Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe:
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup kale leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- salt & pepper to taste
What are you eating in this heat?
Here is my simple summer dinner - boiled corn, sauted broccoli rabe, cold soba noodles (100% gluten free buckwheat noodles) and no-cook tofu avocado salad.
The beauty of this dinner is I used the same dressing for the soba noodles and tofu salad. I sprinkled sesame seeds and furikake after I tossed in the dressing. Super coolicious!
Here is the recipe for the dressing:
I always have 1 or 2 protein dishes and whole grains in the fridge so weeknight cooking means only making veggies, which takes from 5-15 minutes!
Here is a really easy way to use up your cooked rice. I would add in defrosted shelled edamame, grated carrots, leftover grilled veggies or any boxed baby arugula or spinach I have on hand. I put together a simple vinaigrette - 2 parts sesame oil, 2 parts vinegar (red wine or rice vinegar), 1 part maple syrup with a sprinkle of salt. Mix it all up, throw in some pistachios or chopped cashews and serve!
I cooked a big pot of green lentils, made a delicious salad out of it but was kind of bored eating it as a salad again the next day. So I thought soup and found a perfect clean-out-your-fridge type recipe from Kitchn! I simplified the recipe and improvised based on the veggie scraps I had in the fridge at the time. You really can't go wrong with it!
If you do not have cooked lentils, simply use more stock and cook the dried green lentils for an extra 15-20 minutes, until they are cooked through but not falling apart. Learn how to make a big pot of green lentils here.
I have been cooking dried black beans from scratch in my Instant Pot for about a year and might have perfected this recipe!
My default meal is stir fries. Not only can I finish all the wilting leftover veggies in the fridge, it is also the easiest way to eat the biggest variety of veggies in one sitting, what elementary school children are taught to do - eat a rainbow a day!
Because almost everything goes when it comes to stir fries, I will not give you an exact recipe, but a formula of success:
Protein (meat or plant-based) + crunchy veggies + mushrooms + greens + basic seasonings
In this stir fry, tofu is my protein of choice. When you empty a tofu cube from the box, make sure you dry it off. I like to brown my tofu in a non-stick or cast iron pan on all sides for a few minutes.
Then I throw in a few drops of tamari, toss to coat the tofu cubes and set them aside.
My crunchy veggies are red bell peppers, sugar snap peas and carrots. The mushrooms I am using are shitake and buna-shimeji, which is also called the beech mushroom and the brown clam shell mushroom.
The greens I am using are a few leftover broccoli rabe stems and baby spinach straight out of the bag.
My go to seasonings are tamari, garlic, ginger, salt, garlic flakes, mushroom powder. Sometimes I use all of them, sometimes just a few.
To make the stir fry, warm olive oil in a pan, add ginger and garlic mix.
Toss in crunchy veggies mix.
Add mushroom mix. Add salt, mushroom powder.
Throw in greens. Sprinkle a little more garlic flakes or seasoning of choice.
Toss in browned tofu.
Season with tamari to taste. Sometimes I drizzle a few drops of maple syrup to give it a touch of sweetness.
All ready to go! The simplest dish you can throw together with any random ingredients on a whim!
What is your stir fry formula? What works for you?
Spring has finally arrived! Seeing the tiny green buds once again bursting out of the many trees in my neighborhood, I am reminded that the greens-eating season has officially begun.
What comes to your mind when I mention eating greens? Green salads? Green juices? Or maybe green smoothies?
Let me share one green secret with you - green soups. I survived the cold winter months by making variations of green soups to supplement my greens intake when eating a green salad just seemed too cold and unappealing. Green soups are like the savory versions of green smoothies - you can pack almost any green veggies in them. All you need is a blender or food processor to puree the ingredients into a smooth paste. Believe it or not, you don't even have to add dairy or potatoes to achieve the desired creamy texture.
It is such an awesome way to add greens to my diet that I will for sure keep drinking them as cold gazpacho soups way into the hot summer months!
Broccoli Fennel Soup (based on Susan Blum's recipe)
Zucchini Pea Soup with Dill (based on Amy Chaplin's recipe)
To make this classic spicy tofu dish you can find all the ingredients in any grocery stores except 2 - Chinese fermented black beans and hoisin sauce.
First let's talk about the dried fermented black beans. They are a staple in a Chinese kitchen. I remember growing up my mom would steam fish or clams, cook green beans, make chicken rice or practically anything with them. The salty, umami flavor they lend to any dish makes them one of the most versatile ingredients in Chinese cooking. Good news is you can get them from any Chinese grocery stores or even order them from Amazon.
To make a black bean sauce, I usually put about a tablespoon of fermented black beans in a mortor, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of hot water and use a pestle to crush the mixture into a lumpy paste.
Now let's talk about hoisin sauce. You can pick up store bought hoisin sauce but I have yet to find a clean product that doesn't contain refined sugars and artificial ingredients. Good news is you can make your own. It really is simple and delicious! Once you've made a batch, you can throw it in stir fries or use it as a marinade or dipping sauce for anything. Check out my recipe here.
Now you're ready to make this delicious dish! A lot of the sauces and spices can be adjusted to your taste, so don't freak out over the exact amount!