“Raw Chick” Curry Stuffed Peppers

Eating more of a plant based diet can be one of the most cleansing things you can do for you body, mind and spirit. I like to give my body a break from refined sugars, lean meats and the occasional glass of wine. I love incorporating raw foods and vegan dishes into my daily meal prep, because eating more whole foods gives me more energy and mental clarity. Hey, not mention I usually drop about 5-7 pounds. However, a raw diet or a vegan diet is not for everyone, especially long term, unless you have talked to a vegan wellness expert, professional nutritionist and/or your healthcare practitioner. My personal and professional opinion on the matter is, I never met anyone that didn’t benefit from eating more fruits, veggies and drinking clean water.

Now, this is a recipe I make often for my vegan clients and one I enjoy when I am cleansing my system. The key to raw cuisine is understanding how you can convert different raw food ingredients, into cooked food recipes you are familiar with. For instance, in raw cuisine, nuts can become a meat substitute, because of their texture and they are high in protein and good omega fatty acids. They can also become a flour base for “raw food” crust, cookies and cakes. The possibilities are endless. But just for now, let’s stick with making this recipe, by using nuts as a meat substitute. The recipe can be extremely versatile based on your flavor profiles. You can season the nuts with old bay and have more of cajun flavor or season them with Italian herbs and give them more of Italian flare. Use your imagination and see what you can discover. I like to serve this on a bed on greens, with a side salad and maybe a yummy carrot and pineapple juice. However you decide to serve it remember to alway Set the Table with Love. Enjoy.

“Raw Chick” Curry Stuffed Peppers

Raw Chick Pate’

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds, dry

1 cup cashews, dry

1 cup sunflower seeds, dry

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tsps turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup water

3 mini sweet peppers, cut in halves (I used red, yellow and orange)

1 red bell pepper, diced for garnish

chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Raw Chick Curry Stuffed Peppers
  1. Put nuts, seeds, and all the spices into a food processor and process

into a powder. Add water and process until the mixture is well

incorporated. You are looking for more of a chunky consistency than it

being totally smooth.

2. Cut the peppers into halves and stuff the Raw Chick Pate’ into each

pepper. Garnish with peppers, cilantro and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Makes 6 mini peppers

Excerpt From: Lisa Washington. “Set the Table with Love Farm to Table Cuisine.” Apple Books.

Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

What do you do with a large sweet potato and a bag of French lentils and you are just craving home and comfort? Shepherd’s pie and a Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie.

So let’s get a bit familiar with this pie:

Shepherd’s pie, common and inexpensive British dish originating from the sheep country in Scotland and northern England. It is a baked meat pie made with minced or diced lamb and topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes. Although the dish is sometimes called cottage pie, that name is usually given to a version featuring beef. It is thought that peasant housewives invented the pies as a way of repackaging leftovers from the Sunday roast. Source :https://www.britannica.com/topic/shepherds-pie .

Shepherd’s pie in my household was actually one of my favorite dishes. My mom would make it in the fall and winter months. My favorite part was was the mashes potatoes and sweet peas and carrots. I wasn’t a big meat eater growing up, but you ate whatever mom put on the table. I remember times being hard for us growing up, but my mother made sure we had a hot meal, clean clothes on our backs and lots of laughs. She was a very funny woman. Shepherd’s pie was special , it was comforting and a time to cuddle up with my family and enjoy a warm hearty meal together. My mother used ground beef, carrot, sweet peas, celery, onions and garlic as the base with lots of thyme. It was so yummy. I believe I have made this recipe only once in my life. Why? Why would I make a childhood favorite only once, because some dishes your mom just makes better, she adds that special mom LOVE ingredient.

This is what brought this recipe to life. Mother’s Day is coming up and I am missing my mom. She has been gone for 16 years now and I this time of the year I miss her so much and I just wanted to feel home. I do not eat meat like that anymore, no I am not a vegan or a vegetarian, but my body craves plants more so I listen. Honoring myself and what my heart was desiring birth this lovely and delicious version of Shepherd’s pie. I hope you enjoy it and it brings your soul comfort and a smile.

Oh yes, don’t forget to Set the Table with Love. Thanks Mom for always teaching me how.

