Marisa’s Babies Blessing Party

Candle 79 is one of the best restaurants ever as far as I am concerned! It’s on the UES so a bit of a hike for us, but makes the ultimate date night spot. Romantic, Cozy and deelish!! Check out my review from 2009.

But I went there for a very different reason recently. I had my fabulous Babies Blessing Brunch Party there. SO much fun, a bunch of beautiful girlfriends and the best food to celebrate the almost arrival of our little kiddos 🙂 Benay, the manager, was amazing in helping me set up this event and everything went super smooth. The food of course was deelish!

My mom made fabulous favors: Super cute planters all prepped with organic soil and seeds and a super cute flower on top 🙂 So perfect!!

Thanks ladies! Such a great day to celebrate!!!

We had a great menu!

APPETIZERS


Guacamole Timbale
chipotle black beans, caramelized onions, cucumber-jicama salsa, tortilla chips, ranchero sauce

Steamed Dumplings
seitan, shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choy, sesame-soy-ginger sauce
Angel’s Nachos

corn chips, mozzarella, tomatoes, refried pinto beans, chili-grilled seitan, guacamole, salsa, tofu sour cream, romaine lettuce

ENTRÉE


Stuffed Avocado Salad
baby greens, quinoa, zucchini, cucumber, radishes, black beans, toasted pumpkin seeds, grape tomatoes, chipotle-avocado dressing

Black Bean-Pumpkin Seed Burger
mixed lettuces, avocado, polenta fries, chipotle ketchup


Home-Style Pancakes
seasonal fruit, cranberry butter, gingered maple syrup

Wild Mushroom-Squash Risotto
cashew cream, pumpkin seeds, fresh herbs, frizzled leeks

Seitan Picatta
creamed spinach, grilled potato cake, oyster mushrooms, lemon-caper sauce

Check out my version of this famous dish 🙂

and then Dessert 🙂

Live Sweet Potato Parfait
nut granola, huckleberry ice cream


Cannoli
vanilla cream filling, coconut-chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate sauce


Apple Cranberry Pie
toasted oat crumble, french vanilla ice cream, berry
coulis, candied almonds

There were lots of fabulous beverages going around. I was super happy to have ordered the Coconut-Mint Frappe avocado, coconut water, agave, mint, lime. AMAZING!! I have been craving this drink ever since!

One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf

I love one pot meals! SO easy! This one uses quinoa and kale; two of our favorite foods ever makes this one even more perfect! YUM!

One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf
adapted from Food52
Serves 2-4

2 cups salted water
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch (any type) kale, washed and chopped into 1″ lengths
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon toasted walnut, grapeseed or olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, scallions, oil, and pine nuts.
  3. Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed — the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the pilaf, and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. As the hot quinoa hits the scallions and lemon it should smell lovely. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper, and the remaining lemon juice if needed.

Banzai Burger – Vegan Burger

After the day in Montauk we stopped by Banzai Burger on Montauk Highway in Amagansett. I am not typically up for a burger joint but I heard this new place even had a burger called the Vegan Burger. I always love and appreicate not only when things are vegan but when it is brought to your attention in the name.

We had the Vegetarian Roll and the Vegan Burger. The burger was made with Quinoa, Bulgur Wheat, and Pinto Beans on 7-Grain Bun with Vegan Mayo and Salad. I don’t think they gave me a 7-grain bun but overall it was a pretty good burger and love the ingredients!

Carmelized Onions and Pesto Quinoa Pasta

We had such a super lovely week of vacation! We spent most of the week out in Sag Harbor relaxing, cooking, practicing yoga with the amazing Colleen Saidman at Yoga Shanti, hanging out with my wonderful sister & brother in law and their adorable twin girls and just generally taking it super easy. (I’ll post some of our other super quick vacation recipes soon!)

We then headed out to Northport to stay with our friend Lisa Dawn. She has a beautiful studio there, Project Yoga, that I was honored to be teaching at this weekend. Such a sweet and blessed space. We spent the rest of the time there at the beach and of course cooking a little more 🙂

As many of you know, I love onions! We bought the most beautiful onions at the Farmers Market in Northport and I wanted to use them right away. Lisa had this amazing Vegan Pesto from Delpozzo at the farmers market so it was just a perfect quick and easy beach meal to throw both these together with quinoa pasta. Easy Peasy!

The pesto was Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic, Pinenuts, Tofu, Salt and Pepper. Super easy! I have never tried tofu in the my pesto and this was out of control amazing! I usually make my pestos with olive oil, pinenuts (or sometimes other nuts), salt and pepper -occasionally I will add some nutritional yeast. I always like to try new things of course, so I am excited to experiment with this one soon myself.

Caramelized onions are one of my favorite things ever. They come out so sweet and deelish!! All you have to do is cook them down and the sugar in the onions make them super sweet. Yum!

Carmelized Onions and Pesto Quinoa Pasta

 

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-6 onions (depending on how much you love onions and if you want some for leftovers)
  • 4 ounces of quinoa pasta
  • 2-3 ounces vegan pesto
serves 2

To caramelize the onions, just peel and chop the onions. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onions, stirring. Continue to let the onions cook for a while, stirring occasionally to make sure the onions don’t burn. You can either cover the onions with a lid and let their liquid cook themselves down or for a browner more caramelized version, keep the lid off and the liquid begins to evaporate as the onions begin to brown, just make sure you are stirring frequently to prevent them from burning. You can cook both versions for about 10-20 minutes till you reach your desired color and texture.

