01/03
0
Cozy Snow Day

Snowy days like today ( thanks Winter Storm Hercules) make me want to hunker down, stay indoors and eat warm comforting food. It is freezing cold outside and with a baby at home there is really no where worth trekking to. I got my workout in this morning and plan on spending the rest of the day cuddling my small person and cooking food for the weekend. These days I try and prepare recipes that all of us can enjoy. Hermione has started eating lunch everyday and loves to experiment with a variety of vegetables. So far her favorites include root vegetable “fries”, green smoothies and kale pesto. She really is my daughter!

Doug and I recently started getting weekly deliveries from Rustic Roots Delivery, an organic food home delivery service. They source beautiful produce from Montauk to the Hudson River Valley and deliver us a cooler of goodies each week! It is so much fun to open up the cooler and see what I have to play with. It really forces me to be creative with my cooking and use what I have.

This weeks delivery included an beautiful, huge butternut squash. I immediately know what I wanted to make. This Butternut Squash Puree tastes like Thanksgiving on a spoon. The best part is if I make it without salt ( a no no for babies and their tiny kidneys) Hermione can have some too! The perfect family meal for a freezing cold January day!

Butternut Squash Puree

  • 1 whole butternut squash
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 4 sage laves
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds
  3. Divide the garlic, sage and rosemary between the two squash cavities
  4. Place the squash cut side down on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the squash halves are soft
  6. Allow the squash to cool before scooping the flesh into a high speed blender
  7. Blend the squash until smooth
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm
Enjoy the snow! In case you need something to warm your heart here is a picture of Hermione on our trip to Whole Foods last night before the snow started. It was her first experience with mittens and I swear she thought her hands had totally disappeared!
Alignyo’s Plant-tastic Holiday Dinner Menu

I can’t believe Christmas is next week! Our tree is up and decorated, my shopping is done, Hermione’s first Christmas presents are all wrapped. Seriously, where did 2013 go?

Every year we spend Christmas with Doug’s family at their house upstate. We do a huge Christmas Eve dinner and then a breakfast Christmas morning before we open presents. It’s very festive and celebratory and I can’t wait to see Hermione experience it for the first time!

I always bring a vegan dish or two for the holiday meal, so when Alignyo asked me to contribute a recipe for their Plant-tastic Holiday Dinner Menu  I was thrilled. Along with my recipe this e-book is loaded with plant based festive ideas for starters, mains and desserts. So invite your friends and family over, break out the holiday tunes and mistletoe and cook them a plant based meal they will never forget!

I am all about beauty foods that make you both feel and look good! Last winter, I was thrilled to be asked to appear on Nikita Chopra’s new show, Naturally Beautiful on Veria Living and share some of my favorite beautifying recipes. I was quite pregnant at the time and vividly remember scrambling to find a dress that both fit over my belly AND was TV worthy!

Take a look at my  recently aired segment here:

 

Like what you see? Give my Cauliflower Fried Rice and Pomegranate Guacamole recipes a try yourself

 

World Vegan Day

Happy World Vegan Day! I can’t think of a better day to come after Halloween. Whether you overindulged in candy or not, today is a great day to reset and get back to healthier, cleaner eating habits! As I am always saying, being healthy does not have to be hard work. You do not have to go on a 30 day juice cleanse in order to take good care of your body. If you focus your everyday diet around plant based foods you will find that you will be out of the “detox to retox” cycle. So get rid of all that candy ( here are some places to donate it ) and move on with your life. I promise, once it is gone you won’t miss those bite size bars of sugary poison!

When it comes to plant based meals, squashes off all sorts are a winner for me. I love zucchini in the summer and sweet potatoes in the winter! Japanese yams are my favorite variety of sweet potato. Their flesh is so sweet that I often roast them as “cookies” and eat them for dessert! This recipe for Miso Roasted Japanese Yams has been a dinner staple in my house for a few falls. They are super easy to whip up and keep well for a day or two if you want them as leftovers ( delicious either hot or cold!) Enjoy!

Miso Roasted Japanese Yams

  • 2 medium japanese yams
  • 3 scallions diced
  • 3-4 T sweet white miso paste
  • 1-2 T water
  • 5 drops liquid stevia
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cut yams into 1″ cubes
  3. In a small bowl combine the miso, stevia and water. The mixture should be a slightly thick yet still liquid. You may need to add more or less water to get the right consitency.
  4. Toss yams with the miso sauce and half of the scallions until throughly coated.
  5. Roast yams for 25-30 minutes until soft and slightly brown.
  6. Toss yams with remaining diced scallions before serving.