Sweet Potatoes

SWEET POTATOES

  • 1  large organic sweet potato (thoroughly washed, peeled and roughly chopped into big chunks)
  • Organic vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp or more of maple syrup, depending on how sweet the potatoes are.
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
The Filings

FILLING

  • 1  cup French lentils, cooked (follow instructions on package)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Instructions

  1. Place sweet potato in a large pot and fill with water until they’re just covered. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce to medium-high heat and cook for 15-20 minutes or until you stick a fork in it and it breaks apart.
  2. Once cooked, drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Use a masher or fork to mash until smooth. Add coconut oil, all the spices and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
  3. Next heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil, onions, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned and caramelized – about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaf and the thyme, and red pepper flakes and stir. Bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (20-30 minutes).
  5. In the last 15 minutes of cooking the lentils, add the carrots, and celery. Cook until the carrots and celery are a bit tender, but not mushy. Add in the frozen corn and sweet peas, stir, and cover and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Drain the lentils. Taste and adjust flavor to your preference.
  6. Transfer the lentil mixture into oven-safe baking dish and top with the mashed sweet potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon.
  7. Set on a baking sheet to catch any juices come from the pie and bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned on top and the edges are bubbling.
  8. Let cool at bit before serving.

Notes

Easter Side Dish ~ Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Easter is in a week and everyone is getting their menus ready. The typical Easter dishes usually includes, of course a Baked Ham with Brown Sugar , Classic Deviled Eggs, Macaroni and Cheese and perhaps Scallop Potatoes. Just listing all of that makes me hungry. I love these dishes and I will definitely be making my Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese, but I do enjoy a few lighter side dishes. One of my favorites and it’s super easy, is my Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts. They are crispy on the outside from the parmesan and nice and soft on the inside. I get it, not everyone is a brussels sprout fan, but throw some cheese on something and honey they will eat it. All kidding aside these are pretty good and they are super easy.

If you are the one that is preparing Easter dinner, my advice, do not make every dish super complicated. I leave that to about two or three dishes and the rest is delicious and easy side dishes. Entertaining is all about spending time with the ones you love and sharing lots of laughs and memories, over family favorites.

For this recipe, I add a balsamic glaze sometimes with beautiful green basil leaves to give it some freshness. It’s Spring after all and herbs are an excellent way to add more flavor and brightness.

Oh yeah! Do not forget to Set the Table with Love. Enjoy!

Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs brussel sprouts (trimmed & halved)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • balsamic glaze (optional)
  • basil leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Add parchment paper to a cookie sheet.
  2. In a bowl, combine the trimmed and halved brussels sprouts with the remaining ingredients. Toss together to coat all the brussels sprouts.
  3. Lay the brussels sprouts onto the cookie sheet, separate them, so they do not touch. This will help them bake and steam.
  4. Add a little more parmesan cheese on top of each one, to help created a crust.
  5. Cook 16-18 minutes. Serve Immediately or add balsamic glaze and basil as a garnish.

Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze


Fruit Skewers with homemade Chocolate Sauce and Yogurt with Fruit and Honey

Getting kids eat fruit and vegetables can sometimes be a bit challenging, but I believe these two dipping recipes will have them coming back for more. Keeping it simple and getting your little ones involved is the key. Whenever I pick up my grandkids the first thing that they ask me is, Gigi what are we making today? The second question is, Gigi what can I do to help? I noticed raising my boys, whatever they were a part of baking or cooking they would eat it all up.

This recipe is simple and will not take lots of time. You start with a skewer and their favorite fruit, cut up the fruit into bite sizes pieces, potatoes but big enough to place on the skewer. Allow them to pick which piece goes first. You can even talk about the health benefits of the fruit or where bananas truly come from. Now the dipping sauces:

Open up a container of plain yogurt. Chop up pieces of their favorite fruit. Add the fruit and yogurt in a bowl, drizzle with honey or maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir and let the kids spoon some over their fruit skewer.

Next the chocolate sauce, this can be done two ways, first the non dairy recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. semi sweet chocolate bark

1/2 cup heavy cream

INSTRUCTION:

1 Chop the chocolate and add it to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.

2 Pour the heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl (I like to use a glass measuring cup) and heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds-1 minute. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t bubble over in the microwave.