After you get the onions in the pan, boil the pasta water. Add the pasta and cook according to instructions.

Then simply combine the onions, pesto and pasta with a bit of salt and pepper and Enjoy 🙂

I kept the cover on for the onions, so they are not as brown, but they are soft and super sweet!

I LOVE it when it says Vegan on it!! So Special!!!

Vegan Passover 2011

This Passover was extra special with an addition of some new recipes! YUM!!!

We always eat a lot of quinoa, salads and veggies. And of course I also get to have the treat of Matzah & Earth Balance. So simple, yet amazing of course!

Last year we tried these vegan matzah balls but they disintegrated when left in the broth. This year my friend Lisa Dawn has been experimenting for a few weeks for the perfect Passover recipes. Thanks to Lisa Dawn and to Nava Atlas for these new amazing Matzah Balls and Matzah Brei recipes!! And thanks to my Mom and Mother-in-Law for making these amazing matzah balls for us. And Michael and I loved the Brei! YUM!!!

Also check out these recipes as well 🙂

photo from http://lisaprojectvegan.blogspot.com since we didn't photo them from my Mom and Mother-in-Law

Matzah Balls
Makes: About 24

The main difference with these matzah balls are you don’t boil them, you bake them so they stay intact!  The quinoa flakes bind them together and adds protein, how fabulous! These were amazing!!! And now I see what Lisa Dawn was saying how quinoa flakes are her new best friend!

1 cup quinoa flakes
2 cups boiling water
One box (2 packets) Streit’s or Maneschewitz Matzo Ball Mix
1/4 cup light vegetable oil (like safflower)

In a large mixing bowl, cover the quinoa flakes with the water. Let stand for 2 or 3 minutes.  Stir in both packets of matzah meal mix along with the oil, and mix until well blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.  Just before baking, preheat the oven to 275º F.  Roll the matzah meal mixture into approximately 1-inch balls; don’t pack them too firmly. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, carefully turning the matzah balls after 10 minutes, until firm to the touch; don’t let them brown.  If making ahead of time, let the matzah balls cool completely, then cover until needed. Warm them briefly in a medium oven and distribute them among the soup bowls, allowing 3 or 4 matzah balls per serving.

Vegan Matzah Brei
Makes 4 servings
Adapted from Nava Atlas and Lisa Dawn

I have only seen recipes for vegan mazah brei with tofu and was sooo happy when Lisa Dawn posted this recipe from Nava Atlas. More of our new best friend Quinoa Flakes! This was so good and I added the sugar so it tasted just like my mom’s growing up! YUM!

6 sheets of matzah, crumbled
1 cup quinoa flakes
4 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Sugar

Boil the water.  In a bowl, mix the crumbled matzah and the quinoa flakes.  Pour the hot water over it and let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes.  It is ready when the water is absorbed.  In a skillet, melt Earth Balance and pour the mixture in.  Sort of flatten it down a little and sprinkle with salt and sugar.  When it has been going for a few minutes, scramble it a little to give all sides a chance to crisp up. Just scramble for a few more minutes and then serve and Enjoy!

Double Broccoli Quinoa

OMG! We loved this! Broccoli Pesto – Genius!! I always love quinoa but this was a really exciting and super deelish way to have it. Such a creamy and well seasoned dish! I know we will have this again soon.

Let me know if you get to try this and what you think! ENJOY!!

Double Broccoli Quinoa
Recipe adapted from 101cookbooks

3 cups cooked quinoa
5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
3 medium garlic cloves
2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup cheddar vegan cheese (preferably daiya)
2 big pinches salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil

  1. Heat the quinoa and set aside.
  2. Now barely cook the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup water into a large pot and bringing it to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for a minute, just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking. Set aside.
  3. To make the broccoli pesto puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, 1/2 cup of the almonds, vegan cheese, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until smooth.
  4. Just before serving, toss the quinoa and remaining broccoli florets with the broccoli pesto. Taste and adjust if needed, you might want a bit more salt or an added squeeze of lemon juice. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with the remaining almonds.

Serves 4 – 6.

Pesto in the Vita-Mix

Butternut squash, Apricots and Apples with Quinoa

This is a great meal or side dish. The apricot and apples add such a nice sweetness and the spices were amazing! I left mine in the slow-cooker on warm for 2 hours after it was done cooking, it was still really good, but I would recommend not over-cooking this dish. I have said many time before how much I love slow-cooking. It is a tremendous time-saver and such a pleasure to come home to a house smelling so delicious and a meal ready to eat. YUM!

Butternut squash, Apricots and Apples with Quinoa

1 tbsp. cumin powder
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. ginger, minced
2 tsp. orange zest
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed black pepper
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 medium, peeled butternut squash
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 1/2 cups quinoa

  1. In a skillet or heatproof slow-cooker liner, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, zest, cinnamon stick, turmeric, salt and pepper, stirring for 1 minute. Add veggie broth and orange juice and bring to a boil. If using a skillet transfer to a slow cooker stoneware.
  2. Add squash, apples, and apricots to stoneware and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours, until vegetables are tender.
  3. In a pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add quinoa stirring to prevent lumps and return to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes until tender and liquid is absorbed. Add to slow cooker and stir well. Serve immediately.

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