Pasta Con Tanti Funghi alla Crema / Pasta with Many Mushrooms Cream Sauce

*Pasta con funghi alla crema

Pasta with Many Mushrooms Cream Sauce

I made this pasta on my birthday and I am telling you, NO ONE, unless they were crazy, would miss the dairy, butter, or cheese in this recipe. The cashews offer a super creamy, velvety texture; paired with the divine savory intensity of the mushrooms is SUPER FRICKEN YUM. Shitake, porcini, and maitake mushrooms are going to lend the most flavor, however, the combo of onion, garlic, mushroom and wine is LEGENDARY and I wouldn’t be to concerned about your selection. Clearly the above picture was prior to me getting the parsley on it- the parsley adds a level of freshness that is SO YUM, but not required.  I have even squeezed fresh lemon into the mix prior to serving- it brightens the deliciousness up but is so not necessary. You could totally make this as a fettucini or linguine, just be sure to thin the sauce a bit so that the mix isn’t too heavy for the pasta. Oh, also…crack a TON of black pepper into the mis ALL ALONG THE WAY.

HAVE FUN!!! I LOVE THIS DISH!

4c mixed fresh mushrooms (shitake, maitake, crimini, portobellos, button), thinly sliced

3T extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

1c white wine

1t smoked salt *optional (can use reg pink salt)

1t smoked chipotle powder *optional or 1/2t red pepper flakes

Fresh cracked black pepper- LOTS OF IT

1/4c fresh parsley, minced- reserved for end

1c raw cashews

2T nutritional yeast

1 clove garlic

1T mellow miso paste

1t ume vinegar

1t brown rice vinegar

1-2c water

1-pound gluten free pasta- rigatoni, linguine or farfalle- cooked al dente

tossed in 1T vegan butter or olive oil

In a large, heated, skillet or cast iron pan, over medium heat, add the olive oil, hot pepper and onions and sauté until they onions begin to soften. Add the minced garlic and the sliced mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have a golden crust on the edges. Add the wine and sauté and move the mix quickly around the pan. Season the mushroom mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Remove about 1 cup of the mushrooms and set aside.

In a blender, add the cashews, garlic clove, miso, vinegars and about a ½ cup of water to get the mix blended. Process until smooth and taste- it should be on the saltier side, you will be adding more water to the sauce.

Add about another cup of water to the cream mixture to thin it out. Add the cream to the mushrooms remaining in the skillet and over medium low heat, incorporate the mushrooms into the cream sauce., add water if it seems to thick, if it seems to watery, let some of the water cook out, gently stirring frequently.

Add the cooked pasta into the skillet of cream sauce and cook just until heated through. Finish with a little bit of vegan butter or olive oil and add in the fresh parsley. Serve immediately. FRICKEN UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS.

Peanut Butter Power Smoothie

*Peanut Butter Power Smoothie

Peanut Butter Power Smoothie

1c nut milk

1T coconut oil

2t raw agave or raw local honey

2T peanut butter

1t vanilla

1scoop protein powder

1T chia seeds

1T hemp seeds

pinch Himalayan sea salt

1c ice

Blend all ingredients together except the ice and process until smooth- taste and adjust if needed

Add the ice and blend just until smooth.

 

Raspberry Shallot Vinaigrette

*raspberry shallot vinaigrette

You could definitely omit the fruit or add in another fruit of your choosing but the raspberries give this dressing a beautiful pink color. I ate this over spring greens with raw dehydrated sunflower seeds and cubed gluten free smoked tofu.. #DELICIOUS

Raspberry Shallot Vinaigrette

 1/2c extra virgin olive oil

1/4c red wine vinegar or lemon juice

2T apple cider vinegar

2T Dijon mustard

5 fresh raspberries

1T real maple syrup or raw agave

1 shallot, smashed and minced

salt and pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients into a blender except the olive oil. Blend well. While the motor is running, drizzle in the olive oil. This will cause the dressing to emulsify. Season to taste.

