Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lemon Pesto Linguine with Asparagus

This is my latest creation. Serve this with a glass of red wine and a salad of undressed assorted greens, and all I can say is, mmmm, mmmm good.

Lemon Pesto Linguine with Asparagus

Lemon Olive Oil -
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Zest of one lemon
1/8 C fresh lemon juice
Combine the ingredients and set aside.

Pesto -
1/3 C pine nuts
1/3 C pistachio nuts
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 C packed basil leaves
Pinch of crushed red pepper
4 T olive oil
In a food processor or blender, add nuts, chopped garlic, pinch of crushed red pepper, basil leaves (ripping them into smaller pieces) and olive oil. Pulse to make a smooth paste. Combine the lemon oil and pesto in a saucepan and warm slightly on very low heat.
Asparagus -
1 C cut up asparagus
Cut asparagus spears into 1 inch sections and place in a steamer basket over boiling water. Steam the asparagus for no longer than 3 minutes. Remove and add to the lemon pesto sauce.

Linguine -
1/2 pound whole wheat linguine
Salt and pepper
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Near the end of the cook time, add two tablespoons of pasta water to the lemon pesto sauce and stir to combine. Drain the linguine and add it to the lemon pesto sauce. Salt and pepper the dish to taste. Serve.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mushroom, Leek and Cashew Risotto

I was up north recently and my sister made this risotto for the entire family. It's a real mix, the family that is, and although we are certainly not hard to please, most include meat and dairy in their daily diet. 

But this dish was loved by all. 

Now... my sister... she rarely follows a recipe. She's a brilliant cook and often uses recipes more as a guide than anything else. So instead of veggie broth, she used mushroom, she excluded the wine and made a few other changes. Since then, I've made it exactly how it reads and my conclusion is you can't go wrong with this recipe. If you use the same basic ingredients and follow the instructions, you'll be a happy vegan.

The recipe comes from the cookbook, Seasonal Harvest Recipes. My understanding is that this is not a vegan cookbook. However, it was written to inspire us all to plant a garden or search out fresh local vegetables, so there must be a lot of vegetable recipes in it.

The book is the result of an organization named Grow Benzie, in Benzie County, Michigan. The group defines itself as a farmstead where people can a cultivate a piece of land in a community garden or take classes on growing and cooking food. I think you'll enjoy this one...

Mushroom, Leek and Cashew Risotto

1 1/2 C brown rice
3 3/4 C vegetable stock or a mixture of stock and dry white wine in the ratio of 5:1
1 T      walnut of hazelnut oil
2         leeks, sliced
2 C      mixed wild mushrooms (such as morels), trimmed and sliced
1/2 C   cashew nuts
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 T      fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 C   pumpkin seeds
salt and ground black pepper
fresh thyme leaves and lemon wedges for garnish

Place the brown rice in a large saucepan, pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook gently for about 30 minutes, until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice grains are tender. About 6 minutes before the rice is cooked, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the leeks and mushrooms and fry over a gentle heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cashews, lemon rind and chopped thyme to the leeks and mushrooms, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Drain off any excess stock from the cooked rice and stir in the mushroom-leek mixture. Turn into a serving dish. Scatter pumpkin seeds over the top and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Winner of the Vega Giveaway!!!

Congratulations Mary Ann! Your number came up as the winner of the book, Must Have Been Something I Ate, using I will email you shortly. I know you'll love reading and creating recipes from the book!!! I have!


Friday, June 17, 2011

It's a Giveaway!! Yikes... Must Have Been Something I Ate!

I’m so excited to present this giveaway from Vega and Sequel Naturals because it's all about health! 

I was contacted by the good people at Sequel about doing a giveaway of the book "Must Have Been Something I Ate," by Peggy Kotsopoulos. Peggy is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and she teaches people how to create a healthier lifestyle using food. 

In her book, Peggy writes about the simple connection between what you eat and how you look and feel. It's neatly divided into sections such as the food-mood connection, food-weight connection, food-beauty connection and the food-health connection. Each section focuses on how you can make real changes with what you eat. She includes 25 recipes (one of which I've included), and many are vegan. It's easy to read, straight forward and its loaded with resources and references.

Here's one for you to try. I thought it was delicious and surprisingly decadent.

 Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
  • 2 cups hemp milk
  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries (or 1/2 c. tart cherry juice and 1/2 c. cherries)
  • 3 T raw cacao powder
  • 1 T cacao nibs
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 scoop Vega Smoothie Infusion
  • Seeds from the pod of one vanilla bean or 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp yacon syrup 
Add all ingredients to blender and combine thoroughly.

I've made a few other recipes from her book... like the juice above. After one taste I went straight to my refrigerator to make sure I had enough ingredients to make it the following day. It's delicious, refreshing and you'll feel great afterward. It's named BeYOUtifying Cleansing Cocktail and it's on page 139. My husband and I loved the Glammed-Up Guac on page 141. It's become the recipe I use every time I make guacamole now. It's excellent!!

Before I get to the giveaway, I want to thank Cierra at Vega and Sequel Naturals for sending me some delicious and filling smoothies that got me out the door fast. These Vega products are high quality smoothie mixes made in a variety of flavors (the chocolate is awesome) with servings of fruits, veggies and a ton of other nutrients. They are gluten-free and vegan! 

So thank you Sequel for the opportunity to review the book, host a giveaway and make some delicious morning meals!

Now... to win the book, here's what you need to do:
1. Be a blogspot follower of my blog
2. Check out the Sequel website and make a comment about their products on this post. 
3. Get the word out! Post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter and tell me that you did.

The giveaway will be open for one week. It will end on Friday, June 24th. I will use and post the winner on Sunday, June 26th.

Good luck everyone!
BTW, This is open to US residents only.