Ginger Scallion Noodles (Paleo, Vegan)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

That is, because we are decorating 🙂 Got our tree up today, and are going to go around and put the lights up. I love this time of year – the chilly weather, the snow, the holidays, the sweaters…. Oh, the sweaters….

But then, I got sick last week – right before Thanksgiving. I’ve been up and down since then, but this week, I’ve got the after effects… and it’s downright unpleasant! So much, that my manager sent me home for sneezing and blowing my nose today. Gross… but thank you, boss!

I wanted to make something tasty, light, and zesty. I was never a fan of boring ramen, but I do love some noodles! Instead of your typical pasta or ramen, I used shirataki noodles. They are vegan and gluten free, and have a fun texture. I would’ve preferred zucchini noodles, but maybe I’ll use them for an upcoming recipe….

Ginger Scallion Noodles (Paleo, Vegan)

Prep time: 20 minCook time: 10 min Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bags Shirataki noodles
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
  • 1 large bunch of scallions, very thinly sliced, divided
  • 2 heaping tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • ¾ cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp Tamari sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ½ tsp coconut sugar
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Toasted sesame seeds and chili oil (for serving)

Directions:

  1. Stir ginger, shallots, garlic, and about half of the scallions in a large bowl.
  2. Heat grapeseed oil in a small saucepan over high until oil is shimmery and hot but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Pour hot oil over scallion mixture. The scallions will sizzle, turn bright green, and wilt almost immediately. Let sit 5 minutes before stirring in remaining scallions. Let cool completely.
  3. Once cooled, stir in soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. I rinsed mine, patted them dry, and dry fried them for 2 minutes before combining with the sauce in the pan.
  5. Divide noodles among bowls. Top with sesame seeds and serve with chili oil alongside.

Enjoy!

-S

Rosemary Thyme Roasted Skillet Potatoes (Vegan, Gluten-free!)

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Unfortunately for me, I had a really bad cold all of last week so while I did get to eat a ton of delicious food, I couldn’t really taste it 😦 But! that’s no reason to leave some goodies out! Have some leftover potatoes? This is a super easy treat that will impress your guests… because who doesn’t love potatoes?

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Rosemary Thyme Roasted Skillet Potatoes

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 90 min

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 5-6 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil, or ghee
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 ½ tbsp thyme, minced; plus more for garnish
  • 1 ½ tbsp rosemary, minced
  • ~ 1 tsp of sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp pepper

Optional: not vegan, but you can broil them with some parmesan for a few minutes once they’re cooked!

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Thinly slice potatoes using a mandoline sliceror food processor with the slicing attachment. Arrange potatoes upright in a 10″ cast iron skillet.
  2. In a pan over low heat, add ghee or olive oil and allow to warm. Add rosemary, thyme and garlic and simmer for about 5-7 minutes, stirring continuously to prevent the garlic from burning. Remove from heat and pour evenly over potatoes, using a brush to spread the herbs and garlic evenly. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.
  3. Place in oven to cook for 1-1/2 hours. If potatoes start to brown or burn too quickly, turn the heat down. Likewise – if they appear they aren’t crisping fast enough, turn the oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Once potatoes are cooked, remove from oven and serve.

Enjoy!

-S

Sarah’s Picks – Best Thanksgiving 2017 Deals For Your Kitchen

The time is upon us where we indulge in food, shopping and all things consumer!

I’m not in the camp that shames America for being such a consumer-driven country. Do we have too much? Yes. Too much stuff, too much food, too much choice, too much free will, just a bunch of too-much. However – that doesn’t need you need to have “too much” of everything yourself. If anything, you could take the fact that there’s “too much”, and share it with those who don’t have enough.

I’ve been stalking all the Amazon Prime deals, the Macy’s deals, and I’m DROOLING at all the goodies!!! A few things, I actually bought to give as gifts… some other things, I bought because they are on sale and if I’m going to get it, now is the time to have it.

I’ve picked through some goodies to show you all the deals i think are worth indulging… take a look!

