Chickpea Chana Masala

*chana masala chickpea

Chana Masala

You can make this as spicy hot or mild as you prefer, I LOVE a good kick so I put a whole hot pepper into it- whole, so I can fish it out after cooking so as not to mistake it for a cooked tomato. You can use canned or jar tomatoes with this but with local tomatoes still abundant, I made this using fresh. If you do use canned or jarred, you may need to add a little bit of sugar (maple syrup, sucanat, agave) to offset the bitterness.

 3T coconut oil

2c-cooked chickpeas

1 onion, small dice

2 clove garlic, smashed and minced

1T ground cumin

2” fresh ginger, grated

1 hot pepper, sliced or chopped

2t mustard seeds

2t turmeric OR 1T Fresh grated

2t curry powder

2-3c fresh tomatoes, diced

2t pink salt

1t black pepper

2c water

4c fresh baby spinach- reserve until serving.

1c fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped- reserve until serving.

In a large pot over medium high heat, add the coconut oil, onions, garlic and spices and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and the chickpeas. Cover with about 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and the let the mixture cook and mingle until the water has reduced and it looks more like a stew. Just before serving, add the spinach and the cilantro. Serve with Basmati or Jasmine rice.

Green Juice with Kimchee Brine

*Green juice with Kimchee Brine

I can’t even express how much I love the taste of this juice. It is my go to alkalinizing recovery detox juice. The addition of Beet Kvass, Kimchee or Sauerkraut brine takes this juice to another level of deliciousness- in addition adding a whole slew of vitamins, minerals, and gut loving healthy pro-biotics. SO YUM.

Da Juice

If you are juicing for two, simply double the recipe. I use all organic veggies.

1/2 cucumber with the skin

1 stalk celery

1 small handful of  cilantro

1 small handful of  parsley

1 lemon, peeled

1″ piece of fresh ginger

1 stalk kale with the stem

10 oz. brine or kvass

Pass all of the vegetables through the juicer. Strain into a serving glass and add in the brine.

Drink immediately. On an empty stomach is best.

Happy Gluten Free New Year with a Side of Yoga!

*30

I am kicking off 2014 with 30 days of YOGA and 30 days of being totally Gluten Free. I am also entertaining giving up alcohol but seeing as I have a compulsion towards extremes, I may not name that one, however, as of now I am 2 days in to no alcohol and several days in to no gluten and a  minimum practice of 30 minutes of yoga a day- in addition to my regular work out (spinning, running etc). I know my body does better without wheat…it just does. I feel less foggy, less tired, more clear. I think there are so many people running around with undiagnosed food allergies, I understand though, sometimes it is just feels easier to feel like shit than to really address what has to change for one to feel better…food is HUGE. Messing with one’s food…even bigger.

My thoughts going into this are to create a new and fresh repertoire of every day gluten free comfort go-to foods and treats and in that, establish a super awesome baseline of eating, kind of like creating a new habit of vegan, gluten-free deliciousness. I will do a lot of the food preparation myself, however, I will also try to document my take out and eat out meals as well- so far, my favorite places include a local authentic Thai place called Hattpon’s, a new Indian Restaurant called The Clay Oven, and my favorite Mexican Burrito place in town called Mesa Verde. I am still working out my Chinese and Japanese food options in and around Greenfield but am confident that there will be plenty of steamed mixed vegetables and Nori rolls in my future, even if I have to bring my own GF soy sauce (Tamari).

I have a tendency, as do many people on restricted or limited diets,  to fall into the path of least resistance, meaning; I eat a lot of packaged foods that state what they are or more evidently what they are not, i.e. vegan cheese, gluten free cookies etc….My hope is to create tons of delicious foods this month that are FOOD based, not label based, that are gluten free, dairy free, and animal free AND AMAZING (obvi). I AM SO EXCITED. #vegetablesrule

So much of how we approach our food is mental. I have seen it in my clients; those who want to lose weight, those who have been diagnosed with a food intolerance to wheat or dairy, and also my clients suffering from a more serious affliction such as diabetes or heart disease; the diet becomes more about what they CAN’T eat, not so much about what they CAN.

Bottom line, the most nutritious and beneficial foods are whole foods, mostly plant based, seasonal, local, and organic if possible. They do not come in wrappers, they are not made in a lab, they are not specially formulated off in some secret scientific kitchen somewhere- they are fruits, vegetables, and grains, you buy, grow or glean them and then cook and eat them.  #poweredbyplants

If you are down with coming with me, the basics of what you will need are:

Veggie Essentials

These are veggies that I try to always keep in the apartment. They are the basis of so many dishes, soups, and meals.

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Fresh Ginger

Daily Veggies

These are the veggies that I shop for every other day or so, they usually star in the dish, or are a featured component in one of the recipes. They too, can be used to add into soups, meals, and juices- but I am looking and hoping to use them at their freshest- they are also the veggies that tend to spoil after 3-4 days- but can and still will be used. * I use all of my kale stems for juices, wilted spinach for soups or sautés etc.

