Spanakopita – Spinach Pie

My kids are Obsessed with Spanakopita so naturally I had to make some at home. It was hard to save them some ;) but we did manage it. I have made this since without the puff pastry because the filling is just so good on its own. Also love my veganized version with tofu, no one would even notice, it is just so good!

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Spanakopita – Spinach Pie

2 – 10 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
1 pound extra firm tofu, crumbled
1 teaspoon dill
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup walnuts, ground​
​2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, taste
1/4 cup olive oil
dashes of nutmeg, thyme, marjoram, basil and oregano
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, quartered and chopped (cleaned super well!)
4 scallions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed (or phyllo dough)

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Saute the onion with a little salt in olive oil until translucent. Add in the leeks, garlic and scallions, season with salt, and continue to saute until translucent.
  3. Combine the spinach, tofu, dill, lemon juice, walnuts, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, olive oil & spices together and mix well.
  4. Combine onion mixture with the spinach/tofu mixture.
  5. Line a baking sheet with ether parchment paper or aluminum foil. Unfold puff pastry and place on baking sheet. Spread the spinach mixture over the pastry, leaving a border of one inch all around the edges. Keep the spinach flat; do not pile high. Cover with the second sheet of pastry that has been slightly flattened to one inch bigger than the first sheet. (This ensures all the spinach will be covered). Press edges together with fingertips, making sure mixture is sealed well. Brush just the top with non-dairy milk, Cut a few slits in the top with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.
  6. Bake 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

You have options for the extra filling. You can use it like a dip, eat it with a spoon or take another sheet of puff pastry and made deelish spinach pinwheels!

For the pinwheels: Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Top with the spinach mixture. Starting at a short side, roll up like a jelly roll. Cut into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices onto 2 baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.

Rosemary White Bean Dip

I have made this dish now a few times and every time I prepared it a bit differently and every time it came out deelish!! Super easy, super yummy, healthy and everyone will love it!

I am really into cooking dried beans lately instead of using canned ones. I found this insanely easy technique of just soaking them and cooking them on low for 4+ hours in a crock pot! Done, easy peasy!! Beautiful! You will never have to use canned beans again unless you are in a pinch!!

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3 variations:

  1. red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  2. roasted garlic blended in & saved some full roasted cloves for garnish
  3. fresh garlic blended
Rosemary White Bean Dip
adapted from MarthaStewart.com
  • baguette or crackers
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed & drained OR 1/2 lb dried beans, soaked & cooked
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • (optional) fresh or roasted garlic

If using baguette, slice 1/2 inch thick, brush with olive oil, and cook in a 350-degree oven until lightly toasted.

In a food processor, combine cannellini beans, olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice and garlic (optional). Process until smooth, adding water if necessary. Add 2 teaspoons rosemary and pulse until combined. Season with salt & pepper and Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with a little oil.

CSA Love – Garlic Scape Pesto

We are LOVING our first summer being part of a CSA. A super awesome surprise box of beyond fresh veggies every week :) What a great present to have! Before joining the CSA I had never had a garlic scape before. Garlic scapes are the beautiful bright green stems and unopened flower buds of garlic. I heard that if you place them in water, their flowers are beautiful!! (but then your house will also smell of garlic!). They have a mild-strong garlic flavor, depending, and can be used a variety of ways, often times just in place of garlic itself. You can find them early summer at farmer’s markets and they are quite the gem!

I decided to try making a pesto with them. I ended up adding a bunch of baby spinach to tame down the powerful garlic flavor, but in the end it was DEELISH! We used it to make pesto pasta, sautéed greens (from the CSA), as a condiment in wraps and even the babies Loved it as a dip with baby carrots. Image

Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 10 garlic scapes
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup pignoli nuts + some for garnish
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmigian (optional)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Puree everything together, scraping down the sides to incorporate everything.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with pignoli nuts. Simple and delicious.

For Pasta – Just boil 1 lb of pasta and combine with Pesto.

For Sauteed Chicory – Boil Chicory for about 5 minutes to remove some of the bitterness and then saute with pesto. Amazing!! A CSA Fave!!!

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For Baby Beet Greens – Chop up, saute the stems first till they soften a bit and then add the greens and mix with pesto. (enjoy the beets with this or on their own)

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Raw Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Spinach Sauce

It’s been a while since I made zucchini noodles. They are so easy and so nutritious and such a light and quick meal. You need the spiralizer, but it is such a fun and inexpensive addition to your kitchen, so an easy investment. I have always loved these noodles because they are raw, vegan, deelish and healthy, but my sister loves them because they are gluten-free and still has that fun pasta meal feel to them. So awesome for everyone!

I love love love the Pinenut Parmesan. I have used it with so many different dishes as it is so versatile and deelish!

Check out these other Zucchini Noodle dish ideas :)

Amazing Raw “Peanut” Sauce and Zucchini Noodles, Raw Zucchini Noodles and ‘Peanut’ Sauce II, Raw Sweet & Spicy Sesame Noodles, Lemon Basil Pesto & Raw Zucchini Pasta, Raw Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Sun-dried Tomatoes and Zucchini Noodles with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto.

