how I rarely even measure, but here we go.
These Greek Gyro Meatballs aren’t your standard ground meat Greek meatballs, instead we are bringing the flavor and more importantly the texture of gyro meat. So you can skip the multiple steps and the need for delicate, thinly sliced meat and condense the work into these tasty bites!
My love for Greek food runs very very deep, you guys know this. Last year when I created, basically the best homemade gyro ever, I realized that I had been sorely missing out for basically an entire lifetime. Growing up Greek there were loads of recipes and dishes that were handed down from generation to generation, things we just always grew up eating – souvlaki, avgolemono soup, lamb meatballs, pastitsio, leg of lamb, Greek Potato Salad and that list goes on and on.
Though we all loved it very much, gyro wasn’t exactly one of those foods, it just wasn’t part of my family’s Greek food repertoire. Souvlaki was always the go to for this time of meal and if and when gyro was served, at our house, it was the store bought stuff (eeeeek over-processed, gluten-containing and not so good – so, I always passed). When I broke into the homemade gyro game, after years of being without it, it quickly became a dish that is requested every time I am home in NY visiting my family.
With Easter this Sunday and Spring in full effect, brunch season is fully upon us. These Sheet Pan Baked Eggs have become a staple around here, especially when we are serving brunch to a crowd. What I love about is how simple it is to make and just how versatile a dish it can be – which is great for optimizing for the season and the crowd and it’s the ultimate in customization and creativity for those of you that love playing in the kitchen.
Much like many of the other recipes I share around here, I am offering you the formula and base for the perfect baked eggs and how you customize these – that’s up to you. For the baked eggs pictured here, I went with caramelized onions at the bottom and mixed into the eggs, which were whisked with unsweetened unflavored homemade coconut/almond milk, we added cooked pasture-raised bacon, roughly chopped baby spinach, shredded goat milk cheddar cheese, chives and micro-greens for serving.
You guys have probably noticed a lot more simplified, entree-based recipes here on Tasty Yummies over the last few months. Much of this is due in large part to me having more nutrition clients and being able to speak one-on-one to the average, busy working person, who is oftentimes just beyond overwhelmed by the concept of making better choices with their food. This feeling of being unsure and overwhelmed can lead to failing before they even try. I hate hearing and knowing that. I also feel incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to step away from myself and see things from a different perspective. Food is my life but I know for many, even just one home cooked dinner a week is already more than what they are doing!
My first and foremost goal with this website has always been to inspire and empower, in the kitchen and with nutrition. I want everyone to know that eating well and making your health a priority, these things are totally accessible and possible. Read the rest of this entry »
Inspired by our travels to England, this Caramelized Onion Jam is the ultimate condiment. Great on burgers or with a cheese board, on your trendy avocado toast or just with veggies.
Part of what I enjoy so much about traveling, is experiencing new and different foods. I love sampling local fare and being inspired by new and unique ways to bring flavors together. On our trip to England this fall, as you can imagine there was a lot of room to be inspired. I was particularly impressed by our time in England, the level of culinary experimentation and creativity, as compared to my trip there 15 years ago.
Having a for-real winter here in Southern California has been especially exciting for many reasons. For the first time since we moved out here from the East Coast 4 years ago, I have been able to really get down with cozy, comforting winter food. Soups, stews, roasts and all the best wintery, soul-warming foods.
Soups have been especially exciting to me this year. This one in particular, this Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Vegetable Soup, has become one of my personal favorites. Reminiscent of a pot-pie filling, with a bit more broth, it’s creamy and rich, without dairy or grains. Best part, it can be made in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and it’s ready in about 30 minutes, start to finish, but it tastes like it’s simmered away all day. If you want to use already cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken, this soup is ready even quicker. It pressure cooks for just 6 minutes!!
