All in Food & Libations

simple creamy-miso lentil pasta {v+gf}

This simple creamy-miso lentil pasta is one of my go-to weeknight recipes that comes together with items you probably already have in your pantry, save maybe the miso…but don’t leave it out, it’s the star ingredient here, and gives the dish that nice umami flavor. The pasta is relatively bright for the fall, brought on by the citrus notes from the lemon and peppery arugula, not to mention packed with protein and healthy fats from the lentil pasta, olives and cashews. Californians will definitely want to add an avocado to the dish (I do, and you should!), but it’s not necessary.

pomegranate and pistachio breakfast toast

Fall’s here and just like that, berries and peaches are gone from the markets and pomegranates, apples and grapes are a plenty. Although I’ll miss the vibrant summer produce, here’s a little piece of heaven that comes together with five ingredients—two pieces of toasted bread, a slab of nut butter, a sprinkling of pistachios and pomegranate seeds, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Badda-bing, badda-boom.

homemade almond butter

Spoon it. Spread it. Dip it.

There are many ways to consume almond butter and I participate in ALL OF THEM. It’s no longer recreational; I’m addicted. And, like many things, once you go homemade you’ll never go back. Almond butter is the perfect addition to overnight oats, this nut & seed bread or perhaps a rice cake with sea salt flakes…you can eat a spoonful as a snack or spread some on an apple or celery stick—the possibilities are limitless! Add in any additional ingredients you fancy—sea salt, maple syrup, honey or cinnamon. But it’s nice to keep it simple, and add the other stuff later depending on what you feel like. Do you want something savory or sweet? That may change from day to day so it’s nice to keep your options open.

healthy breakfast muffins {v+gf}

You know when you want to impress others by baking something yummy but just don’t feel like putting forth too much effort? Or you want something warm and cozy for breakfast but also healthy-ish? Or if you’re like me and stocked up on the last peaches of the season and are wondering how to implement them into yet another recipe—this one’s for you kid! These peach and almond breakfast muffins are easy to make, subtlety sweet, nutty and downright delightful. Eat them straight out of the oven or with a little “butter” or butter. Perhaps drizzle some honey or maple syrup over the top for some added sweetness?!

easy homemade hummus

This hummus is creamy, smooth and delicious. Plus, it takes less than five minutes to prepare without the additives found in store-bought hummus. Just toss all the ingredients into a food processor or blender, pulse on high-speed and voila—you’ve got yourself some homemade hummus. So easy, yet others will be impressed.

fig crumble bars

Soft, slightly sweet crumble bars with golden, lightly crisped edges (for those who like the corner pieces!). Kind of like cookies, but with more depth and less guilt. Eat these bars for breakfast, an afternoon delight or post-dinner treat a la mode. Sub any ripened fruit you like!

superfood smoothie with seed cycling

What do you make when you want to eat veggies but don't realllllyyy want to eat veggies? When it's hot and you need something refreshing but also filling?  When you feel like you should make something healthy, but just can't put forth the effort to chop and prep or clean up after yourself? Smoothies! Smoothies are my friend and they can be yours too.  Don't think too much, just toss it all in the blender and and drink up.

nicoise salad with chickpea tuna

It's strange to think of non-tuna tuna, but OMG let go of your doubts and fears.  When I first made this recipe, Joshua and I kept looking at each other with each bite, shaking our heads in both disbelief and delight.  The chickpea tuna has a bit of crunch from the sunflower seeds, and the capers add a tuna-esque flavor without the fishiness.  Sometimes plant-based meals can leave you feeling like you didn't get enough of something...but this salad is completely satisfying.  There are plenty of fats from the olives and olive oil, and lots of protein from the sunflower seeds and chickpeas.  And, the crispy potatoes fulfill your carb craving Everything, minus the lettuce, does well served as leftovers.  You could also use the leftovers to make “tuna” salad sandwiches with smashed avocado, cuz why not???

nut & seed loaf {gf +v}

Nut & seed loaf—Bread? Check. Low-carb? Check. Vegan and gluten-free? Check, check! Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. All day. Every day. Slab a heap of nut butter on top, followed by fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup in the morn’.  Smash an avocado on there, finished with sea salt and fresh ground pepper in the afternoon. Use it to scoop up a big bite of saucy-deliciousness in the evening. This is your vehicle and the world is your oyster.

kale salad with cherries & walnuts

Cherries are everywhere now and they'll just as quickly disappear when their short season ends.  I bought so many at the market I've been stewing them down into sauces, blending them into smoothies and tossing them into this kale salad.

It's such a simple recipe and one that will do just fine served as leftovers.  The ripe cherries burst in your mouth and the walnuts provide a nice crunch.  Shaved grana parma will make the salad elegant for a dinner party but if you want to keep it dairy-free it’s great without it.  Make sure to give your kale a good massage with the vinaigrette, this breaks it down and yields a tender texture. If your cherry season has already ended, swap the cherries for fresh peaches.

pasta elbows with pesto and fresh tomatoes

'Tis the season for barbecues, pot lucks and social gatherings.  I'm always racking my brain for dishes that can be made ahead of time and don't necessarily need to be heated or chilled upon serving. And on such occasions, particularity when it's hot, it's best to make a dish that's simple and requires no baking.  This elbow pasta fits the bill and is oh so delicious with sweet summer tomatoes and a vibrant pesto sauce.  If you find some amazing tomatoes at the market that you can't fathom cooking, just forgo that part of the recipe and slice them up, mix them with some good olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed garlic and add them to the pasta that way.