 

 

 

02/04
0
Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

I love Thai food. In college there was a Thai restaurant near my school that my friends and I would frequent for birthdays, girl’s nights and various other special occasions. If you ever lived in Boston I am sure you know about Brown Sugar! Being a very busy college student going out to restaurants was not something that happened that frequently, but when it did we almost always went out for Thai. Sadly I have yet to find a Thai restaurant in NYC that satisfies my cravings. There are the not so scenic take out and delivery spots, and some very high end ones but I have yet to find a Thai restaurant I would actually want to sit down and eat in!

Even if I did have a local Thai spot I don’t think I could see myself ordering greasy Pad Thai anymore. All those heavy noodles… no thank you! To satisfy my craving for my old college favorite I created a lighter, healthier version of classic Pad Thai. This dish uses zucchini noodles in place of the typical greasy ones which make it oh so much better on the digestion!

Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 T nama shoyu or tamari
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 10 drops stevia
  1. Using a julienne, vegetable peeler or spiralizer peel the zucchini into “noodles” and set aside.
  2. Blend tahini, water, garlic, nama shoyu, lime juice and stevia until smooth.
  3. Toss zucchini noodles, pepper, and sprouts with sauce until evenly coated.
Sweet Potato Noodles With Creamy Butternut Sage Sauce

Somehow the lovely, almost spring like weather we were experiencing this weekend morphed into frigid cold overnight. Thank goodness I finally bit the bullet and bought a super warm maternity parka over the weekend. Zipping my current coat over anything more than a tank top has started to become difficult! Everyone keeps promising me I will turn into a furnace and be nice and toasty while pregnant but so far I am just as cold as always! With a trip to Colorado coming up in February and several months of NYC winter ahead I could no longer scrape by without buying something specifically made for my growing belly. The funny thing I discovered in my search for maternity outerwear is that there are not a lot of super warm options. Tons of capes, pea coats and trenches but surprisingly few garments designed to actually endure winter! Guess every other pregnant lady on the planet besides me becomes naturally warm and toasty?

Apart from cozy, warm coats there are a few other things that help get me through the most bitter of winter cold. I drinks lots of tea, take hot showers right after working out to eliminate sweat induced chills, and eat more cooked comforting foods and less salads and raw foods.

A favorite warming dish I have been making recently are these Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Butternut Sage Sauce. They have all the coziness of a bowl of pasta minus the gluten, grains and not-so cozy bloating feeling that comes with! Sweet potato noodles are a great alternative to pasta; they are hearty and filling without being starchy. Both the noodles and the sauce for this dish can be made in advance and stored in the fridge separately until you are ready to eat!

Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Butternut Sage Sauce

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 cup almond milk (I use OMilk)
  • 1 cup butternut squash (cubed)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 an onion chopped
  • T coconut oil
  • 4 springs fresh sage
  • sea salt

Sweet Potato Noodles

  1. Peel sweet potato and use a spiralizer to make noodles. You can also use a vegetable peeler to make more fettuchini like noodles.
  2. In a medium pan toss the sweet potato noodles with a good amount of Butternut Sage Sauce until throughly coated and heated.
  3. Serve hot.

Butternut Sage Sauce

  1. Pre heat oven to 400.
  2. In a small bowl toss the butternut squash with 1 T of coconut oil and spread onto a lined baking sheet.
  3. Roast squash for 30-35 minutes until soft and slightly browned.
  4. In a medium pan sautee the garlic and onion in 1 T coconut oil until fragrant.
  5. Combine garlic, onion, almond milk, roasted butternut squash, nutritional yeast, sage, and a pinch of sea salt in a high speed blender or Vitamix until smooth.
01/16
0
Asian Comfort Food

Comfort food. Everyone has their own version. Some people love a big, hot bowl of pasta. Some crave soup. Some can only feel comforted by the cinnamon toast their mom made them as a child. For me, comfort food is anything warm with an Asian flavor profile. Growing up in Manhattan on Chinese food I have fond memories of my family gathered around white takeout containers of sesame noodles, moo shoo something or other, and various other greasy, heavy foods. Despite being an incredibly clean eater now, sometimes I still crave the comfort food of my youth.

Recently I have been too tired (pregnant) at the end of the day to make elaborate multi course meals. This Cauliflower Fried Rice is the perfect quick, satisfying dinner for me. I make the cauliflower rice in large batches and chop the vegetable in advance to save me time at night when I am worn out. When it’s time for dinner all I have to do is toss it all together and let it steam! My own, much healthier version of Chinese takeout in less than 15 minutes!

Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • ½ cup broccoli florets
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced pineapple
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c nama shoyu
  • 2 T sesame oil
  1. Chop cauliflower into small florets and process in food processor until “rice like” consistency is achieved. This should only take a few seconds.
  2. Combine cauliflower “rice” with remaining ingredients and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes for flavor to develop.
  3. Place rice mixture in a steamer basket over boiling water and lightly steam until the rice is warm.
Cauliflower Purée

Are their certain movies you could watch over and over? Some guilty pleasure you have to pause on every time it’s on cable? While I tend to like movies and shows I have not seen before, Doug has several movies that he has watched thousands of times. If Knocked Up, I Love You Man or The Preacher’s Wife is on he just can’t look away. Maybe it’s a male female thing? Maybe I just bore easily?