Raw Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Spinach Sauce

Pasta
2-4 zucchinis, spiralized

Creamy Spinach Sauce
4 cups spinach
1 small garlic clove
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup water
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp thyme

Blend in high speed blender until very smooth.

Pinenut Parmesan from Raw Crisp Caesar Salad Recipe

1/2 cup pinenuts
1/2 cup whole cashews or macadamia nuts
2 teaspoon good oil or fresh water
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
pinch dried garlic granules or powder
pinch Celtic or sea salt

First process macadamias and cashews until ground. Then add the pine nuts and process briefly. Follow with the rest of the ingredients and process until well mixed.

Toss the noodles with the sauce and sprinkle with Pine Nut Parmesan. Serve & Enjoy.

Pecan Miso Soba

This makes a big bowl of noodles, so you could always half the recipe if you don’t want so much. But this is such a deelish recipe it might be good to have leftovers or just more people to feed! Such a simple sauce to whip up but with such a complex flavor. I am sure this sauce would be amazing sauteed up with some veggies or just drizzled over steamed veggies. Yum!

Pecan Miso Soba Recipe
Serves 4-6

12 ounces soba noodles
1 small bunch of asparagus, sliced thinly, 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 medium clove garlic, peeled
6 tablespoons mellow white miso paste
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 teaspoon agave
2 big pinches salt (or to taste)

  1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook the soba as directed.
  2. 30 seconds before the pasta is done, add the asparagus to the pot and then drain the noodles and asparagus together.
  3. Toss with about 1/2-whole recipe of the sauce – adding more to taste. I ended up using most of the dressing.

Pecan Miso Sauce

  1. Puree the pecans, olive oil, garlic, miso paste, vinegar, and agave together until smooth. Adding salt to taste.

Quick Mushroom & Kale over Brown Rice

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Quick, the kids are sleeping! This dinner was a perfect combination of healthy, delicious and fast! Leftover brown rice and a quick mushroom and kale stir-fry in the wok. Yum! The avocado was amazing on the side. First off, doesn’t avocado make everything taste better? and then with the sriracha in the kale the avocado was a nice cooling element.

Quick Mushroom & Kale over Brown Rice

  • 8 ounces mushrooms any type, sliced (I used cremini mushrooms)
  • bunch of kale, destemmed and chopped
  • cooked brown rice
  • olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons
  • mirin, 1/4 cup
  • rice vinegar, 1/8 cup
  • white cooking wine, 1/4 cup
  • sriracha, a few dashes depending on how spicy you like it
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • salt, to taste

In a wok or large frying pan heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the kale, mirin and white wine. Using tongs toss to coat and keep cooking kale to cook it down (3-5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook another 3 minutes till they become soft. Add sriracha and salt to taste. Plate over brown rice and slice avocado on the side.

Enjoy and if possible sit down and relax by the fire your amazing husband built while you cooked dinner :) Image

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Thanksgiving Post: Mom’s Stuffing – Vegan

HUGE bowl of stuffing with glimpses of tofurkey, brussel sprouts and apples & squash. Happy Thanksgiving!!

This Thanksgiving was a really great one! It has been quite the amazing year!

I am so thankful for my life and what this last year has brought. Although I have taught just a few yoga classes, cooked just a few meals and had literally just brief moments alone with myself (things that I always valued and still do) I am brimming with happiness and joy! There are not words to express how much I love these two angels, being their mama, how much I love my husband and how much I love being present to him being the world’s greatest and most loving father!
SO much has gone on this year with birthing and loving twins as well as buying and renovating a house all while the 4 of us live in a small 1 bedroom apartment and still this has been the best year ever. It has come with its frustrations and tensions but at the same time has brought such an overwhelming love between us and our children as well. I feel so blessed to have the amazing experience of raising and being raised by my children. Each and every moment has been amazing, even when I don’t have any free seconds, (Like right now as I type this I am still the “mama jungle gym” with the babies climbing all over me!)

This Thanksgiving we all gathered at my Sister-in-Laws apartment. Lots of great food and great family fun! (imagine her 4 year old twin girls running around everywhere and my twins crawling in every direction!)

I made enough brussel sprouts and stuffing as if there were 3x as many people but believe me, the leftovers did not disappoint us :) I made my go-to brussel sprouts recipe, with 3 pounds of brussels.

Last year during my pregnancy when I was finally feeling well enough to cook again the first thing I made was Butternut Squash Cornbread Stuffing. So it only felt right to make stuffing again after another long departure from the kitchen! This year though I asked my mom for her amazing recipe and we were very happy with the results :) (you can always halve or third the recipe if you don’t feel like you need enough stuffing for an army!)