3 Pour the warm heavy whipping cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Start whisking slowly in the middle of the bowl, and continue whisking in one direction until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

4 Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before using as your dipping sauce.

Non Dairy Chocolate Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup of non dairy milk (I used vanilla almond milk)

1/2 cup of maple syrup

1/2 cup of good quality cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, milk, and maple syrup. Stir and bring to a very gentle simmer.

2. Slowly whisk in the cocoa powder and continue to cook on a low simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Let cool, pour into a bowl and let the dipping commence. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few weeks.

Chocolate Sauce ( Ganache)

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces chopped dark chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

1. Chop the chocolate and add it to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.

2. Pour the heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl (I like to use a glass measuring cup) and heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds-1 minute. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t bubble over in the microwave.

3. Pour the warm heavy whipping cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Start whisking slowly in the middle of the bowl, and continue whisking in one direction until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

4. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before using it to dip for it drizzle over your skewer.

Easy Sausage, Potatoes, Peppers and Onions

It’s back to school and here’s an easy recipe that will be a go to for you and your family. I love making this for my family because it’s quick, healthy and fills their bellies. When school starts back we all are in the grind of life, adjusting to a new school year schedule. There are footballs practices, ballet rehearsals, music recitals and a thousand other things we have to focus on, so let dinner be one thing, you pour Love into, but not lots of time. But hey it can taste like it. 😉

Note: A short cut here for this recipe is to precooked the potatoes the night before or use frozen potatoes. I prefer to precook fresh potatoes the night before, fresh ingredients really does make a difference. If you do, cook them until they are mostly tender and not mushy. They will cook later in the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4-5 Sweet Italian Turkey sausage links

10 medium red or purple hasselback potatoes, cut in half

1 large yellow onion, sliced

3 bell peppers, any color, sliced into strips. I used what was in the fridge.

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

1 tbsp Italian seasoning ( optional) 

Sea salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Add the potatoes to a pot of boiling water, cook until mostly tender, they will cook in the saucepan with the sausage and peppers later. Drain and set aside.

*If you are using precooked potatoes or frozen, skip this step above.

While the potatoes are cooking, Poke each sausage a few times with a paring knife or fork (this helps release steam as they cook).

In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add sausages and brown gently and slowly. Cook for 3- 5 minutes, turning occasionally to gently brown on all sides. (They should not be fully cooked.) Once browned, remove sausages to a plate. Set aside.

Increase heat to medium high. Add onion and pepper slices. Toss to coat in oil and sear vegetables until slightly browned, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add vegetable broth, to deglaze the saucepan, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to release bits. Simmer the vegetable broth until reduced by half.

Add Italian seasoning ( optional). Stir well to combine. Add sausages and the potatoes. Add salt to taste and gently toss. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until potatoes and peppers are soft and sausages are cooked.

Broccoli and Parmesan Cheese with a twist

This is a simple recipe, but it has a twist. Instead of using water to steam the broccoli you use vegetable broth. It gives the broccoli so much flavor. In a sauce pan add a bit of oil on heat the stove on medium heat . Toss in 2 cups of broccoli florets. Stir the florets around in the pan to help coat them with the oil. Add in a 1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable. Place the lid on top of the pan and allow to steam until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese on top, place lid back onto the pan to help the cheese melt. Serve immediately. Enjoy

This is for the Sweet Potato Lovers~ Sweet Potato Hash and Toast

Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes?  Yes. Everyone does! Okay I just going to pretend that everyone does. The rest of you guys will be converted after this post! LOL.

So here it is, sweet potatoes are not only nature’s little candy, because they are super sweet, but they are loaded with nutrients. Here are a few benefits why you should eat sweet potatoes:

  1. Stabilizes blood sugar levels.
  2. They are high in antioxidants
  3. Need a brain boost, sweet potatoes helps with brain function.
  4. They also are known to help enhance you immunity
  5. They promote vision health.
  6. Need to drop a few pounds, they also help with weight loss.