If you have read Tasty Yummies for some time, you guys have definitely heard me speak of my love of balance. For me the concept of individualized moderation is important, to not feeling trapped by my dietary restrictions (whatever they may be at the current moment), but also to being able to live my life normally, despite my autoimmune conditions and said restrictions. But, the word “moderation” can be a loaded one and I am very keenly aware that for some this word it can be very much overused, it can be a scape goat and an excuse to over indulge. Moderation can be the place where we dwell without self-judgement, 100% yes, without feeling trapped by rules and to just live and enjoy life. But, if the need for restrictions in our diet comes out of necessity (whatever the reason) than this concept of “moderation” just might actually be a detriment to our health, even in all it’s innocent and fleeting goodness. It might be the overlooked moments in your week that are causing that still lingering distress, as much as you don’t want to admit it. Why work so hard 80% of the time to, in the other 20% undo all of your hard work, only to have to work that much harder the other 80% to undo that damage? There has to be a better balance. To enjoying life without doing harm. To me that balance is honoring your individuality and not just following others’ paths.
With summer nearly upon us, we are already planning a summer of BBQs, cookouts and picnics. While I am not a mayo hater by any means, I have always felt indifferent about traditional mayo-based potato salads. It’s just not my thing, something about it doesn’t sit well with me. I think it’s years of seeing it sitting in the sun at picnics, uncovered looking all gnarly. Yuck.
I have over the years developed several variations instead on vinegar and herby based potato and sweet potato salads that have become staples at all of my summer shindigs. That is until this Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon from Heather Christo’s book Pure Delicious. For the foreseeable future, this may just give all other potato salads the boot! It’s that good.
Despite the fact that we are well into spring now, Southern California has had it a bit twisted. Since I arrived back home from my travels to NY last week, it’s been mostly grey, rainy and cool. While I would have loved this weather in December and January, I will take it now. It’s a really nice change of pace. A great reason to pull out some sweaters and it’s also a great excuse to enjoy some real comforting foods.
Of all things I was craving a casserole. I know. What is it 1985? There is just something so comforting and cozy about a meal you can dump into a pan, bake and enjoy. It’s childhood for those of us in our 30s. I was also dreaming of a good creamy spring risotto, one of my favorite foods. While rice isn’t off limits for me, I do try to be mindful of how many grains I consume. I just feel better when my belly isn’t bloated from the carbs. Hence why I am OBSESSED with cauliflower rice. It’s so crazy versatile, so super easy to make and it’s incredible how delicious it is. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, the Organic Frozen Cauliflower Rice is an amazing quick option for when you don’t want to lug out the food processor. I have used it in this recipe before and it’s perfect!
Being away from my family living in California, it has gotten a bit easier with time and there are less and less tears over random moments, holidays, but one of the things I miss most is Sunday dinner as one a big family.
I grew up eating delicious home cooked Greek food. My family, they know their way around the kitchen. Everyone has their specialties and their things. My mom is an incredible baker, while not Greek herself she has mastered Greek desserts and pastries, baklava, koulourakia cookies. My dad is the king of savory, the grill master, the Greek God of souvlaki, marinated grilled leg of lamb, roasted potatoes among many other specialties. Sadly while my dad makes THE best lamb you’ll ever eat, neither he nor anyone else in our family has ever mastered homemade gyro. Whenever my parents serve up gyro, which isn’t super often, it usually comes already prepared and frozen. Meh. It makes me sad that we aren’t making it ourselves. Also sadly, these pre-made gyro meats tend to be very processed and they almost always contains gluten, so naturally I won’t touch them. Short of going to a more traditional shop, cart or restaurant, where they cook the meat traditionally over a spinning spit or rotisserie – it’s impossible to get the real thing, I haven’t had it in many, many years.
Traditional Greek gyro, from what I have read, is made with whole cuts of pork, slowly cooked rotisserie style, and thinly shaved, while Americanized Greek gyro is the pressed, almost sausage-like, thinly sliced minced beef and/or lamb blend. Usually served in a pita, wrap style it is a meal that I never get to eat, yet I still find myself craving it.
