Saturday, November 26, 2016

King Oyster Mushrooms Scampi

I was so blessed at the Farmers Market this morning to find 2 9-oz bags ORGANIC King Oyster Mushrooms for $5.

King Oyster Mushroom Scampi (serves 2-3)

9-oz King Oyster Mushrooms
3/4 cup vegetable broth
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot diced
1 green onion, chopped
2 TBS nutritional yeast
1/4 cup dry white wine, such as a pinot Grigio
1 TBS fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste.

juice of 1/2 lemon

Saute the garlic, shallot, and mushrooms in the vegetable broth. When the mushrooms and shallot are soft, stir in the herbs, green onion, and the wine.

Serve over pasta

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

This is our third annual Italian Thanksgiving Feast. Our oldest boys are getting nostalgic and asked for their 1st grade recipe for Bear Berry Jelly (cranberry sauce). We used it as the topping for our cranberry cheesecake. 

course 1: Antipasto platterSangiovese
meat based antipasto platter (thanks Pat)

For our vegans, a vegetable antipasto platter, we omitted all oil but 1 TBS of olive oil. We used Brussel Sprouts instead of broccoli.

course 2: Salad (thanks Jyl) - pinot grigio 

course 3: Soup - White Zinfandel

course 4: Pasta/marinara sauce  - Chianti

quinoa and rice pasta

Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce (we doubled the recipe because we had so many people)
Prep: 15 m; Cook: 1 h 10 m
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 large tomatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt (omitted due to my mom is on a salt-free diet)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
  1. Heat water in a stockpot over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes; add tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring the liquid from the tomatoes to a boil, reduce to medium-low, and simmer mixture until tomatoes are softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. Stir red wine, sugar, basil, oregano, marjoram, black pepper, and crushed red pepper into the tomato mixture; bring again to a simmer and cook until herbs have flavored the sauce, about 30 minutes more.
  3. Stir balsamic vinegar into the sauce.
Printed From 8/11/2016

course 5: Main Dish -Toscana 
zucchini manicotti and braciole
zucchini manicotti

Herb Ricotta cheese
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup macadamia nuts, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup pinenuts

1 peeled summer squash (zucchini or yellow)
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp oregano

1 clove garlic
2 TBS nutritional yeast
1 probiotic capsule
1 cup filtered water

Directions: combine everything in a high speed blender and process until smooth. Place in a glass container leaving on the counter overnight. Refrigerate until ready to use.

The braciole was stuffed with the Herb Ricotta and gluten free bread crumbs.
Bracioles browning

course 6: Fruit and Cheese - Riesling
pinenut chevre with cranberry pear relish served with dates, dried apple and gluten free crackers.

course 7: Dessert – coffee and tea
almond butter cacao pie 

and a cranberry cheesecake

Bear Berry Jelly
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup water

Directions: Place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring. When the cranberries pop, use an emulsifier stick and blend. Refrigerate overnight to set.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Cranberry Vegan Cheesecake

We used the cheesecake recipe from Hacreas altering the cranberry sauce from
We used dried mulberries instead of almonds in the crust.
We placed the cranberry spread on the crust, a thin center cranberry layer and the cranberry sauce on top. Picture to come.

For the Cranberry spread

2 cups cranberries
1/2 tsp liquid stevia
1 apple
1/2 cup pitted dates
juice of 1 orange
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon

topping over the crust and middle layer
place all the ingredients in the food processor.

For the topping sauce
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Recipe adapted from The Intolerant Gourmet, by Barbara Kafka (2011, Artisan Books).
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free liquid stevia
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries, apple juice concentrate, 1/2 cup water, stevia, cinnamon and ginger and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries have cooked down and the sauce is jellylike. Thin with more water if necessary. Transfer to a canning jar, seal and refrigerate. Once open, the sauce will keep for up to two weeks.

pumpkin bars

this recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Bars is from MindBodyGreen