 

Stainless Steel Knife Sharpener by Zulay Kitchengadget 1.jpg

This little gadget is the best. At only $14.99 (less, if you’re a Prime member!), it’s definitely something to put in your grab-bag. A sharp knife is a safe knife! Make sure you’re prepared to chop, mince and cube this season.

 

Instant-Pot Duo Mini 3 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker

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This might be perhaps the best little gadget you’ll ever have. A smaller, less expensive version (only $59.99!) of the full size one, it’s perfect for people who don’t have a huge crowd to cook for.

 

Imarku 10 Inch Pro Chef’s Knife 

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Did I mention I like sharp knives? This is quite a deal – Imarku is a great brand, and this blade definitely stands up to those who are a little harder on their knives. For only $19.99, go grab them before they’re all gone!

 

Tools of the Trade 13-pc Stainless Steel Cookware Set

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This is a crazy deal! All of these pots for under $30. This makes a great gift for a college student, new home buyer, or someone who needs to upgrade some of their pots and pans but doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg.

 

LoveU. Silicone Oven Mitts

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For anyone that wants something a bit more capable than your typical oven mitt, look no further, especially since they’re less than $13. These little oven gloves are a great gift for any baker or chef.

 

Royal Electric Fast Boiling Glass Tea Kettle 

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This is such a great thing to have for entertaining — no need to sit around and watch a tea kettle boil. It’s sleek, and can boil right on your countertop. A great thing so that you can enjoy time with guests as you heat up your tea!

 

Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine

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If you have never had a great breadmaker to whip up some homemade bread, you’re missing out. This little one is on sale for $59.99, and even includes a timer so you can set it before work, and have fresh-baked bread right in time for dinner!

 

As much as I love a good deal, though… make sure you make an effort to first spend time with your loved ones, and THEN get to shopping. Enjoy – and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

-S

Jalapeño Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

I’ve been a bit impulsive lately. Mainly with shopping, chores, and cooking, painting my toenails red – nothing dangerous (but if you knew me, my toes have never been anything other than white or French pink… so this is the real deal).

I bought a mandolin off of Amazon a few months ago. To be completely honest, I forgot I bought it, much like several other kitchen gadgets. I get excited, have an idea, buy a tool I need, get a recipe together, lose track of time, lose said-recipe, and *poof!* Just like that, a thought now gone far, far away.

I have been craving scalloped potatoes. I can remember my mom as a kid, making Betty Crocker boxed potatoes, and I absolutely loved it. I even tried to eat one of those dehydrated potatoes – PSA – they are not like potato chips. But, with the weird powder mix, the milk, the water…. It just didn’t really seem that appealing to me once I learned how to cook. As a potato connoisseur, I’m surprised I haven’t tried to make them sooner. A regular cheese sauce is easy… anyone can do that. But I wanted a challenge. After rummaging through my cabinet and finding a big old fat potahto, it came to me.

Homemade… dairy free.. why stop there!? Vegan scalloped potatoes, it was.

Now, everyone knows the best part of cheese is, well, cheese. It’s melty, delicious, can be put on pretty much anything. I am a cheese lover, and I don’t have a major sensitivity to dairy, but I respect that it should be used in moderation from a health standpoint… and moderation with cheese is just lame.

I ran to the store and grabbed the first dairy-free cheese that looked good – I landed on Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Cheddar Shreds, and hoped for the best. Let me just say…… this was the perfect choice, because the potatoes came out absolutely delicious.

Enough blabbering, you all need to make these ASAP.

 

Jalapeño Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

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Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 40 min

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-large baking potatoes, peeled
  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup of Follow Your Heart’s cheddar shreds
  • ½ cup vegetable broth, plus more if needed
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 large jalapeño, finely chopped – ribs and seeds removed

