Dill Pesto

The refreshing dill combined with the smooth rich avocado balanced with the crunch of the cashews makes for a nice alternative to the usual pesto. I eat pesto frequently as it is a perfect topping for raw breads, raw crackers, zucchini pasta, and much much more. So switching it up is a nice way to keep things interesting in my plate without making huge changes.

This pesto came about because of all the ingredients I had in my fridge. If you don’t have parsley, try another herb. If you don’t have spinach use another leafy green. The main ingredients that I wouldn’t change here are the dill and the avocado.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped dill
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large clove of garlic

Steps:

  • put everything in a food processor and blend until desired consistency
  • will keep in the fridge for a few days, not sure how long though as we always eat it quickly 🙂

Basil Pesto Sauce

The basil has been so lush and abundant at the farmers market that I just cannot help and buy a few bundles every time I smell it!! For that reason, I have been making a lot of pesto this summer. I love pesto for how versatile it is: on pizza, with raw crackers, as a dip with veggies, as a spread on a sandwich, with zucchini pasta, you get the drift 😉 

This is my version of pesto. I omit the pine nuts, mainly because those are not something I ever have on hand. When creating recipes, I try to create things with ingredients that are frequently in my kitchen. It keeps things simple and convenient. 

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups tightly packed basil
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Steps:

  • put everything in the food processor and blend until desired consistency. I left it a little chunky this time because I felt like 🙂 Sometimes I like it really smooth and will process it longer. 

Congee

Congee is a rice porridge originating from China and other Asian countries. Congee is soft, warm and mushy, requiring minimal effort to digest, making it a perfect comfort food for when you are under the weather, recovering from surgery, or like myself, recovering from childbirth. It is so versatile as it will take on the flavor of what you pair it with.

I started eating congee at the end of my pregnancy, and it was a staple in my diet for the first few weeks postpartum. I continue to eat it because I just fell in love with the possibilities of flavors it promises.

Because this recipe makes such a large batch, I started freezing small portions in zip lock bags that are easily defrosted for a quick add in to most meals. I’ve mixed it with soup, curries, chillies and other veggie one pot meals. During my first weeks postpartum I would add it to simple veggie broths for a little sustenance. I’ve had it sweet as a custard (see below), or just with milk and fruit. Your imagination is the limit here!

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White Rice Congee (from the book The First 40 days)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup white sticky rice

 

Steps:

  • In a large pot bring the uncooked rice with 1 quart of water to a boil, or enough to cover the rice by 1 1/2 inches, to a boil
  • reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, until the grains soften and open up.
  • You’ll want to stir often and add water as its being absorbed. I usually end up adding up to 4 cups of water throughout the cooking to make sure the rice stays moist and becomes pudding like.
  • Eat hot or store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

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Savory Congee with parsley pesto

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Sweet Congee Custard

  • Stir in one whole egg while heating it up, with a splash of milk and some honey and it tastes just like custard!
  • add in whatever you like to have to a sweet bowl! Here I have black sesame seeds, cacao nibs, bananas, cinnamon and coriander powder.

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Sweet Potato Spaghetti

Grain free spaghetti that takes less than 5 minutes to make? Ummmm, yes please!! If you are a sweet potato fan and a noodle fan, than I don’t see why you wouldn’t love this! I’ve been making zucchini noodles for years with my spiralizer. And I truly adore them. I don’t see why I would ever replace them as they are my favorite noodle alternative. But these sweet potato noodles are so fun and much more kid friendly! IMG_1950 Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (or as many as you want really)
  • water
  • ice cubes

Steps:

  • In a pot bring enough water to a boil where you would be able to submerge your sweet potato pasta with
  • in the meantime, following the instructions of your spiralizer, “noodelize” (that is too a word!) your sweet potatos
  • once the water is boiling put your “pasta” in, and set your timer for 3 minutes
  • really pay close attention as your noodles could quickly turn to mush if you leave them in the booing water too long. Taste them and take them out when they are still a little crunchy, but barely.
  • drain when they are to your liking and stick them in a bowl filled with water and ice in order to stop the cooking. Let cool for a couple minutes before draining again.
  • serve how ever you feel like!

For this time around I had made miso soup and the kids really wanted noodles to go with it. So I served it these. But of course just a basic tomato or pesto sauce would work great too 🙂 IMG_1947

Zucchini Pasta

I was feeling like pasta today. Although I do eat pasta sometimes, I cannot do it too often or I feel sluggish and bloated. That’s the case with most flours in general. In moderation, most definitely. You will occasionally find me eating pizza, a cupcake, or a cookie. But rarely in my own home. When I make food for myself I use the alternatives that I find the healthiest and that will leave me feeling the best and most energized. So I find ways to curb my cravings with all sorts of other fun foods. Today, I made raw zucchini pasta. And it totally worked. What I like most about spaghetti is the long strands of food lathered in tomato sauce that I slurp up. (Sometimes pesto). And this recipe does just that without the heaviness of processed flours. 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 5 olives chopped
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast

Steps:

  • with a Spirilizer make the zucchini into pasta 
  • top with all other ingredients
  • slurp it up and love it up!!

I’ve heard of people making the pasta with a vegetable peeler. I’ve never tried it so I cannot testify to how awesome it is.

I bought my Spirilizer here   http://www.amazon.com/Paderno-World-Cuisine-A4982799-Tri-Blade/dp/B0007Y9WHQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1408220735&sr=1-1&keywords=spiralizer

 It’s a cheap one, and it does exactly what I need it to and I love it. I use it for carrots and squash and all kinds of other foods. It really changes the way you eat vegetables!! 

Savory Bell Pepper and Quinoa Pancakes

I’ve been wanting to experiment with savory pancakes more so I am excited to share this recipe with you! It was a total success at my house. The idea came since I had left over quinoa that I wanted to serve in a new way to my kids. It is very basic for now as I wanted to get the texture down before adding too many ingredients, so I will try this again with different flavors very soon! 

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The beautiful red pepper and tomato salad was made by my 6 year old daughter. She washed and cut the veggies and sprinkled ground sesame seeds on top. It was a perfect addition and her idea 🙂 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large red bell pepper
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Steps:

  • Put everything in blender and blend on high until well combined
  • cook in a skillet the way you would regular pancakes (wait for bubbles to form before flipping)
  • serve and enjoy!

Since this was lunch I served it with salad and pesto, but in all honesty, these would taste just as good for breakfast with maple syrup on them. 

Mushroom Pizza

A classic twist on a pizza but oh so delicious that I had to share!!

 

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Ingredients:

4 large portobello mushrooms

1/2 cup olive oil

2 TBS herbs

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

salt

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 TBS thinly chopped fresh basil

2 TBS thinly chopped spinach

grated cheese (as much as makes you happy)

 

Steps:

  • Turn on oven at 400
  • Take the stems off the mushrooms and save
  • Mix herbs and oil together, drizzle evenly all over inside of mushrooms (I planned ahead and marinated the mushrooms like this for several hours)
  • Bake in a covered dish for about 20 minutes or until desired consistency of mushrooms

During that time…..

  • chop onions and cook in a skillet with a little bit of oil until tender, about 3 minutes
  • Add minced garlic and cook another minute or so
  • Add thinly chopped mushroom stems and a pinch of salt
  • Cook until mushrooms are tender

 

  • Once mushrooms are done in the oven, pull them out and top them off with the onion mixture.
  • Add tomato sauce
  • Add equal amounts of spinach and basil
  • Top with cheese
  • Put back in the over for a few minutes to melt cheese
  • Serve with anything you like! (We had ours with quinoa and some home made pesto and fresh tomatoes)
  • Enjoy!!