Vegan Pumpkin Bars 

Makes 8 bars
Crust Ingredients
  • 1 cup pecans (we would use mulberries)
  • 6 medjool dates (pitted)
  • pinch of cinnamon
Process all ingredients in food processor until graham cracker–like consistency. Press crumble into strudel or 4-by-4-inch pan lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
Filling Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 2 hours)
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup refined coconut oil (melted) (we would use cacao butter)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 10 medjool dates (pitted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth, creamy consistency. Evenly spread filling onto crust. Set in freezer for 3 hours. Cut and serve while still frozen with a warm knife.
Helpful Hint: If you want these delicious little desserts to look even cuter, top them with a little vegan coconut whipped cream (we would use a cashew creme) and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Fermented Cranberries from

This fermented cranberry recipe looks wonderful from

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Fermenting Time: 4 to 7 days
  • 1 12-ounce bag of fresh whole organic cranberries (not frozen)
  • Juice from 1 organic orange
  • 1 small thumb of fresh ginger, minced (1 - 2 tsp.)
  • ½ cup freshly juiced celery
  • 1 organic granny smith apple, juiced
  • ¼ packet Mercola culture starter (optional) (or probiotic powder)
  • cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  • 2 tsp. monk fruit
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (optional)
  1. Place whole cranberries in food processor and pulse three to five times until most berries pop.
  2. Place cranberries in a Mason jar.
  3. Combine celery brine with culture starter and mix.
  4. Combine juiced apple and monk fruit and mix.
  5. Add celery brine, apple juice, cinnamon stick, cloves and minced ginger in the jar with the cranberries.
  6. Place small strainer over jar and juice the orange by hand. Remove strainer, and then add honey if you’re adding it.
  7. Fill the jar with filtered water, leaving about a 1- to 2-inch space from the top.
  8. Screw on the lid and then shake well, incorporating everything.
  9. Unscrew lid, and place a cabbage leaf and a small glass on top to weigh down berries. The goal is to have the berries completely submerged in the liquid.
  10. Screw on Dr. Mercola lid (or airlock lids) and store in a dark place for four to seven days. Do not screw the lid tightly – you’ll want to keep it loose so the gas can escape the jar.
    This recipe makes 24 ounces of fermented cranberries.
    Tip: If you add one tablespoon of brine from another fermented food it may help speed up the process.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

November 2016 Potluck

Our theme this month is holiday foods that are vegan and gluten free. As always everything was AMAZING! I love how all the courses for a holiday meal were provided. Our next gathering will be a Living Kitchen December 3rd at 1.

Pumpkin Hummus
1 can organic garbanzo beans
1 can organic pumpkin
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
dash of salt
dash of cumin
dash of turmeric
dash of cinnamon
dash of clove
dash of ginger
dash of allspice
dash of nutmeg
dash of maple syrup
Directions: combine in a food processor until smooth.

Our Salad:
Leafy Green salad

Our Soup:

1 acorn squash
½ cup diced onion
2 - 3 carrots, diced
1 -2 stalks of celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced (optional)
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
4 cups vegetable broth
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Halve the acorn squash. Scoop out and set aside the seeds. Place the cut sides of the squash down in a 13 x 9– inch pan with about one inch of water. Roast until the skin is pierced easily with a fork, about 40 - 45 minutes. Allow to cool, then remove the skin and roughly chop the squash.

Water sauté (or use a little vegetable broth) over low heat, the onion, carrots, and celery for about five minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté another 30 seconds. Add the honey, broth, salt and squash. Raise to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend the bisque in a blender or in the pot with an immersion blender.

Serve warm, sprinkled with a few pumpkin seeds or if you have follow the instructions below, a few of the roasted squash seeds.

Roasting the acorn squash seeds (optional)

Scoop out and set aside the seeds. While the squash is roasting, rinse the seeds and get rid of the excess squashy bits. Pat dry with paper towels. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Stir to coat all of the seeds. After you take the squash out of the oven, let the oven cool to 325 ° F. Roast the seeds until golden brown, stirring every 5– 10 minutes. Set aside.  

Our Main Dish:
Wild Rice with Corn and Cranberries

Our sides:
Brussel Sprouts

Cranberry Relish
2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup raisins soaked in the juice of 1 orange
3/4 cups pitted dates
Process in food processor to desired consistency

1 apple cored and diced
1 orange peeled and slices
Process to incorporate

Green Bean Casserole

Our desserts:

Almond Butter Pie

Our Beverages:
Hot Cacao
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water
2-4 dates
2 TBS cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
Directions: Place it in a high speed blender and blend until hot.