Curried Moong Dal Soup (Yellow Split pea)

*curried moong dal soup

Moong Dal is a traditional Indian pulse, it is a yellow split pea with the hull removed. It has a sweet and nutty flavor to it and makes a perfect addition to any vegan, gluten free diet as a quick cooking source of vegetable protein. This is one of my most favorite of the lentils. The soup cooks relatively fast and has a tremendous amount of flavor.

CURRIED MOONG DAL SOUP

 Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free 

1-1/2c moong dal, (yellow split peas) washed and drained

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2t chipotle powder

1/4t black pepper

1/2t cayenne pepper

1 vegetable bouillon cube (or veggie broth to replace the water)

3T extra virgin olive oil

4c boiling water

1T mild curry powder

2t cumin powder

1t turmeric

1t salt or to taste

1/2c fresh cilantro, minced

Bring 6c of water to a boil in case you need more water

In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and sauté the onions until golden and soft. Add the salt, chipotle powder, black and red pepper and the other spices. Add the split peas, mixing them into the vegetables. Add the boiling water, the bouillon cube (or broth). Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. In the last few minutes of cooking, add in the fresh cilantro.

Serve with fresh cilantro sprinkled on top.

At this point, the soup is delicious as is or can be pureed to make a lovely, smooth, soup.

FOR PUREED SOUP:

In batches, in a blender or vitamix*, puree the split pea soup. Adjust the seasonings before serving.

*Caution: blending hot liquids can be extremely dangerous. Fill the blender only half way and proceed in batches if necessary.

 

 

Basic Brown Rice

*brown rice

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a whole grain. It is naturally gluten free and is a staple in my diet. Unlike white rice, brown rice has all of it’s goodness intact and thus contains a ton of nutrition otherwise lost in the refining process. Brown rice contains the highest amount of B vitamins out of all grains. Additionally, it contains iron, vitamin E, amino acids, and linoleic acid.

Brown rice is high in fiber, extremely low in sodium, and is composed of 80% complex carbohydrates. Because brown rice is a whole food, it takes longer to digest than white rice, providing the body with a sustained energy.

I make at least 4 cups (more if you are cooking for several peeps) of rice so I have plenty of rice for use during the week. Typically the first night I will eat the grains steamed, mixed with olive oil and nutritional yeast in addition to greens, tempeh, tofu beans etc. The following days, I can use any leftovers in soups or in stir-fries or bean loaves, it could also be re-steamed and/or re-heated.

Soaking Brown Rice
I soak my rice a day in advance, usually before I go to bed or 1st thing in the morning (at least 8 hours); I rinse, wash and drain as much rice as I would like to prepare and then cover the washed grains with fresh water and put that on the stove top or counter (covered to keep unwanted pests and dust out) over night, and cook the grains the following day or later that evening. I find the rice to be more flavorful but also more digestible when soaked. It also cooks about 10-12 minutes quicker than un-soaked rice. It is up to you whether you refresh the water or use the soaking liquid to cook the rice in.

Here is some more information about soaking vs. not soaking brown rice from Integrative Nutrition:

Phytic acid is a naturally occurring organic acid in the outer layer or bran. All grains contain phytic acid to some degree, but brown rice contains a relatively high level. When brown rice with untreated phytic acid enters the intestines, the phytic acid mixes with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. The chemical reaction that takes place prohibits those minerals from being absorbed and utilized by the body. Some sources say that eating grains with untreated phytic acid will cause the body to lose bone mass and will eventually lead to overall mineral deficiency. However, soaking brown rice and other grains will eliminate the consequences of phytic acid by producing beneficial enzymes and raising the amount of nutrients present in brown rice. Others believe that un-soaked brown rice is healthier, as it stays in the digestive system longer than soaked grains, thus providing more energy.

The Benefits of Brown Rice

  • ·  Generates energy
  • ·  Promotes good digestion
  • ·  Quenches thirst
  • ·  Alleviates diarrhea caused by spleen-pancreas deficiency
  • ·  Relieves mental depression

 Buying & Storing

Look for quality brown rice that contains a small amount of green grains, I always purchase organic and store it in airtight glass jars in a dark cupboard. My go-to is short grain, however there are several varieties including sweet, long grain, basmati, jasmine etc. that will all vary in taste and tooth feel…I suggest finding your favorite! Short Grain Brown rice is a grain I always have in the house….ALWAYS….