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Using a mandolin, slice your potatoes into about 1/4 to 1/8 inch slices. (If you are very skilled with a knife, you can use a knife, but please be careful)
  3. Place the potatoes on a plate or baking sheet and gently pat dry with a paper towel. Add a pinch of salt – not to give a lot of flavor, this is more to help them dry out as you cook your sauce.
  4. In a medium sized saucepan, bring your coconut milk and vegetable broth to a boil. Once bubbling, turn down to medium low heat. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and jalapeno and continue to stir.
  5. Add your cheese – you may need to turn the heat back up to medium if you don’t see it start to melt. Using a whisk, ensure the mixture stays piping hot but does not burn, so that the vegan cheese can melt. If you find the sauce starts to get too thick, you can add more vegetable broth, a splash at a time. At this point – taste your sauce. It should have a good kick, perhaps more than you’d normally season a sauce – remember, the potato starch will absorb a lot of it, so you want some flavor!
  6. As the sauce simmers, arrange your potatoes into an 8×8 baking dish – no need to grease, the coconut milk prevents the potatoes from sticking to the bottom. Arrange the potatoes in several layers so that each slice is mostly flat but stacked on top of each other. If you use a different sized baking pan, this is fine – your potatoes may not stack as deep but that shouldn’t be a problem.
  7. Pour the sauce over your potatoes so that they are almost completely covered. If you feel you need more sauce, you can add a splash of vegetable broth to the top, and poke potatoes around with a fork to gently mix the sauce. The potatoes will absorb a lot, so no need to worry about mixing the sauce uniformly if this is needed.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until top starts to get golden brown. Remove from heat and add a dash of salt and pepper to the top (this is added now rather than before, so that the potatoes don’t absorb and diffuse the salt right away upon cooking)
  9. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.

 

Enjoy!

-S

 

Black Eyed Pea Cakes with Adobo Cream Sauce (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

I have a question for all of you – have you noticed something?

There’s been a lot of turmoil lately, just in the air. Not necessarily in my life…. My job is alright, my pony is behaving himself, my friends and family are alright, but the world seems as though it’s in shambles.

As I made a few new recipes for you all, an ad came on during a Seinfeld commercial break. It was some guy, Tom Steyer, that Google apparently names as a “leftist CNN-supporting billionaire against Trump”. I don’t claim to support this man – in fact, I only found out who he was a mere 20 minutes ago, and that descriptive quote I pulled was straight out of Google. Without discussing politics, where you stand on the political spectrum, or whose beliefs you support, I just wanted to bring up the concept of moral identity. And as this man’s commercial praised “following your moral compass”, it still carried a morose undertone that I just can’t ignore, even though it opposes a man that ruffles more feathers I can even convey.

What makes me think of “moral identity” are two particular old memories that I can’t seem to get rid of. The first of two was an awkward run-in with an elementary school bully. She took issue with me because I was scrawny, and obsessed with horses, had teeth that grew in before anything else on my body, and that I never felt it necessary to defend myself when she poked fun at me. I never needed my friends to defend me, but I also wondered why they never took issue with anything this nasty little girl said to me. Was it the by-stander effect? Were they afraid she might target them? I wasn’t quite sure. Years passed, I haven’t seen her, but it still bums me out that people carry that kind of energy with them where they get their strength by bringing down others.

Another time, many years later, I had a class with a girl who never seemed to have the awareness that others might not “jive” with her jokes, her hobbies or social quirks. Was that her problem? Absolutely not, it was ours. Yet, I knew how it felt to have everyone’s eyes on you, everyone waiting for you to take another misstep – I made sure to never say anything mean to this girl, because it’s just cruel.

There was a History class we had, with a teacher that may have not gotten his revenge on high school bullies, himself – he allowed the most asinine badgering, bullying and taunting, right during his lesson plans. I remember it like it was yesterday – he held a debate, and we got to choose our side. It ended up being the entire class against this same girl, who, while she didn’t agree, wanted to make a point by arguing “devil’s advocate”.  She was wicked smart – you could tell she may not have agreed with what she was arguing for, but she made a darn good convincing argument for the sake of seeing the other side. After a few jabs back and forth, one punk decided to make his argument personal, bridging the divide between our classroom prompt, and her personal life. As he made his comment and looked behind him for support, each person gathered the confidence to make another small jab themselves – none were stopped by our teacher. This went on for what felt like an eternity, but after only a few minutes, I remember standing up and asking, ‘what the hell is wrong with all of you? Are you all serious, right now?’

