Stuffed Kabocha Squash for Vegan Power Dinners

stuffed kabocha squash

It’s October 1st, and therefore it is not too early to get the autumn flavors and smells going in the kitchen! Hell, if Macy’s can put out Christmas merchandise, then I can make a stuffed kabocha squash for dinner, okay?

There is a vendor at the Farmers Market who always has a humble variety of melons and squash, and this week some awesome looking kabocha squash appeared on their table. So I snatched a couple up and here is what I came up with.

stuffed kabocha squash with buckwheat, pistachios, pears & pomegranate

2 kabocha squash
1 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 pear, cored and diced
1/2 cup pistachios nutmeats, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (or 1 whole pomegranate seeded)
1 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee Read More


Cashew Cheese Sauce, Sage & Butternut Squash Linguine

linguine with cashew cheese sauce, sage, butternut squash and peas

This month my kid got married, and we got our first real feeling of autumn outside. My son’s wedding plays a part in today’s post. I decided to prepare the food for the wedding, and give it a personalized touch for the special occasion. The bride and groom wanted a vegan menu, with vegan macaroni and cheese being their favorite. The cashew cheese sauce for the mac and cheese came out so yummy I have been thinking about it all week.

Then, it dawned on me that this sauce with a couple modifications could make a great autumn pasta with butternut squash, sage and peas. And, that’s how my first post of autumn came about! This sauce is easy to make, packed with plant based protein and healthy fats. The crispy sage garnish makes a nice garnish and crunchy finish to this comforting, cool weather dish.

linguine with cashew cheese sauce, sage, butternut squash & peas

For the cashew cheese sauce:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 clove garlic Read More


Radish Tops & Beet Greens Are Full of Surprises

radish tops

Don’t throw away your radish tops! Sometimes I get a bunch of radishes or beets with a really healthy, abundant supply of greens attached to the top. For some asinine reason, we have been hard-wired in our culture to throw those greens out. But they are full of both macro and micro nutrients and phyto-chemicals; and if done right, can be made into the star ingredient of a variety of dishes. In this particular case, I made my radish tops and beet greens into nutrient-dense, vegan tacos. You don’t need to wait to get a healthy head or radish tops to try this though. Just about any kind of root vegetable greens or other leafy greens will work just as well as the radish tops. Enjoy!

radish tops & beet greens tacos

1 hearty bunch of radish tops
1 hearty buch of beet greens
NOTE: Look for healthy, fresh, organic tops from the Farmers Market
1 small onion, julienned
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 avocado, pitted and diced or sliced
1 large tomato, diced
Sea salt and pepper to taste Read More


Green Beans with Lemon, Tarragon & Chia Seeds

green beans with lemon

This green beans with lemon recipe is another one of those super simple, “too tasty and easy to be true” dishes for an easy lunch or dinner side dish. Sometimes demonstrating that you can grab one vegetable from your garden or the Farmers Market, and easily turn it into a fairly complete meal or tide-over, is the best way I can use my blog space! The chia seeds provide extra complete protein and healthy fats to this, making it a decent light meal. And you can always add more chia seeds to suit your own nutritional preference and taste. So enjoy this one and let me know in the comments all the different ways you did! I used some rattlesnake beans from my garden for this recipe.

green beans with lemon, tarragon & chia seeds

About 1 pound of green beans, trimmed
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
1 tsp. Manuka honey (or other organic raw honey) Read More


Grilled Figs are Gloriously Easy

grilled figs

It’s that time of the year again! The onslaught of ripening figs is happening faster than we can keep up with. Here is a really easy way to enjoy some grilled figs, and gobble them down without making a huge production out of it. Enjoy!

grilled figs in lettuce cups with caramelized onion & chèvre

6-8 fresh figs
1 tbsp. grass fed or coconut butter
1 Vidalia onion, sliced stir-fry style
2 tbsp. fresh sage, julienned
1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 lime, divided in half Read More