I know you are thinking about trying them now, with those impressive health benefits, but if you are not totally convinced, check out these two awesome recipes. The recipes below are vegan and plant based, but you can add an egg to them to boost your protein, if you are vegetarian or eat meat. The best thing about both recipes is that you can get super creative.

Sweet potato toast is the new craze out there, if you are trying to cut back on the bread. I love this new take on toast.  The toppings are endless, you can go sweet or savory.

Sweet potato toast is simple to make and you make several slices of the toast and keep them in the fridge for up to 7 days and pull them out when you need them and add your favorite toppings. Here’s the easy recipe:

 

blogfood1

Sweet Potato Toast

Ingredients
1 large sweet potato

Sweet Potato Toast : Sweet ~ Almond Butter, Granola and Cherries Savory ~ Avocado, Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil
Sweet Potato Toast : Sweet ~ Almond Butter, Granola and Cherries Savory ~ Avocado, Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil

Instructions:

OVEN 
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to help prevent sticking.

Peel the potato. This is optional. I peeled the the ends of the sweet potato off, cut the potatoes in 1/2 inch slices.

Bake until the slices are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite toast toppings.

Store any leftover sweet potato slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat for an easy breakfast, just add to your toaster on the medium setting to heat up, remove and add your favorite toppings.

TOASTER

Ingredients
1 sweet potato, cut into 1/4 inch slices

Instructions
Peel your potato and add it to your toaster. It may take you three times to cook and toast the sweet potato completely.  Every toaster is different, so you will know it is done when the sweet potato is tender and brown on the edges. Remove it from the toaster and add your favorite ingredients: nut butters, avocado, jams, jelly, granola, nuts, apples slices, whatever, you get creative.

blogfood
Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Hash

Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Hash  

Ingredients

1 large organic sweet potato peeled and cubed
1  small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano peppers, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 cup broccoli pearls
1 cup of black beans
1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
a pinch or two crushed red pepper, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to soften, add the sweet potato, broccoli pearls, salt,  and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, until the potatoes begin to soften. Add beans and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the beans are warmed up.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Top with cilantro and garnish with lime ( optional) .

 

 

 

Homemade Nut Free Cranberry Quinoa Granola bars

So here it is guys! The recipe from my Facebook Live this morning. I love love granola bars, but it’s hard to find some without nuts, especially when nuts are not an options. I love to eat all kinds of nuts, but sometimes we don’t get along, but I will not bore you with that drama. LOL. 🙂

Today it’s all about this recipe. It’s easy and very delicious and you can add your own favorite seeds or dried fruit. Food is truly one of the best places to explore endless possibilities. What I love the most about this recipe is the quinoa element. The quinoa is toasted along with the seeds and gluten free oats. The toasted quinoa, lends a wonderful nutty taste to the granola, lots of crunch and not to mention, it’s a complete protein. So why not?

Oh yes, share with your friends and family as you Set the Table with Love.

IMG_7322
Nut Free Cranberry and Quinoa Granola

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free, if desired)

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (vegan)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon clove

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 cup cranberries

1 -2 tablespoon orange juice

IMG_7324
Nut Free Cranberry and Quinoa Granola

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Add oats, quinoa, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to a large baking sheet and spread around evenly. Once oven is preheated, toast the oats and quinoa for 8-10 minutes. Once done toasting, pour oats and quinoa into a medium bowl and set aside.
While quinoa and oats are toasting, add Earth Balance buttery spread, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and sea salt to medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then add to the bowl with the oats and quinoa. Stir well to incorporate. Fold in flaxseed meal and dried cranberries. Add half of the mixture into a food processor with a tablespoons of orange juice and blend until mixture incorporates together and looks like dough.
Line an 8×4 or 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper; pour mixture in and spread out evenly, then press mixture down in the pan very firmly.
Place pan in freezer for 30 minutes or until mixture has hardened. Remove bars from pan and cut into desired amount of bars. Store bars in the fridge.

IMG_7316
Nut Free Cranberry and Quinoa Granola

Penne Pasta with Sweet Peas Roasted Tomatoes Mint and Lemon Zest with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Yes! It’s winter and our bodies are craving those wonderful comfort foods, like l a big bowl of chili with jalapeno and cheddar cornbread or some creamy mac and cheese, but it’s good to give the digestive tract a little rest, even in the cold wintry months.