I am home in New York right now, with my family, visiting and meeting my brand new nephew Keaton James, born just three weeks ago. As I was preparing for this trip home to Buffalo, I got giddy at the thought of all the homemade Greek food I would be eating. Greek food is my comfort, it’s what I crave at the holidays, when I am homesick or when I come down with a bug. Greek food from a restaurant is just never the same and somehow making a big feast of Greek food at home, just the two of us, while I do it occasionally, it just never tastes the same to me. This is the food best served with a large group of the people you love most. A big Greek feast needs to come with a side of very loud chatter, tons of laughs, stories from back in the day and it needs kids running around the very same living room that my dad ran around as a little kid.
With Easter Sunday just a few short days away, I, clearly, cannot get breakfast off my mind. I got a beautiful bunch of brussels sprouts and beautiful green garlic from our CSA box (community supported agriculture), bacon and eggs from a local farmer and I had some organic russet potatoes on-hand from another recipe I was creating – it was as if this recipe created itself.
There is something about brunch that just makes me so happy. After a long and busy week, a weekend brunch is that welcomed slow highlight, that light at the end of the hectic tunnel. To me brunch is a time to relish in the quiet and the peace, the time to connect with your people. Holiday or not, I feel like every single week should include one incredible brunch. Whether made at home or out at your favorite local eatery.
The wonderful thing about this hash is how simple it is to make. It’s a one-pan meal on it’s own. It is fantastic served alongside a spring-inspired frittata, or maybe some delicious savory breakfast muffins, or just keep it crazy simple and fry up a couple of eggs and plop them on top. Done and done.
Something strange has happened in Southern California over the last couple of days…we had weather!! Yes, more than just sunshine and blue skies. We had violent and incredible thunderstorms lighting up the skies, pouring rain with the biggest rain drops you ever did see and heavy winds, bending those strong and sturdy palms, to and fro. It was incredible, chilly and so cozy. I miss days like this. When the skies open up and bathe us in this sweet and necessary rain, I am beyond grateful not only for the obvious, but also for the reminder and the excuse to slow down. I also find myself reminded of the importance of soul-warming, comfort food.
I have been making this comforting mushroom soup on and off throughout this winter. It’s so hearty, rich and earthy without being too heavy or indulgent. I also find that like most of my recipes, it’s also quite versatile. You can make it vegan by utilizing just the flavor of a beautiful mushroom broth and the meatiness of the varying mushrooms as the base, or you can, as we opted to here, add in some beautiful chicken stock and a little shredded dark meat chicken, for additional flavor and a source of protein for a complete meal.
Whenever I ask, over on the Tasty Yummies Facebook page, what types of recipes you guys want more of, inevitably, easy, healthy breakfasts are almost always requested. I’m with you guys, when life gets hectic and we are on the go, often times breakfast is the first meal to get the boot. If there is time for a morning bite, maybe you just grab a coffee and a muffin or a breakfast bar on the way out the door, eat it in your car, while you drive and hope for the best. Sadly, this is a sad tone to kick start any day on. Not only is your digestion confused by the state in which it’s being forced to eat, but starting off your day loaded with sugar, even of the natural variety, gets the blood sugar control game out of whack before it ever had a chance. You can be sure with a sweet breakfast and a coffee, that mid-day crash is sure to follow.
For me, starting the day with a breakfast filled with protein and healthy-fats, not only means that my body is armed with a more long burning fuel source, but I also find that I stay full much longer. I also really love eating veggies at breakfast, it feels like I got one up on the rest of the world, who doesn’t even consider this move until lunch time.
These Grain-free Savory Breakfast Muffins are a wonderful option for those busy mornings. Make them ahead and keep them in the fridge, grab and eat chilled or slice in half, pop it into the toaster oven to take the chill off and bring a little crisp to the outside. Maybe add a small pat of butter and a little hot sauce, when serving.
