Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cactus Tostadas + Prickly Pear Salsa

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Okay, this one is a little out there. I get it. But it’s so fun and different that I had to share. So I mentioned recently that I took a little field trip to my local hispanic market, Mi Tienda, which is owned by the supermarket chain, HEB.

So for my Houston friends, if you haven’t been here, think about checking it out. There is fun music the minute you walk through the entrance and an agua fresca/horchata bar and fresh tortillas and a huge bakery area and a cactus kiosk. Yes, a whole section of the store devoted to Nopal cactus!

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Raw Banana Cream Tart

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I’ve been a busy little foodie yoga girl lately. Busy in life, busy on my mat and busy in the kitchen. Last weekend, while I was playing at a local lake, I stumbled upon a banana tree. Right here in Houston. I didn’t even know they grew here. The bananas were so cute. Little tiny things with thin skins. And they were really, really sweet and reminded me of banana cream pie. So guess what I decided to make this week?

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Broccoli Pasta + Vegan Béchamel Sauce

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Learning how to make sauces was one of my favorite things about going to culinary school. It’s sort of art and science in action. You take all these ingredients, combine them in a specific and careful way and the result is something kind of incredible.

Of course, most of the sauces I learned had heavy cream, butter and/or eggs. All things that I don’t eat anymore. But now I just apply the techniques and make healthier versions of the same thing.

Béchamel is one of the five mother sauces. It’s basically a white sauce and you can flavor it anyway you like. For my version, I used Earth Balance and olive oil instead of butter; gluten-free flour in place of white flour; and almond milk for cow’s milk. Sounds like some major substitutions, I know, but it works.

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Zucchini Cashew Burgers + Lemon Aioli

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Love to make veggie burgers.  Love to eat veggie burgers.  So happy when I come up with a new way to make veggie burger night just a little different.  And think it’s super fun to get my hands mushy by shaping patties.

Sounds like I have a crush on veggie burgers. Well maybe I do. They are awesome, you know.  But finding a good recipe isn’t always easy.  I’ve definitely met some duds. That’s for sure.

Wouldn’t normally think about lemon in a veggie burger, but it’s a nice addition that makes this version really kind of perfect for a summertime meal on the patio. You can throw this together in no time.  Just whiz everything in the food processor, shape and saute. Easy breezy.

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Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho + Cilantro Pesto

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The minute I walked into Whole Foods and saw this amazing display of the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes you have ever seen; I knew then and there exactly what I wanted to do. My mom (who is visiting me right now – yay!) was telling me about her friend Joanie’s gazpacho and how delicious it was. The best she’s ever had. Bingo…Miss Joanie’s gazpacho with heirloom tomatoes. YES!!!

Of course, I need to put my little spin on any recipe that crosses my path, so I made a little cilantro pesto with almonds to top off the chilled soup. It works. For sure.

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FYG Savory Snack Time

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My inner kindergartener loves a good nap and depends on snack time to get me through the day. While I’ve pretty much mastered the art of trail mix and love a crunchy rice cake with nut butter, I thought it might be time to try a few new things. And, I’m trying to steer away from sweet things this week just because I do that sometimes. So I’m cutting back on dried and fresh fruit and other sweet things.

So today I made Blue Corn Paper Bag Popcorn; Ginger Sesame Roasted Chickpeas and Dill Carrot Chips. It took about an hour to make all three snacks, which I am happily munching on as I type this post.

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Blue Corn Piñon Muffins + Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

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Driving around Santa Fe and Taos last week we saw several roadside tents selling piñons. Being the curious foodie that I am, we had to stop and check it out. Piñons are pine nuts that come from a slow growing pine that is the state tree of New Mexico. And the bag we bought just outside of Taos contained the best pine nuts I’d ever had. They were so fresh and buttery. Oh my.

I’m happy as a clam just snacking on these babies, but I thought I’d use them in a recipe. I had made blue corn pancakes over the weekend and thought I’d try making vegan muffins. The first batch I made were, well, terrible. Really heavy and not very tasty. The recipe that I’m sharing with you is adapted from Vegetarian Times and it’s so good.  I made a little jam to go with it, but you could use any jam from the farmers market or your local store.

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