  • Kale- all varieties
  • Baby spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage- all kinds
  • Collards
  • Artichokes
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Green Beans
  • Escarole
  • Lettuces

Stock Proteins

  • Peanut Butter and or other nut butters
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Beans (see Beans below for types) canned & dried

For your Shakes/ Smoothies/Superfoods

  • Chia Seed
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Raw Protein Powder (mine is fermented brown rice based)
  • Raw Coconut oil/butter or Coconut Manna (spread)
  • Raw Nuts of all kinds for milks, snacking
  • Acai Powder -*opt
  • Maca Powder *opt
  • Raw Cacao Powder *opt
  • *Raw Cacao Nibs * opt
  • Goji Berries *opt

Stock Cabinet Essentials

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Toasted Sesame oil
  • Himalyan Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Tamari
  • Ketchup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Agave Nectar
  • Mustard
  • Vegan Mayonnaise
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sriracha (asian hot sauce)
  • Brown Rice Pasta
  • Rice Noodles (asian markets)
  • Rice wrappers (asian markets)
  • Miso (goes in the fridge)

Stock Grains

  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • White Basmati Rice
  • GF Rolled Oats
  • Millet

Stock Beans

  • Chick peas
  • Red Lentils
  • Lentils
  • White Beans
  • Black beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Green Split Peas
  • Moong Dal (yellow split peas)

Some tips going into this….Keep it simple. Don’t freak out. Set yourself up for success.

Come with.

Happy New Year.

XOEllen

#vegansdoitbetter

!

Broccoli, Potato & French Lentil Soup / Stew

*french lentil broccoli potato soup

I love French lentils- they don’t break down like the other lentils so they have a really nice texture when cooked just to tender. They cook pretty quickly and they are a pulse that I keep in the house along side my red lentils. They are super yum in cold or hot salads. To make them, I used the the same pot prior to starting the soup; bring 3c of water to a boil with 1c dried French lentils. Let them come to a rolling boil, reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 15-25 minutes or until the lentils are intact but tender. You can use another bean of your choice; chickpeas, pinto or kidney beans would be a delicious addition but there is something perfect about the combination of the lentil, broccoli and new potatoes. All veggies were procured locally, if not from my garden. You can cook out a lot of the water for a delicious and more hearty stew.

Broccoli, Potato Soup & French Lentil Soup/ Stew

2c French lentils- cooked

2 small thin skinned potatoes, scrubbed, washed, medium dice

1 clove garlic, smashed, minced

1 red onion, small dice

1 carrot, small dice

1//2 bunch broccoli, florets, stems medium dice

1 bouillon or veggie broth to replace the water

4c boiling water

1t chipotle powder *opt

1/2t hot sesame oil *opt

½ t black pepper

3T extra virgin olive oil

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil- in case you need more.

In a soup pot, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions, and garlic and sauté until golden. Add the carrots and cook for a minute or so before adding the potatoes. Add in salt and pepper, hot pepper, and stir until well incorporated. Cover with the hot water and add the bouillon.

Bring to a boil and let simmer for 25-30.

Add the broccoli and the cooked lentils and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings.

Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

*fresh tomato basil sauceFresh Tomato & Basil Sauce

2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

4c tomatoes, diced

1/4c fresh basil, lightly packed, chopped

1/4t black pepper

1/4c water

1/2-1 fresh cherry bomb, chili or other hot pepper, minced

1/3c extra virgin olive oil

1t salt or to taste

In a skillet, add the olive oil and sauté the garlic  until golden and soft. Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt, black and red pepper. Allow the tomatoes to break down and to come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the fresh basil.

At this point, the sauce is delicious as is or can be pureed to create a smoother sauce.

Summer Pizza On the Grill

*summer pizza

So yesterday was unbearably hot, the day before I had a fire going, so needless to say my food plan got confused. My plan was to whip up some Gnocchi’s with my leftover smashed potatoes but there was no way I was gonna be in the kitchen over boiling anything. I had stopped at Walker Farm earlier in the day and picked up a locally made, organic, par-cooked pizza crust, a gorgeous pint of tomatoes and some fresh arugula. I made a fresh sauce, sliced more fresh tomatoes and put the whole thing on the grill. HOLY CRAP was this pie delicious. I would venture to say one of the best pizza experiences without cheese that I have ever had. It was never even missed there was so much goodness happening with each bite.

What you will need:

  • 1 ready made pizza crust (or make your own!)
  • Fresh Pizza Sauce – recipe below
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3c fresh arugula, washed and dried
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Heat up the grill, keep it on high until cook time.

Place the crust on foil. Ladle the fresh, slightly cooled sauce over the base of the pie. Then layer on the fresh tomato slices. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Lower the heat on the grill to about medium low and place the pie on the grill. Close the cover and let cook for 8-10 minutes, checking in in the first few minutes to gauge the temperature, making sure not to burn the bottom of the crust before the whole pie is cooked.

In a large bowl, add the arugula, use the juice of one whole lemon, drizzle in about 1-2T of olive oil, salt and pepper and toss. Set aside.

Remove the pie from the grill when the crust is just golden around the edges. Top it with the fresh Arugula salad. Slice and eat IMMEDIATELY…..

SO FRICKEN DELICIOUS.

Fresh Tomato & Basil Pizza Sauce

1 clove garlic, smashed and minced

2c fresh ripe tomatoes, diced

1/4c fresh basil, lightly packed, chopped

1/4t black pepper

2T extra virgin olive oil

1t salt or to taste

In a skillet, add the olive oil and sauté the garlic until golden and soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, black and red pepper. Allow the tomatoes to break down and to come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the fresh basil.

At this point, the sauce is delicious as is or can be pureed to create a smoother sauce.