What I really love about this recipe, like so many others you will find here on Tasty Yummies, it is super customizable. The veggies can be whatever you have on hand and specific to the season. If you wish to add bacon, sausage or another meat, that would be delicious, if you like cheese, add your favorite.
While I am very aware that the holidays, for most of us, usually means a bit more sweets than usual, maybe a tad more alcohol and probably a few other less-than-healthy choices, I also kinda resent the idea that we should all relegate ourselves to spending the entire month of January detoxing, cleansing or Whole-whatevering.
Obviously you guys know me and my mission well enough to know that people making healthier choices and mindful lifestyle changes is always something I can get behind no matter the circumstances and in fact, I constantly encourage this. But, I don’t love this idea of post-holiday shame or guilt, that many feel we should suffer, especially after one of the best and most special times of the year. It just isn’t healthy. I also don’t love the idea often promoted every January, that 30 days of “cleansing” is going to change our lives or fix our wrongdoings and come February we can just jump back into the “old ways of eating”. Done and done.
Once again, it’s that balance I so often talk about. It’s the sustainable lifestyle choices and habit-forming, everyday changes that will endure long term and elicit real shifts in our health and overall well-being and vitality, for the long haul. Sure, more veggies and less junk is what we are all doing right now and I am certainly not condemning that, but I will feel no regret for my holiday choices. I make no apologies for the amazing, “nutritionally imperfect” homemade food I enjoyed with my family or those extra few pieces of the dark chocolate candy that my father and I made together (using my great-grandmother’s recipe) – which may have snuck into my suitcase. So what, I had a few cocktails? I also don’t feel even the slightest bit bad about the extra (of course, gluten-free) refined-carbs that seemed to follow me everywhere these past two weeks. None of these choices were really all that bad. I know, simply put, that it cannot and will not undo all the hard work I have done the rest of the year and consuming those things (or more) under the premise that I will “undo” it in the New Year, feels just plain silly to me.
Looking at the foundations of optimal health and overall well-being, it is safe to say most of us, whether having endured chronic illness or not, understand that it’s more than just the food we eat and the exercise we choose. Our physical body and the structural state of our person, the environment we reside in, our emotions – they all play a role in the delicate balance within our body. Just as important and often underrated, the subtle body, or our energetics, also contribute to our health and vitality. In a perfect world, these factors all come together in harmony, to allow us to be the healthiest version of ourselves. Balanced, happy, well and at peace.
When our health is out of balance, we can’t expect to simply change our diet, take some supplements and hit a yoga class or the gym and BAM we’re back to 100%! Sadly, it is never that simple. We are complicated beings, with many layers and levels of complexity that come together to create a unique and very special bio-individual. Ultimately, we seek to maintain balance within our body, but if we are holding onto anything, energetically, it can create blockages which keep the free-flowing nature of our truest self, challenged.
As part of my current healing plan, I have been approaching my health from all avenues, honoring every modality presented to me and every opportunity to heal. Beyond my yoga and meditation practices, recently I have added reiki to the energetic side of my healing protocol and I am so very fortunate to have an incredible friend and reiki master, Brook Albrigo living very nearby. I have been spending time celebrating the moon cycles each month, at Brook’s sound healing ceremonies here in Long Beach and now seeing her for one-on-one reiki sessions.
What is Reiki?
Have you ever noticed that your first reaction to an injury or pain is to put your hands on that area? Or that when a loved one is suffering, you automatically hold their hand, touch their shoulder or embrace them? We all have this instinct to use our hands to comfort, heal and console.
Listen, I am not even going to try to claim any bit of this whole one-pot pasta thing, as my idea. If you have spent more than 5 minutes on Pinterest you will know that this phenomenon has swept the internet in the past few years and it’s definitely not going away. In fact, you can even read about the back story and learn where the trend originated.
