Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Roasted Fennel Cranberry Pear Salad (vegan, gluten-free)

Utterly fantastic...just wait until you chomp down on this combination of flavors! Yum.

Prep the salad:

2 bulbs roasted fennel, diced
2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed, cooked and chilled
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 red pears, unpeeled and diced
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/4 cup stemmed, chopped fresh dill

Toss above ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Now prepare the dressing:

Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
4 Tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground peppercorns

Add dressing to quinoa mixture, lightly stirring to coat. Ready to serve or refrigerate.

Recipe notes: This salad tastes even better on day 2, and keeps for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. A perfect addition to Winter holiday meals.

*gluten-free and soy-free

Roasted Fennel (vegan, gluten-free)

I could just eat roasted fennel as a stand alone side dish, but it's also really delicious in my Fennel Cranberry Pear Quinoa Salad. This roasting formula works for most root and bulb veggies, so experiment and use creatively.

2 bulbs organic fennel, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste

Toss fennel in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to coat. Roast at 400° F for about 40 minutes or until mostly tender (fennel remains slightly firm when roasted).

*gluten-free, soy-free

Friday, November 8, 2013

Lobia (Black-eye Pea) Masala (vegan, gluten-free)

There are a couple of vegetables that I will usually not eat...unless prepared in an Indian recipe! Green beans is one. Black-eyed peas is another. This recipe for lobia or black-eyed peas brings a whole new perspective to this strong flavored bean. Prepare to have your taste buds dancing with delight!

You will need a food processor for this dish.


coconut oil (optional)
3 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (NOT powder, available at Indian grocers, labeled methi)
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 pint cherry tomatoes (or 2 medium tomatoes)
2 cans black-eyed peas (lobia) WITH liquids
1 tsp Garam Masala (spice mixture, available at Indian groceries or make your own)
1 tsp sea salt or to taste

Heat up to 1 Tbsp coconut oil over medium heat in a medium stock pot. In a food processor, pulse garlic and ginger until diced small. Add onion to the food processor and pulse until diced medium-small...careful not to puree the onion. Add the onion, ginger and garlic mixture to the heated coconut oil in your stockpot, and saute for 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent. 

While the onion mixture is cooking, process the tomatoes in the food processor, pulsing until they reach a medium dice, careful not to puree them. Set aside.

Add the turmeric, fenugreek leaves, and red pepper flakes to the onion mixture and stir in, saute for another 1-2 minutes.  

Add the processed tomatoes to the onion mixture, stir in and simmer another 3-4 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to release the oil (they will look shiny).

Add the black-eyed peas along with their liquid, and stir well. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce the heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Remove the heat, stir in the garam masala and salt to taste.

Serve with freshly cooked Indian long-grain rice (ask your local Indian grocer, the rice makes ALL the difference).

*gluten-free and soy-free.