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 tsp. Manuka honey (or other organic raw honey) 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


Swiss Chard Enchiladas Are What’s Up

swiss chard enchiladas

We have this gigantic Swiss chard “bush,” seriously taking hold in the food garden. The leaves kept beckoning me to wrap them up with something. So, here’s an idea for gluten-free and cornmeal-free Swiss chard enchiladas that came out pretty yummy! The fresh epazote adds a nice, earthy, Oaxacan nuance, but you can substitute something like fresh thyme and still get a great fresh herbal infusion. Epazote is really easy to grow but not so easy to find at the market. Feel free to play around with non-vegan variations using queso fresco, organic chicken, and-or ground meat. Enjoy!

vegan swiss chard enchiladas with quinoa, black beans & epazote

12 chard leaves- steamed for 1 1/2 minutes
2 cups cooked sprouted quinoa (easy to get this by cooking 1 cup dried quinoa and 2 cups water in a rice cooker)
2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 1/2 cups semi smashed black beans
1 tsp. sea salt to taste
1/4 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. fresh epazote (optional, or substitute fresh thyme or other pungent herb) Read More


Chewy Squash Blossom Fritter Yuminess

squash blossom fritters

“Vegan-Paleo Squash Blossom Fritters” is about as complete a description as I could get for these very interesting, chewy-yet-crisp treats that were basically an experiment. But I guess that is how it’s supposed to work on here, right? I started thinking I was going to make a gluten-free, vegan squash blossom pancake, but the texture of these, coming from the tapioca flour, is definitely more “fritter”- like. These seem best right out of the oven, but I’ll bet they would be great cold or reheated also. The problem is, I gobbled them up so fast I didn’t have any to save for later, so now I have to wait until I get some more fresh squash blossoms on my hands.

Technically, these only fulfill the ingredient guidelines of being “Paleo.” In order to be truly paleo from a macronutrient standpoint, they wouldn’t be so heavy on carbs. But, they are gluten, grain, dairy free and totally vegan as well. So enjoy these as a healthier indulgence and as a great way to enjoy the season’s squash, zucchini and other blossoms from the garden or the Farmers Market. I’ll bet the chewy texture of these is unique from many things you have tried before.

vegan-paleo squash blossom fritters

1/2 cup hazelnut flour 
3/4  cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 cups organic, full-fat coconut milk (from can)
20-25 fresh squash blossoms Read More


Red Lentil Pasta Salad for Healthy Sunny Days

red lentil pasta

I am enjoying the new red lentil pasta varieties that have been popping up at the store. If you are going to have pasta, these are a good way to go, with just lentils, quinoa and water as ingredients, and packed with protein and other nutrients.

This recipe is a cold salad twist on linguine with tomato, basil & garlic. And it takes the nutrition density even a step further by eliminating the refined oil and instead getting it from whole foods like avocado. You can add other veggies to the asparagus or eliminate the asparagus for a more traditional version of a tomato, basil, garlic “TBG” pasta salad.

oil free red lentil pasta salad t.b.g.a.

1 box Pow red lentil linguine (8 oz.)
2 large heirloom tomatoes (about 2 cups), cut into 1/4 inch pieces, seeds and juice included
2-3 cloves garlic (depending on how much garlic you like)
1/4 cup fresh julienned basil
1 fresh lime, juiced
1 avocado, diced
3 tbsp. hulled hemp hearts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast Read More


Riced Cauliflower with Porcini Mushrooms, Fennel & Peas

riced cauliflower

I know you are probably thinking that I post too many things with mushrooms, and you are right! But when I glanced at my bag of dried porcini mushrooms the other day, I couldn’t help thinking how great they would be as a rich, flavorful foundation for riced cauliflower! This recipe for riced cauliflower with porcini mushrooms, fennel & peas makes a nice springtime side dish or vegan entree. Porcini mushrooms have a natural, rich, gamey flavor and the higher quality ones give off a roux when cooked, that naturally adds some thickness to the dish.

riced cauliflower with porcini mushrooms, fennel & peas

3 cups vegetable broth or water
About 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 bulb fresh fennel, cored and thinly sliced
2-3 cups riced cauliflower
1 cup fresh or frozen shelled English peas
Sea salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional for flavor enhancement) Read More