Today I was missing summer, so I decided to make this wonderful pasta and salad dish. I used one of my new favorite gluten free pastas, brown rice penne fromJovial Foods I love the nuttiness of their pasta and it holds up to it’s form.

This recipe honors a few of spring and summer’s produce, mint, lemons and sweet peas. I roasted some cherry tomatoes to give it a nice burst of smoky citrus flavor and a few pieces of mint leaves with a bit of lemon zest, well just say, it’s summer in your mouth.

The Green Apple Mint salad makes a wonderfully refreshing side. I love making my own vinaigrettes and this balsamic mint dressing could be one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy a bit of summer in these recipe.  Make sure you stay warm and Set the Table with Love.

pastaandsalaad
Brown Rice Penne Pasta with Peas and Roasted Tomatoes with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Penne Pasta 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Jovial Penne Pasta

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup organic sweet peas

2 tbsp lemon juice

lemon zest

mint leaves, for garnish

cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste

drizzle of good Extra Virgin Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil on a baking sheet. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Once roasted set aside.

Add penne pasta to a pot of salted boiling water. Cook according to package direction. Drain and place back on the stove on low heat, add peas and lemon juice. Allow peas to just heat up and remove from heat.  Add pasta, peas and roasted tomatoes into a bowl, add lemon zest, mint leaves and gently toss. Drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

salad1
Brown Rice Penne Pasta with Peas and Roasted Tomatoes with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Green Apple Salad

Ingredients: 

1 medium green apple

Bib lettuce or your favorite leafy greens 🙂

Cranberries

Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds

Baby mint leaves, as garnish

Instruction:

Cut the apples, as desired. Gently tear the bib lettuce into desired pieces and place in a bowl, top with the cut apples, cranberries, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Add drizzle with the Balsamic Mint vinaigrette.

Balsamic Mint Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely minced shallot

3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Place the shallots in a small glass jar with a secure lid.  Add the balsamic vinegar, the salt and the pepper. Pour the olive oil into the jar. Put the lid on the jar tightly, and shake vigorously, and add to the salad right before serving.

 

 

 

Healthy Alternatives for Chips ~ Roasted Red Curry Chickpeas

So the biggest thing that gets me when I am trying to eat healthy, is having that crunchy and salty experience of a potato chip. I must have the crunch! I am slave to the crunch. The great thing is there is so many other alternative out there, that is so much more healthy for you and delicious.

Kale chips and Zucchini chips are a very good option and I got you covered, click the links to try these yummy crunchy alternatives, Spicy Garlic Kale Chips and  Zucchini Chips  recipe. But if that doesn’t take care of your crunch, my Roasted Red Curry Chickpeas are loaded with fiber, plant-based protein and a bit of a nice crunchy bit. They are super easy to prepare and make a  wonderful on the go snack.

Red Curry Chickpeas
Red Curry Chickpeas

For the Red Curry Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

1 can of organic chickpeas

1 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tbsp of red curry powder, more or less based on your preference or Harissa powder

1 tbsp of  no salt garlic herbal seasonings

sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Direction:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season with red curry powder, no garlic seasoning and sea salt and cayenne pepper, to taste.  Spread on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until browned and crunchy.

If you want softer Chickpeas, bake on for 20 to 25 minutes.

Farm to Williams Sonoma’s Table Cooking Demo Recipes

What a fun day?!  I so enjoy coming out and cooking for the customers and staff of Williams Sonoma in the Forum. The staff is like family! I have been demoing and educating the customers about eating and supporting local farmers for the past 6 months and it has been a beautiful partnership.  So many times we do not eat in season, we eat the same things week after week. I am so very grateful for the support of such an icon, like Williams Sonoma, to be able to showcase local farmers and share with their customers, creative and healthy ways to eat local.  Today we used my favorite local farm, Fry Farm in Bethlehem Ga, early spring produce, red kitten kale, baby chantenay carrots, nobel spinach and baby cress.

I wanted to put up a couple of the customer’s favorite recipes, before hitting the sack. I hope my readers will enjoy these simple and delicious farm to table recipes as well, just as we all did today.