The best thing (besides the stuffing of course!) is that this mixture can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use. It can also be used at a vegan/vegetarian side dish, a condiment or a bread spread. We have used it for spreads on sandwiches, a relish for vegan hot dogs, an easy tofu scramble recipe and in a pasta sauce so far this last week alone!

Also a great thanksgiving leftover idea (Inspired by the Thanksgiving sandwich as Terri’s): take a wrap, spread cranberry sauce all over, and add tofurkey and stuffing. ENJOY!! We loved these!

Whole Lotta Stuffing!

Mom’s Stuffing – Vegan

  • 1/2 cup oil (your choice)(I used olive)
  • 3-4 lbs of chopped onions
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3-4 peppers, chopped (assorted colors, if possible)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Basic recipe for 3 boxes or bags of bread stuffing (I used some corn and some multi-grain) (I used about 1.5 cups of margarine & a 32 ounce box of veggie broth. My mom says to use slightly less broth and butter than specified on the package to compensate for liquid in vegetable mixture.)
  1. Saute onions until soft – about 15 minutes.
  2. Add celery and garlic and continue to cook another 15 minutes.
  3. Drain mixture into a large colander or strainer, reserving liquid.  Pour liquid back into pot, add peppers and saute for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add onion mixture back into pot and cook for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Day of serving stuffing, prepare according to box/package with broth and margarine. (see my notes above) Add onion mixture and bake in a casserole dish (or several) according to the package. (Mine was 350 degrees for 30 minutes)

the onion mixture! fyi: my mom makes hers finer which is better for using it as a spread

Stuffing: Pre-baking

Baked Chickpeas

These make for an amazing snack on their own or a fabulous addition to salads or on top of soups. You could always adjust the seasonings and make different mixtures.

Baked Chickpeas

1 can of chickpeas
Olive oil
Cumin powder
Paprika
Fennel seeds
White sesame seeds
Sea salt

  1. Preheat 400′F oven
  2. Rinse and drain chickpeas in a colander.
  3. In a mixing bowl toss with olive oil, cumin powder, paprika, fennel seeds, sesame seeds and sea salt to taste.
  4. Spread on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp, stir them at 20 minutes.

Gingered Butternut Squash Soup (slow cooker)

This was a yummy warming soup that was great for this chillier weather we are having. I was hoping this would come out with a stronger “thai” or spiced flavor but I could not really taste the lemongrass, so if you rather leave it out, it would be fine. The candied ginger and the pepitas added some really good flavor and texture. Plus I love slow-cooker meals! (although I am sure you could make this in a soup pot on the stove) Start it in the morning and when you get home you have a fabulous dinner ready to go! Perfect! Enjoy this creamy squash soup :)

Check out these other slow cooker meals I made: Slow-cooked Open Enchiladas, Mixed Veggies with Peanut Sauce, Butternut squash, Apricots and Apples with Quinoa, Slow Cooked Corn Polenta and Chiles and Crock-Pot Oatmeal.

Before adding the squash and broth

Gingered Butternut Squash Soup (slow cooker)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 tablespoon, minced ginger root
1 teaspoon, fresh cracked pepper
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, smashed and cut in half crosswise
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
8 cups butternut squash, cubed
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups coconut milk
3 teaspoons red curry paste
1 lime, juiced and zested
1/2 cup pepitas, toasted
1/2 cup of candied ginger, chopped

  1. In a skillet or a meal slow-cooker liner, heat oil over medium heat and add onions, cook for 3 minutes till softened. Add ginger, pepper, lemongrass and toasted cumin, stirring for 1 minute. Either place liner in slow-cooker or transfer skillet  contents to stoneware. Add butternut squash and veggie stock.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours until squash is tender.
  3. Mix 1 tablespoon of coconut milk with the curry paste and blend well.
  4. Add to slow cooker along with the rest of the coconut milk and lime juice and heat till cooked through, about 20 minutes. Discard the lemongrass.
  5. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
  6. Serve with toasted pepitas and candied ginger.

Kitchari from Kurma Dasa – Challenge Recipe #4

When putting together my Kitchari Challenge, I asked some friends for their favorites. This one is the favorite of my friend Jynne and from Kurma Dasa. Click for the original recipe.

I really liked the addition and punch of flavor with the veggies added. Great choice Jynne!


Kitchari adapted from Kurma Dasa

1 cup yellow split peas or mung beans
12 cups water
2 bay leaves
finely chopped ginger
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
4 teaspoons coriander powder
2 cups long grain rice
a heap (about 3 cups) of vegetables, cut into cubes (I used edamame, colorful carrots and fresh corn)
2-3 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon asafetida powder

1. Bring split peas, water, bay leaves, ginger, pepper, turmeric and coriander to boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook partially covered for about 15 minutes

2. Add rice, vegetables, and salt, increase heat and stir as you bring to the boil, then return to a simmer, covered. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until rice is soft.

3. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry until a few shades darker, then add asafetida powder, then stir through the big pot-o-stuff and cook for another 5 minutes.

4.  Serve and Enjoy!

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