Now, I don’t want anyone sitting here thinking I was some classroom hero – my brief bout of confidence was quickly shattered by my classmates telling me I was overreacting, that they were just kidding, and that maybe I needed the jokes towards myself so I would have thicker skin. It really didn’t feel that way in the moment, though. I truly remember that day like it was yesterday, and it makes me sick. It was really that moment where I drew a line in the sand with myself and what I felt was right vs. wrong, and it established that anything crossing that line was unacceptable to me. By doing so, it was up to me to stand up for something that I felt was morally unacceptable.

Do you know what makes me feel that same way? The divisive nature of almost everything I see, on every news outlet, everywhere.

I try to take a more humanistic approach – help those who need it by doing your best to teach them independence and self-sustainability. I’ve taken up volunteering, so that I feel as though I’m making at least whatever small change I can towards causes I feel passionate about. I know that I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love lower taxes, less worry about people I don’t know, and less money going out the door – but what’s our end result that we’re seeking? Are we really trying to help the greater good? Again – I am not taking side with any political party as they stand today… but when is the last time you removed yourself from the equation, looked around you, and said to yourself, “What is really going to help us all have a better day tomorrow?”

This seems idealistic, but I’m just yearning to see more compassion as I look around today. I want to see people helping each other, people acknowledging each other’s best qualities, and respecting each other’s flaws. Should you take a strong stance on any issue, I just hope that you bring it upon yourself to respect, acknowledge, and explore someone else’s opposing opinion before you disregard it.

On a lighter note, this recipe kind of signifies “looking at another perspective”, and respecting it as it is. Beans and Legumes are not paleo – in fact, I don’t like to eat beans anyway, because… they’re a bit noisy. But they do have their health benefits, and I know that someone somewhere out there likes them. If you make the portions smaller, you could even make these as an appetizer!

If you’re still reading – I’m glad you’re able to respect someone else’s viewpoint if you happen to stand on the other side of the fence. There’s a serious energetic shift going on right now – people are growing tired of the same-old. I truly hope we take this opportunity to put kindness first – I think all of us can use it.

Black Eyed Pea Cakes with Adobo Cream Sauce (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

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Ingredients

  •  1 4oz can of coconut cream, refrigerated
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 2 (14oz) cans no-salt-added black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup plaintain chips, finely crushed
  • 1 tablespoon onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped; seeds and ribs removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups raw spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp ghee

 

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine coconut cream, pinch of salt and adobo sauce. Once thoroughly mixed, place into the refrigerator to chill and prevent from melting.
  2. In a large frying pan, add onion, bell pepper and ghee. Sauté on medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and spinach, and continue to cook until onions start to brown, another 4-5 minutes. (do not cover the pan, as you want to allow the water to evaporate out of the spinach). Once finished, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, drain and rinse one of the cans of beans, and pulse in food processor until completely mashed into a paste – you may need to add a pinch of olive oil to keep the mixture from sticking to the sides. Separately, drain, rinse and place other can of beans into a large bowl, and lightly mash with fork. You want to keep about half of the beans in this portion still intact for added texture.
  4. Once beans are finished in the food processor, mix both portions of beans together in the bowl, along with almond flour, onion, pepper, spinach, garlic, egg and spices. The mixture, at room temperature, should be sort of thick and sticky, like cookie dough. To make sure it’s easier to form, place in freezer for 15-20 minutes, so that mixture can hold a shape when formed.
  5. As the mixture chills, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Once the mix is removed from the freezer, take a small lime-sized scoop of it, and shape each scoop into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Roll the patty in plantain chips, ensuring it’s fully coated.
  6. Place each patty on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for ~25 minutes, or until crust starts to brown. About 10 minutes before the cakes are finished, remove the adobo cream sauce from the fridge, stirring occasionally.
  7. Top each cake with a spoonful of adobo cream mixture and serve… perhaps with some Garlic-Tahini Kale Salad? J

 

Enjoy,

S