Until next time remember to Set the Table with Love and Eat Local. 🙂

SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE

FARM TO TABLE EARLY SPRING MENU

White Asparagus, Red Spinach and Pancetta Tart topped with Baby Cress

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and rolled out
  • ¼ – ½ cup pancetta, crisped and cooled
  • 1 cup shaved white asparagus, cutting off the spearheads and chopping them finely to add to each tart.
  • 3/4 cup gruyere, or more based on your preference
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping (optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups red spinach, chopped
  • baby cress, as garnished
  • extra virgin olive, sea salt and a lemon juice to dress the baby cress, optional.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone-baking sheet. In a saucepan on medium heat, cook the pancetta, until crispy, set aside to cool.

Combine the shaved white asparagus, crispy pancetta, gruyere, parmesan, milk, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.

Once hot, add the shallots and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl with the cheese mixture.

Stir together until well combined.

On a floured surface roll out the puff pasty and using the smallest cookie cutter cut out several circles, as many as you can with each pastry sheet. Place the cut pieces into a lightly mini muffin pan, mold the pastry to make a small cup in the muffin pan. Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom, so the pastry doesn’t puff up. If the pastry puffs up after your blind baking, just gently press the middle down, before adding the filling.

Blind bake the tarts in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven gently push down the middle of the tarts, if has puffed up a lot. Leave whilst to add the filling.

Spoon in a little mixture into each tart.

Brush each puff pastry with the remaining beaten egg and top with a sprinkling of extra parmesan and gruyere, if desired.

Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.

Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes before serving.

Gently toss the baby cress in the olive oil, lemon and sea salt. Add to the top of each tart.

 

IMG_5879
White Asparagus Red Spinach Pancetta and Gruyere Tart

                               

GRILLED SMOKY AND SWEET MAPLE BABY CHANTENY CARROTS, MAPLE SYRUP

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bushel of baby chantney carrots
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons oil
  • Sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons butter
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • Fresh chopped mint

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 375. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil (for easy clean-up) and set aside.
  • Wash the baby carrots and drain well, chop off tops.
  • Tip the carrots onto the lined baking sheet (don’t crowd them, you want them to roast, not steam). Drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle with the sea salt and smoked paprika, chipotle seasoning, then toss the carrots gently to coat them with the seasoned oil.
  • Roast in the oven for 30-40 mins or until almost done.
  • In a saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter, and maple syrup, sea salt, and one juice of a medium blood orange, and reduce heat, until sauce has thicken. Add roasted carrots into the  saucepan and toss, until the carrots are completely covered.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped mint

 

 

 

Pear and Beet Salad 5 under 30

I am so excited about cooking and sharing on Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta, how you can stay Fit and Fabulous for 2017, using 5 main ingredients under 30 minutes.

This salad was inspired by that simple challenge. We can do it and we can do it deliciously, with hardly no effort at all, using some of my easy recipes. It just takes some preparing and a bit of creativity. I love this salad, because it has over 26 grams of protein, that is vegetarian and about 15 grams of carbs. I love those numbers.

I hope you tune in to Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta Thursday Feburary 9th at 9:00 am, but until then, enjoy this salad. Oh yeah! Do not forget to always Set the Table with Love.

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Pear and Beet Salad Fit and Fabulous

Pear and Beet Salad

Ingredients:

4 small roasted or marinated beets, (I used Love Beets, already peeled and marinated or roasted for you and they are organic and delicious.)

1 bosc pear

2 cups of your favorite greens, chopped, ( I used romaine lettuce.)

2 tbsp of your favorite cheese, ( I used parmesan, vegetarian.)

1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Add the lettuce to a salad bowl. Place the beets around in different places around lettuce, add the pears on top of the lettuce, sprinkle the cheese and the pumpkin seeds. You may have pumpkin seeds left over, eat them as a snack later.

Add a pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper. Drizzle a little balsamic glaze and olive oil. Salad done.

You can also use nuts, instead of seeds. You can also add other veggies, like sautéed zucchini and yellow squash.