Bon appetit!

grilled potatoes with lemon & parsley vinaigrette

Summer is in full swing here and so is the heat! I've relegated all cooking to the grill as our little kitchen gets a lot of afternoon sun and tends to collect the warm air throughout the house.  We've been making these grilled potatoes with a lemon and parsley vinaigrette, along with a giant salad every week since the heat rolled into town. The high heat of the grill gets the potatoes nice and crispy and the simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice plus the zest, and some salt and pepper is like a bright burst of flavors in your mouth.

summer greek salad with avocado

Saddled with this sluggish motivation this week and a persistent craving for something crisp, zesty, refreshing and vibrant, came this feel-good, healthy salad full of veggie-deliciousness.   Our productivity has suffered some what since our unbelievably comfortable couch arrived this week, but it's suffered in comfort at least. I made this salad two times in the past week, and added in some grilled potatoes (more on that later). I tossed everything (potatoes included) with a lemon-parsley vinaigrette--it's like summer in your mouth! If potatoes aren't your thing (you cray-cray!) you could add a grilled protein of choice, or perhaps some pepita seeds to "beef" it up.

Bon appetit!

sheet-pan lemon & broccoli pasta

I've been meaning to put this recipe up on the blog, as it's always in my weekly rotation in some form, especially during spring and summer.  It's crunchy, tangy, savory and all together one big sheet-pan of yum! Oh, and you'll want to serve this pasta right on the pan so everyone gets equal access to that crunchy top layer. You can prepare this dish in advance and then pop it in the oven just before serving. It can be enjoyed at room temp, making it a great companion for a pot luck or BBQ.

grilled apricot & asparagus salad

After a cold winter in New York and a month of traveling, it's been nice to settle back at home for the last part of spring in Los Angeles. Mostly I've just been enjoying reconnecting with all my kitchen tools (esp. my new Vitamix that I got for Christmas but haven't had a chance to christen!!!)...and family and friends, of course!

This dish is perfect to bring to an alfresco dinner party and can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature.  The combination of texture from the raw asparagus, sweet and tart flavors from the grilled apricots and crunch of the roasted hazelnuts creates a perfectly balanced dish. Oh, and it looks pretty too!

Bon appetit

veggie chili with butternut squash

Since forever, I've been searching for a chili recipe that I more than just like. Like REALLY like. Or maybe even love.  I stopped making chili all together for a while; I just got tired of mediocre recipes...thought I might never make it again.  Over the years, after some more ups and downs, I finally found the crown jewel of ALL chili recipes (subjectively speaking of course).  For you skeptics, I don't blame you, I've been there before.  But I promise you this recipe won't disappoint!  I've been testing it on dinner guests for the last two months, watching their reactions with each chew and swallow.  Poor Joshua has probably had enough chili for a lifetime.  You can never really tell if someone likes what you cook, but after multiple requests  for this recipe--from vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and meat eaters alike--I decided it was time to share. The best part is that you can make it ahead of time.  The flavors continue to develop the longer it has to marinate in the spices.  Bon appetit!

hippie bowl with roasted veggies & turmeric sauce

When I'm feeling a lack of creativity, I throw together a "hippie bowl."  This usually consists of tossing some veggies in olive oil and salt and pepper, and popping them in the oven.  Then I choose a bean (lentils, aduzki beans, chickpeas, etc.) and some greens for a salad base (i.e. kale, arugula or spinach).  Next, I top it all of with a homemade sauce to brighten up the flavors and add moisture to the dish.  You can pretty much sub any ingredients you like into this equation: roasted veggies + beans + greens + sauce=hippie bowl.  It's hard to go wrong when you use fresh ingredients and combine different textures and flavors.

sweet potato brownies

Something has been missing 'round here and I finally figured out what it is: a touch of sweetness!  I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I do fancy baking things for others.  There's nothing like brownies made from scratch to make a place feel like home, if only to experience the sweet aroma of dark chocolate and hazelnuts permeating your space.  But who can resist a dessert made with such wonderful ingredients? Certainly no one. Not even I could keep my hands off this delicious, wholesome treat.   You don't even have to feel guilty about eating them--just dark chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted hazelnuts, almond flour, dates, a sweet potato and almond butter (mmmmmm, nut butters are my fav).  Dare I call them protein brownies??? Sure, why not...

buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies

I usually turn to pasta for a simple mid-week dinner, but things changed a couple weeks ago when my friend Amber came over with a soba noodle recipe from A Modern Way to Eat.  She also taught me how to knit that same evening, but I'll save that story for another time.  Anyhow, since then, I've been exploring different recipes and enjoying the fresh flavors and crisp texture unique to soba noodle dishes. Another plus is that soba noodles can be served warm or cold--meaning you can make this recipe, or any of your choosing, ahead of time.  Olympic dinner party anyone???

chichory salad with blood orange, apple & fennel

This bright, crisp salad is the perfect antidote for the gray winter months.  When the weather is as dry as it's been, I tend to crave more hydrating foods, and roasted winter vegetables just don't cut it.  I need something juicy and refreshing, albeit seasonal.  At this time of the year, there are some wonderful citrus fruits available: meyer lemons, blood oranges (and oranges all sorts), grapefruits, and other colorful fruits such as pomegranate and several apple varieties.