Basic Brown Rice

Makes 3 cups 
Serves approx. 4

1c brown rice

2 cups of water or vegetable broth

1/2t pink salt

*Directions:

Place all ingredients in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat  and let it cook uncovered for 5-7 minutes on a lower heat. I let about 2/3rds of the cooking liquid cook out uncovered and then when the water is barely visible in the pot, I lower the heat to it’s lowest setting and cover it. I find this helps from the sticky rice water from seeping out of the sides and making a mess, it also keep the rice from becoming water logged and soggy.

Cover and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, if you are not experienced with cooking rice, you’ll want to check on it about 10 minutes prior to the anticipated finish time so as not to burn the rice to the bottom (If you do burn it, it is okay, just try it again!)

Turn off the heat heat and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve. One of my favorite ways of eating brown rice is to drizzle it with good extra virgin olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and toss it all together well….DELICIOUSNESS

*May also be prepared in a rice cooker with the same ratio of ingredients.

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

!

Gluten Free Jam Dots

*GLUTEN FREE JAM DOTS

These are INSANE-IN-THE-MEMBRANE. SO FRICKEN delicious…Nutty, rich, crunchy…NOT MISSING or wanting for ANYthing. I used an all fruit jam, apricot and also a mixed berry made by Bionaturae which is fruit juice sweetened. The sugar based jams will have a glossier look to them but choosing your favorite jam will be what produces the best cookie for you!

Gluten Free Jam dots
makes 20 cookies
1c All Purpose Gluten Free flour Mix
1c roasted almonds
1c Gluten Free oats- to be ground
1t cinnamon
1/2t salt
—-
1/2c maple syrup
1/2c safflower oil
1t vanilla

3T jam
preheat oven to 350º
If you are starting with raw almonds, roast them on a cookie sheet @ 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, careful not to let them burn. Cool thoroughly before running through the food processor.
In a small bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients together, the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla.
Put all of the dry ingredients into the food processor individually; the roasted almonds (make sure they are cooled completely), gluten free. Place all dry ingredients; oats, almond meal, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a spatula until everything is well incorporated.
With a one ounce ice cream scoop or two spoons, place batter balls onto a *parchment lined cookie sheets. With a one-cup measuring cup, slightly flatten each cookie-This process is a little easier when the cup is dipped into warm water between each cookie. Using a one-teaspoon measure, press the dome side into each cookie, this is where the jam goes. This process is a little easier when the teaspoon is dipped into warm water between each cookie.
Using a 1/2 teaspoon measure, scoop your choice of jam or fruit preserves into the center of each cookie.
Bake for 12 minutes and then rotate the pans in the oven (to insure even baking) and continue to bake for another 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool on the pans for another 5-6 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.

*At Simple Treats, we use Silpats, non-stick silicone cookie sheet liners which are reusable up to 400 times even at high temperatures. You can find them through mail order or in any kitchen supply store. They are VERY convenient and easy to clean up, plus you don’t have to use any added
oil.

Chocolate Coconut Milk Moose

*gluten free chocolate coconut moose

This seriously takes like the inside of a Milky Way Candy Bar…..FRICKEN delicious.

Chocolate Coconut Moose

13.5 oz coconut milk (1 can)

1/3c water


1c chocolate chips

1T maple syrup

1/4t salt

1 1/2t agar

1t vanilla

Measure out all of the other ingredients and have them ready.

In a saucepan on the stove over a low to medium flame, combine the milk, chocolate chips, maple syrup, agar and salt, stirring frequently. Continue cooking over a low flame until the chocolate chips melt, about 10-15 minutes. The mixture should look like hot chocolate, creamy and full- bodied.

Place the contents of the saucepan into a blender. Caution, hot liquids in a blender can be extremely dangerous. Fill only half way to the top of the blender and proceed in batches if necessary. *
Add the vanilla and taste the mixture. Adjust the seasonings to your tastes. Make sure all of the adjustments happen before you pour it to set.

Pour the mixture out of the blender through a sieve, lined with cheesecloth, or through a very fine mesh strainer, into a large serving bowl. The straining will catch any lumps, clumps and/ or impurities (like uncooked agar).