Ronde de Nice Squash Loves to be Stuffed

Each year I like to try a different kind of squash in the food garden. And I am extremely pleased that ronde de nice squash made its way onto my list this year! It has the consistency of a summer squash like zucchini, yet it is hearty, with a soft center and tender seeds that can be eaten, similar to a winter squash. And it’s spherical shape lends itself to awesome stuffing potential! So it’s extremely versatile. This healthy vegan recipe for stuffed ronde de nice squash is a great summertime meal, as a warm-ish dinner entree or cold salad, or even at brunch.

stuffed ronde de nice squash with tuscan kale & cannellini bean salad

1 smaller ronde de nice squash (about 5″ in diameter)
1 cup cooked & rinsed cannellini beans
1 1/2 cups fresh tomato, diced
1 cup young Tuscan Kale leaves, finely julienned
1 avocado, diced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper Read More


Watercress Salad for Simple Summer Soirees

watercress salad

I found some flowering watercress at the Farmers market this week, so I decided to make it the star of the blog post! There isn’t much to say about watercress except how simple it is to enjoy it as a stand alone ingredient, or mixed into all kinds of stuff. I pulled some tomatoes and basil from the garden and came up with this simple salad that will add some delicious color and quality nutrition to any summer table. You can make your own cheese fairly quickly, or look for an artisan vegan cheesemaker like Blöde Kuh, or use your favorite fresh cheese that you think would go great with garden tomatoes and watercress.

tomato & watercress salad with basil cashew cheese

About 3-6 tomatoes of varying sizes
2 cups watercress
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3-4 tbsp. basil cashew cheese or any fresh cheese that would go great with tomatoes Read More


Protein Packed Zucchini Black Bean Burgers

zucchini black bean burgers

Whenever I encourage my clients to eat more plant based foods, the most popular response is, “but what about the protein?” That’s where awesomely magical ingredients like chia seeds come in handy. Nature’s miraculous formula of essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber give chia seeds the unique ability to act like a binder similar to an egg, helping to hold these burgers together, while also provide a complete protein, in addition to the protein found in the beans and the zucchini. When a plant provides a complete protein, it means it delivers all the essential amino acids that your body can’t produce and therefore need to be consumed in meals. So, whip up a batch of these babies and take them on your next summer picnic!

chia infused zucchini black bean burgers

2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. grated onion
6 tbsp. partially ground chia seeds
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2- 1 tsp. salt (depending on your taste) Read More


Dandelion Greens, Sweet Potato Greens & Supper

dandelion greens

Dandelion greens are one of my favorite edible weeds, and they love being wilted into garlic butter with pasta. I decided to add some sweet potato leaves, mostly because they pop up and  kind of go crazy in my garden every year, but also because they add a bit of sweet, more delicate green flavor to offset the dandelion. If you eat dairy, feel free to use grass fed butter of ghee for your cooking fat, and substitute real parmesan for the pistachio parmesan. Having said that, the pistachio parmesan is a lot more nutritious, delivering healthy fats, complete protein, and fiber; and it adds a comforting earthiness to the dish.

pasta with dandelion greens, sweet potato leaves, garlic & pistachio

For the Pasta:
12 oz. of your favorite pasta (I used Trader Joe’s Red Lentil Sedanini)
4 cups fresh dandelion greens, cut in half
2 cups sweet potato leaves with a few inches of stem intact
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced as thin as possible
1 1/2 tbsp. of your favorite healthy cooking fat, plus another (optional) 1 tbsp. set aside
1/4 cup pistachio parmesan or real parmesan (for non-vegan)
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste Read More


Hazelnut Pesto for Lazy Afternoons

hazelnut pesto

Basil, basil, and more basil! When a basil plant decides to take hold it really pumps it out. So, I schedule a few minutes each day to go out and cut the flowering basil tops, to keep the plant going all summer long. Which winds me up with a lot of extra basil hanging around the kitchen. Here is a great sweet-meets-savory idea for a lazy afternoon salad, with vegan hazelnut pesto as the star of the show. You can also do a non vegan version of this by using parmesan or another hard aged cheese in place of the nutritional yeast. Enjoy!

vegan hazelnut pesto with mango & avocado slices

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 fresh mango, split, peeled and cut into slices
1 fresh avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into slices Read More