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Pear and Beet Salad Fit and Fabulous

 

 

 

Cooking today with William Sonoma ~ Gluten Free Holiday Treats ~ Sneak Peak

It is always a pleasure to come out and share my passion for delicious, healthy eating with William Sonoma’s staff and customers. Today I am cooking up some yummy, decadent and   gluten free holiday appetizers and my gluten free brownie bites with a twist. I will be using William Sonoma’s famous Original Peppermint Bark as a topping for these rich and luscious brownies. I will also be making tuscan white beans stuffed in a roasted campari tomato and yummy zucchini bites stuffed with gruyere and parmesan cheese.

I am so excited to share some of my families favorite holiday treats today with William Sonoma’s customers, as they shop for wonderful gifts for their love ones. So stop by and find some great gifts for your family and have a brownie on me. Here’s a sneak peak of today’s menu.  

Zucchini Bites

INGREDIENTS

2 cups zucchini, grated

1 egg

1/4 cup yellow onion, diced,finely 

1/2 cup cheese gruyere

1/2 cup parmesan 

1/2 cup gluten free  bread crumbs – I used Italian style

Salt and Pepper, to taste. 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a mini-muffin tin with non-stick spray, set aside. Grate the zucchini and then place in a dish towel to squeeze out the excess water- like when using frozen spinach.  In a bowl combine, the egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini, salt and pepper. 4. Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is browned and set.  

  • Gluten Free Brownies with Chocolate Ganache these will be topped with William Sonoma Original Peppermint Bark

1/2 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips 

4 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs 1 egg yolk

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten free-purpose flour. I love Bob Mills Gluten free baking flour or Pillsbury Gluten-free baking powder. 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. Chop the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate bars into 1″ pieces. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 -35  minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares.

This recipe is gluten free, gluten-free flour can take a little more time to bake. It usually takes about 33 minutes on these. 

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  • Campari Stuffed with Tuscan White Beans with a balsamic glaze

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Butternut Squash Pilaf

Butternut Squash Pilaf is an amazing alternative to perhaps this years stuffing. It’s gluten free and loaded with lots of vegan protein and hey it’s delicious. I was able to make this dish for William Sonoma’s guest yesterday. I did a cooking demo on Healthy Holiday Thanksgiving Side Dishes! It was a hit. I love to watch people reactions when they eat food they do not normally eat on a regular basis, especially a spice or herb. This pilaf has garam masala in it, a very popular spice in India. The awesome thing about this spice,  it has some of the same spices we use for our Thanksgiving holiday recipes, such as; cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander and black pepper. What’s different about garam masala, is the cardamom. We usually do not use that is everyday cooking, but now you can with this recipe. It is such an amazing spice. So, the moral of this story, try new spices in some of your everyday dishes.

This dish is super easy and will look beautiful on your Thanksgiving table this year. But first Remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Butternut Squash Pilaf

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Butternut Squash Pilaf

2  cups wild rice blend, gluten free

4 cups water

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed ½ inch

1 tsp oil

1 tbsp dried  NO SALT garlic herb seasoning

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp dried thyme

sea salt and white pepper, to taste. You can use black pepper if you like.

1 med. whole clove, peeled and dice

½ tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp garam masala

sea salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
In a large sauce pan add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups of wild rice blend. Cover with a tight fitted lid, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the butternut squash. Stir and add the seasonings, NO SALT garlic herb seasonings, cardamom, dried thyme, white pepper and sea salt. Stir and allow to cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add diced garlic. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the squash has soften but not mushy. The cooking process should take 6-7 minutes.

Toast the nuts and seeds

In a sauté pan on medium heat, add your nuts and seeds. Season them with a 1 tsp of garam masala, sea salt and touch of honey. Toast them for about 1 minute, nuts and seeds can burn because they have a very high oil content.

ASSEMBLE

Add the wild rice to a large bowl. Add the squash and the toasted nuts, seeds and cranberries. Stir everything in the bowl gently, incorporating all the ingredients. Taste and see if you need to add more seasonings. Serve immediately.

 

 

Super Bowl Smash Potato Bites

Super Bowl is tomorrow and I have to make something, yummy, easy and delicious! I don’t know about you, but for me the best thing about Super Bowl Sunday, is the food. My mind starts to race, what will I make this year? LOL :).