While I can’t handle watching the same movie over and over I do love certain dishes so much that I can eat them night after night. This Cauliflower Purée is one of those dishes. I must have made it every other night for dinner last winter before I burned out on it’s deliciousness. Recently while flipping through my recipe notes I discovered it again and re-ignited my obsession. Smooth, creamy and utterly delicious I think I may be be eating these night after night again this winter!

Cauliflower Purée

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1-2 tsp black truffle salt
  • 1/ 4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 2-4 T almond milk ( I use OMilk)
  1. Gently steam cauliflower in a steamer basket over a pan of boiling water.
  2. Purée cauliflower in a Vitamix or high speed blender with remaining ingredients until smooth. You may need to add more almond milk to facilitate blending.
  3. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve hot.
11/15
0
Roasted Sunchokes

Is it just me or does the holiday season come faster and faster each year? I always thought that the holidays started with Thanksgiving, but recently as soon as Halloween is over I see gift guides and holiday menu ideas everywhere I turn! Every morning my inbox is full of websites promising me they have the perfect gift for everyone on my list.

If I am being completely honest I have mixed emotions about the holiday season. While I love the idea in theory, in reality I find the weeks from now until Christmas to be a little stressful. Between family gatherings, travel, holiday parties, and several birthdays (Doug, my mom and my niece and nephew were all born during the holidays), I can get a little overwhelmed this time of year. Knowing that this time of year can be exhausting I have a few tricks for keeping my balance. I try not to over schedule myself with unnecessary engagements, even if that means turning down dinner with a friend so I can spend a rare and much needed night at home. I have learned that my friends will always be there. Come January when there is less going on I am a much better dinner companion anyway! I also always start my holiday shopping early. Very early. I keep a detailed spreadsheet of each gift and recipient so I am never left running to an overcrowded store at the eleventh hour. In fact, I prefer to do much of my holiday shopping online as braving crowded stores this time of year can be quite overwhelming!

Another, and possibly the most key tactic for keeping things low- stress is simplifying my meals. For me this is not a time to do major recipe experimentation. With days and nights being very busy, I avoid testing out brand new recipes for dinner. Instead I stick to my tried and true staples, dishes that I know are easy to prepare, satisfying and nourishing. Come January I will have oodles of time to play in the kitchen!

Few things satisfy me more on a cold night than roasted root vegetables. They are quick and easy to prepare and paired with a green salad make the perfect meal. Sunchokes (or Jerusalem artichokes) are certainly less commonly used than beets, carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes but they are no less delicious. Their taste is somewhere between an artichoke and a potato, slightly starchy and savory. My favorite way to eat them is simply roasted with a little sea salt and black pepper. They really don’t need much else!

Roasted Sunchokes

  • 1 lb sunchokes ( also known as Jerusalem artichokes)
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper

 

  1. Pre- heat oven to 400.
  2. Scrub sunchokes clean with warm water.
  3. Cut into quarters.
  4. On a baking sheet toss with a little coconut oil, sea salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 30-40 mins until slightly brown and tender .

 

 

 

 

 

10/22
2
Parsnip Steak

As October starts to wrap up (crazy!) I find myself deep into the fall food zone. I am sipping Pumpkin Pie Smoothies, perfecting my Pumpkin Spice Granola (available soon- stay tuned!), and starting to think about Thanksgiving dishes. We may end up spending Thanksgiving at a restaurant this year (for various reasons) but that doesn’t mean I’m not working on an artillery of fall dishes for the surrounding weeks!

I love all root vegetables. Especially in the fall. They are hearty, earthy, easy to prepare, and very comforting. While I spend a lot of time with sweet potatoes, carrots and beets I often overlook the parsnip. Parsnips are a little like a carrot’s larger, white fleshed cousin. Their taste is not as sweet when raw, but they are incredibly delicious roasted. This Parsnip Steak was inspired by a trip to my favorite restaurant, Blue Hill last winter. My version is simplified and easier to make at home, but the taste is just as rich and hearty! Make sure the pan you use to weigh down the parsnips is oven safe and very hefty!

Parsnip Steak

  • 2 medium sized parsnips
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Trim a piece off of the fat wider end of each parsnip so it can lay flat on a baking sheet without rolling.
  3. Rub each parsnip with a little coconut oil.
  4. Place parsnip on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  6. Top parsnip with another piece of parchment paper, followed by another baking sheet, and a heavy (oven proof) pan to weigh it down.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until parsnips are flattened and slightly browned.
  8. Serve with Beet Ketchup.
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