But, just because I can’t have gluten and I prefer to avoid dairy, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to partake. In fact, I took it all a step further after a trip to the farmers market, adding as many end-of-summer veggies as I could, because duh – veggies are the best!!
This hearty, creamy, Late Summer Farmers Market One-Pot Pasta dish can be made in just about 20 minutes, from start to finish, with just one pot to clean. It’s gluten-free and naturally vegan, plus you can easily adapt it to what is most in-season and highlight your favorites! I love that without any dairy this pasta is creamy and rich. Of course, if you are a cheese-eater, go to town and top it with your favorite shredded cheese.
For my paleo and grain-free friends, you can grab an alternative recipe today where I am sharing a version of this one-pot pasta dish featuring zucchini pasta (aka zoodles)5 from 1 reviewsLate Summer Farmers Market One-Pot Pasta (Gluten-Free)Prep timeCook timeTotal timegluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegetarian, veganServes: serves 6Ingredients
- 12 ounces organic brown-rice spaghetti-style pasta (gluten-free)
- 1 pound cherry or grape heirloom tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs basil, plus additional, roughly torn for serving
- 2-3 zucchini, thinly sliced and quartered
- 2-3 large handfuls kale, roughly chopped or torn, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 cups water
- for topping: zest from 1 lemon
- top with Parmesan or Romano cheese, shredded
- sprinkle nutritional yeast on top for vegan cheesy flavor
- opt for leeks or shallots instead of onion
- try other veggies based on the season, peas, green beans, broccoli or cauliflower, bell pepper, mushrooms, etc
- if not dairy-free, add cream at the end for even more rich, creaminess
- if you are a meat-eater, you can add also add sausage or pepperoni
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large high-sided pan, a stock pot or Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat, remove the lid and simmer uncovered for about 9-12 minutes, until the pasta is cooked through and the liquid reduced. While it’s bubbling away, be sure to stir often to keep it from sticking. The pasta will continue to absorb the liquid as it sits. Serve immediately topped with fresh basil, shredded cheese or nutritional yeast.
- PLEASE NOTE: The amount of water called for in this recipe was calculated using brown rice spaghetti. If you use normal pasta or a different gluten-free pasta, please be aware that it may alter the amount of liquid required. It is best to start with a smaller amount and add more, as needed.
For me, scent is a huge memory trigger. The aroma of something can waft my way and instantly I am transported back to another time. I always think of the old cartoons where the steamy aroma of a fresh baked pie, suddenly morphs into a hand, quite literally coaxing and lifting up the characters and carrying them right to the goodies. Think Mickey Mouse being tempted by the vapor hand from the scent of a Minnie’s freshly baked cake, right to her kitchen window. This is likely seconds before she slams the window down and says “ah ah ah”. For me rather than being taken to someone’s window, I find myself reliving memories, remembering people I love and those times gone by. It’s one of my most favorite things about cooking, especially since moving away from my family.
Being Greek, growing up I was constantly surrounded by all the delicious, home cooked meals. There are still smells to this day that remind me of my family and most specifically my late, Great Yia Yia and my Yia Yia. The smell of potatoes roasting with garlic, cinnamon and honey will always make me think of baklava syrup simmering away on the stove top, cinnamon in a savory tomato sauce will trigger my nose to think of moussaka or pastitsio and a big pot of homemade chicken stock will always make me want avgolemono soup. Of course, chocolate melting will also get me, since my Great Yia Yia had a full-blown candy making set up in the basement, from her days of owning the ice cream and soda shop. They made some delicious chocolates!
Lamb was another food served quite often, whether, roasted, grilled or used in dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). Though not a food I make quite often, whenever I do prepare it, I think of all my family back home in NY, so I have certainly found myself making it more since we’ve moved out to California. It makes me miss our summer picnics with the huge Greek family, out at the lake, a big leg of lamb slowly grilling over an open fire, all day. Or my Yia Yia’s homemade Greek lamb meatballs, which my parent’s seemed to perfect quite well and made often when we were growing up.