To make individual servings, pour mixture directly into several, small, serving bowls
Allow this to cool and set for at least 5-6 hours, best overnight.

Serve with a nut crème and fresh berries.

Penne Spinach “Lasagna” Casserole

*gluten free penne spinach lasagna

The premise of this super tasty dish is that is an easier, quicker, version of my traditional lasagna; it is more accessible as a casserole style baked pasta dish. My friends could not believe it was dairy free. Super cheese like, and could easily be made without the faux cheese if that is not your thing, simply omit it. It has the same basic components of a lasagna but the handling of the pasta goes much faster and delivers fantastic results.

Components:

  • 6 cups spinach- quickly sautéed in garlic and olive, salt and pepper OR blanched and pressed
  • fresh tomato saucerecipe below
  • 1 pound of Gluten Free Penne, Rigatoni, or Fusili
  • Tofu Spinach “ricotta” filling- recipe below
  • shredded non- dairy cheese of your choosing; Daiya (meltability factor), Follow Your Heart (taste factor), I use a mix of the two.

Putting it together:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • ladle in about 1 cup of fresh sauce in the bottom of the baking dish
  • place down one layer of pasta
  • spread in the tofu filling
  • layer in sprinkle with the shredded vegan cheese
  • layer in sauce
  • layer in pasta
  • spread in the tofu filling
  • layer in the last of the pasta
  • layer in last layer sauce
  • cover the top layer with shredded vegan cheese
  • Cover with tin foil and bake for 60 minutes.

Fresh 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.

Tofu “Ricotta” Filling

Tofu Ricotta

1/2 Pound tofu- blanched

1 clove garlic, smashed, minced

3T extra virgin olive oil

1 heaping T mellow white miso

1t brown rice vinegar

1t ume vinegar

1 heaping T sesame tahini

6c fresh spinach or 1 1/2c steamed and pressed (all water out) OR sautéed with garlic and 1t olive oil

1/2c vegan mozzarella or favorite vegan cheese (or a blend)

1/2t black pepper

In a bowl, crumble or smash the  tofu with a fork or fingers with all of the other ingredients. Add the vegan cheese and the chopped steamed / pressed spinach. Mix well, taste and adjust seasonings.

Gluten Free Green Falafel

*gluten free falafel

GLUTEN FREE GREEN FALFEL

Unbelievably delicious……this green, gluten free Falafel can be served as an appetizer with hummus,  lemon tahini sauce, and hot sauce or sriracha or eaten as a main course. Stuff a gluten free wrap with falafel, lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, lemon tahini sauce, salt and pepper. As an alternative, falafel can be formed into patties and eaten like a veggie burger. SO FRICKEN YUM.

Makes 6-8 patties, can be frozen.

1-1/2c fresh kale, de-stemmed, torn into small pieces

1-1/2c chickpeas, cooked, rinsed, drained (= 1 can)

1/2 onion, rough chopped

1 spring onions

2T tahini

2t cumin

1t pink salt

2 cloves garlic

1/2c cooked brown rice or quinoa

1/4c all purpose gluten free flour

1 lemon, juiced

Olive or grape seed oil for pan-frying.

Combine all ingredients except the flour in a food processor and process just until all is blended and mixture can be formed. Taste and adjust the seasonings; more salt, more cumin, more lemon juice etc to your liking.

Heat up a large cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat.

Transfer into a mixing bowl and add the flour and mix in until well incorporated.

Add the oil into the hot pan. With a cookie scoop, scoop out the chickpea mixture and place in the pan, not overcrowding. With a spatula, gently flatten the domes. Cook for 5-6 minutes per side or until they are golden brown crusted and then flip. Remove to a plate. Eat cold or hot! Serve with Lemon Tahini sauce. 

*green falafal

Lemon Tahini sauce

 

Juice of 1 lemon

½c tahini

pink salt to taste

black pepper

1/4c water

In a small bowl, add all of the ingredients and whisk until smooth and to the desired consistency. If a thicker sauce is preferred, use less water. Serve over cooked greens, salads, or falafel.