Bingo!!  Smash Potatoes!! Crazy, super simple as well. Bake some baby potatoes, use a potato masher, smash them and add your favorite toppings. Done and Done.

I hope you enjoy this recipe any time of the year.

SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE.

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Smash Potatoes with Jalapeño cheese, red bell peppers, and cilantro

Smash Potatoes

Ingredients

24 ounces Dutch yellow baby potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup red bell peppers, diced

1/2 cup or more of your favorite cheese, shredded

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Parsley for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook potatoes until tender, about 15-20 minutes; drain well.
Place potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a potato masher or fork, carefully smash the potatoes until flattened but still in one piece. Top with olive oil.
Place into oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven.  Using tongs, add the potatoes onto a nice heat proof serving platter. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Add the cheese, red bell peppers and parsley to each potato. DON’T GET ALL FANCY , IT’S SUPER BOWL AND THEY ARE SMASHED POTATOES! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Serve immediately.

 

 

 

Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles with a RAW basil oil

Who doesn’t love a good waffle. They are crunchy on the outside, moist and soft in the inside. We lather them with lots of butter and good Vermont Maple Syrup. I am bias about maple syrup. I believe the best syrup is made in Vermont and I am Georgia girl.  But sometimes you want to expand your mind and come up with something a little different. Well, in this case, a lot different. I so enjoyed sitting in my kitchen and thinking of how I could make a waffle, savory. I looked in my fridge, pantry, and garden, because these are the places that inspire me to make innovative recipes, with what I have on hand.

I am not one to go out regularly and buy a ton of ingredients to make a dish. Use what you have, no waste, my mama always taught me. She could make a thanksgiving dinner from an egg, head of lettuce and loaf of bread. LOL! Hey , she was before her time, she would have blown the competition away on Food Network, Chopped.

Well, she was my hero in some many ways, especially in the kitchen. Okay, with that being said, I found leeks and potatoes in my kitchen and decided to make this potato and leek savory waffle. It was so delicious and it’s vegan, gluten free and I made a raw basil oil to dress it. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

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Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles with a RAW basil oil

 

Waffles

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive
2 tbsp organic maple syrup
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 3/4 cups gluten free flour blend
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt

 

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Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles with a RAW basil oil

The potato and leek mixture

Ingredients:

1 -2 tbsp olive oil, to coat the bottom of a sauté pan

1 large yukon gold potato, cleaned, peeled and diced small

2 leeks, cleaned, cut into very small slices

1/2 cup onions diced small

1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced small

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp  No Salt garlic herb seasonings

1 tsp red crushed peppers

sea salt to taste

Basil Oil

Ingredients
2 cups packed basil leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles
Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles

Instructions:

For the Waffle batter:

Combine almond milk and vinegar in a small mixing bowl and let set for a few minutes to activate, it will get bubbly. Then add olive oil , maple syrup and whisk. Set aside.
Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until well incorporated. Let set for 5-10 minutes, this will allow the, baking powder and vinegar mixture to activate even more. It will give you a very fluffy waffle. Heat up your waffle pan.

For the Potato and Leek mixture:

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add in the small diced potatoes. Stir and allow them to cook until they are slightly golden brown and soften. Add the diced onions, red bell peppers and leeks. Stir.  Allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the diced garlic cloves . Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool  GENTLY fold the mixture into the waffle batter, leave about 1/4 cup of potato and leek mixture out, to use as a garnish, if you desire. IF NOT YOU CAN ADD THE WHOLE MIXTURE INTO THE BATTER.
Once waffle iron is hot and ready to go, generously coat with non-stick spray and pour on about 1/2 cup of batter. Cook according to manufacturer instructions and then remove and place on a baking rack in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. In order to keep them crispy , do not stack and instead keep them in a single layer.

Basil oil

Wash basil leaves. Squeeze out water and dry with paper towel.
Place basil, the oil and salt into a blender or food processor and puree.
Let it settle a little then pour into a glass container. Drizzle over your waffles.
Use immediately or refrigerate. Making this oil a day in advance, will intensify the flavor. Fridge shelf life ~ one week.