Surely I can’t be the only one that randomly craves stews and soups in the summer, right? There is something about a meal that requires you to just dump everything into a pot and walk away, that’s just so enticing about the busy, summer months. Obviously, I really love comforting warm meals like this in the winter month, the perfect hearty meal in a bowl, but there is also something about enjoying them in the summer, maybe on an unseasonably cool or rainy day or maybe just because those are the flavors I am currently wanting. I say give into the cravings, who cares if a hot stew seems like a crazy idea! It never is.
You guys know that most times when cooking, I opt for fresh, but when you plan to cook with beans just before mealtime and you just don’t have the time or energy to soak, cook or sprout them, good quality organic canned is always an amazing, quick option. A well stocked pantry, in my mind, is having those staple canned goods, the ones you know always work for you in a pinch. There is comfort in knowing you can always go to the pantry, grab a few items, perfect for making a wholesome, healthy and nourishing meal. Pair them up with whatever is in the fridge that needs to be eaten up and voila! If a few canned goods now and again means you actually opt for a healthy meal versus take-out, hitting a drive-thru or opting for a microwave meal, I am all about it.
Safeway and Albertsons have an amazing initiative, “Cans Get You Cooking“. Delicious recipes and meal solutions to nutrition and sustainability information, Cans Get You Cooking showcases the nutrition, freshness and flavor canned foods offer. With a well-stocked pantry —or “Cantry” (see what we did there?) — you can get through the week with creative healthy, homemade meals.
This Moroccan Chickpea Stew is a perfect weeknight meal. You can walk through the door and dinner will be on the table in just about 30 minutes. This stew has so many deep, rich aromatic flavors going on without any spicy heat. I always have homemade preserved lemons on hand, these, in my opinion are a must anytime you make Moroccan-inspired food, bringing a beautiful tangy, bright, zesty citrus flare. I also recommend adding golden raisins, when serving, their sweetness is a beautiful compliment to the spices and the tart preserved lemon. You can serve this stew over rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice, or just as is. This makes a great meatless weeknight meal, but you could also serve it as a side dish with roasted chicken, lamb, beef or some baked fish.
Imagine my excitement when I came across gluten-free couscous at the Whole Foods here a few weeks back. And on a sale rack, to boot. It has been over 8 years since I have had couscous. I know it’s nothing fancy to get excited over. I know it’s really just tiny pasta, but there is something so fun about it and come on, who doesn’t love tiny food?
I immediately decided I would make a simple salad highlighting both the couscous and some green lentils, which I have been obsessed with lately. With roasted red peppers and marinated artichokes already on hand, how could I not make it Mediterranean inspired?
This simple but full-of-flavor salad is perfect for lunch or as a side dish. I even served it as a meal with some of my baked falafel, with a drizzle of the tahini dressing on top, one night for dinner. So many wonderful textures and tastes.5 from 1 reviewsMediterranean Lentil and Couscous Salad - Gluten-free + VeganPrep timeTotal timegluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, vegan, vegetarianServes: 4-6Ingredients
- 2 cups cooked couscous, cooled (I used gluten-free brown rice couscous)*
- 2 cups cooked green lentils, cooled
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 roasted red peppers, chopped
- ½ cup marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 3-4 cups spring mixed greens (or other greens like arugula, baby spinach, etc)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, roughly chopped (or less if using dried)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: Top with crumbled feta or goat cheese, if not vegan
- In a small bowl wisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
- In a large serving bowl add all of the salad ingredients and toss gently to combine. Just before serving pour the vinaigrette over top and gently toss again to incorporate. You may not want all of the dressing on there, so don’t dump it all over at once. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Head on over to the Free People blog BLDG 25 now for the full recipe.
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?
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.
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.
[print_this]Roasted Veggie Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping – Vegan + Gluten-free
(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.