Sweet Dijon Green Beans

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This is a super simple recipe that you can make in a pinch if you want to add some veggies to your plate but don’t want to put in a lot of work. All you do is steam some green beans, mix up some sauce, and toss the green beans in the sauce! I adapted the recipe from one listed on the back of the bag of green beans.

SWEET DIJON GREEN BEANS

Yields 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh green beans
  • 2 Tbsp coconut (or other) oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1-3* Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1-3* Tbsp brown sugar

*Note: adjust the levels of brown sugar and mustard depending on how much sauce you want. Lower amounts = enough to coat the green beans, more = enough for some extra sauce.

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Directions

1. Prepare and steam green beans to desired tenderness.

2. In a large saucepan, sauté onion in coconut oil until onion is fragrant and translucent.

3. Add mustard and brown sugar, stir until sugar is melted and begins to caramelize.

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4. Toss green beans in sauce to coat.

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5. Serve hot!

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Pi(e) Day Special: Simple Strawberry Pie

 

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In honor of Pi Day (3.14.16)—and in honor of strawberries being on sale at Whole Foods (I know, cheap produce at Whole Foods? Insane!)—I decided to try my hand at a fresh fruit pie to compliment the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having. If you want to make a pie that looks pretty and requires minimal effort, I highly recommend this recipe. I used this recipe as a basis, with some minor tweaks. Bonus: it yields lovely, instagram-worthy pictures (see above).

SIMPLE STRAWBERRY PIE

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust (I bought a frozen crust at the store)
  • 2lbs of strawberries, sliced (they typically come in 1lb packages)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3Tbsp cornstarch

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Directions

1) Bake pie crust according to directions on package (I baked mine for 15 mins at 400°F), set aside to cool.

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2) Slice strawberries, and line the bottom of the prepared crust with one layer of strawberries.

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3) Mash the rest of the strawberries (I used my hands to squish them—it’s ok if there are some chunks) and put them in a large pot with the sugar on high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly.

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4) In a separate bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water, then slowly pour into the boiling strawberry pot, stirring continuously.

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5) Turn the heat down to medium low and continue stirring for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.

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6) Pour the mixture over the strawberry layer in your crust, and garnish with a few slices of uncooked strawberries, if desired.

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7) Allow the pie to cool on the counter for about 15 minutes, then put it in the refrigerator to chill for several hours (I let mine chill overnight).

That’s it. See? Easy peasy. Enjoy!

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Simple Bread Recipe

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You guys, I’m so proud of myself—I made my first ever loaf of bread!  Well, loaves.  I used this very easy-to-follow and simple recipe, and the best part is, it only requires five ingredients!  The whole process takes awhile, but most of it involves letting the dough rise so you don’t have to be actively cooking the whole time. Tastes great with (vegan) butter and jam.

SIMPLE BREAD RECIPE

(makes 2 small loaves)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 6 1/2 cups flour

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Directions

1) Dissolve the yeast into the warm water. I whisked it around until there were no more chunks.

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2) Add the sugar, salt, canola oil, and 3 cups of the flour, combine until smooth. I used a wooden spoon at first, then my hands.

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3) Gradually stir in remaining flour and knead into a dough. You can add all of the flour at once, but it just makes more of a mess (as I learned the hard way).

4) Dump the dough onto a floured surface (just a cutting board or counter top with some flour sprinkled on top so it doesn’t stick) and keep kneading until it develops a consistent, elastic texture.

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5) Put the dough into a greased bowl, and flip it once so the top gets some oil on it too. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit in a warm, dry place (e.g., on top of the stove) for at least an hour and a half until it doubles in size.  I went out to dinner and let mine sit for about four hours.

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6) Punch the dough down a bit, then flip it onto a floured surface and divide it in two.

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7) Shape the two halves into loaf shapes, and put them each in separate, greased bread pans. Cover and allow to sit for another 45 minutes (or until doubled in size again).

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8) Bake at 375 for 35 minutes (or until the top turns golden brown and makes a hollow sound when you tap it).

9) Remove the loaves from the bread pans to cool. I recommend you serve it warm, because there is nothing quite like a warm slice of fresh-baked bread. Not to mention that, by this point, your kitchen will smell heavenly.

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Also goes great with a tofu scramble!

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Quick and Easy Lentils

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For my first attempt at lentils from scratch, I’d say this turned out pretty swell. And, even better, it took very little effort—just some patience while the lentils simmered. If you like your lentils a bit softer, I recommend soaking them in water for about 30 minutes before preparing them in this recipe.

QUICK AND EASY LENTILS

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp canola (or other vegetable) oil, or enough to cover the bottom of your saucepan
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (I used a white onion, yellow would also be good)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced, or, if you’re like me and don’t have fresh ginger, 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 tsp salt

*Please note: as always, these spice amounts are estimates, as I rarely measure out my spices.

Directions

1] Heat oil on medium high heat in a large saucepan until it begins to ripple. Add onions, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cumin, and coriander.

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2] Sauté until garlic begins to brown and onion becomes translucent

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3] Add water and lentils, bring to a boil

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4] Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 35 minutes

5] Remove lid, stir in salt, and serve over rice!

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Spaghetti Squash with Cashew Alfredo

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Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite things because it is super easy to cook and is a guilt-free substitute for pasta.  Normally I am not one to refer to foods as being “guilt-free,” but I have been known to waaaaay overindulge in pasta, and spaghetti squash kinda saved me last year.  One squash typically yields at least 6 servings depending on size, and can be frozen for later consumption.  Cashew alfredo, meanwhile, is as easy to make as pesto: you just toss all the ingredients in a food processor and voila! Tasty, tasty sauce.  I adapted my sauce recipe from this website.  As you can see in the above image, I also added some sauteed spinach, tomato, and tempeh to my dish.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH

(yields about 6 servings)

Ingredients

  • One spaghetti squash (duh)
  • 1/3 cup water

Directions

1) Cut your spaghetti squash in half.  This is the hardest part because those buggers are tough to saw through.

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2) Scoop out the seeds and the goopy stuff in the middle, being careful not to scoop out the harder inner flesh (this will become the “spaghetti” part once you cook it).  I may have let mine sit for a little too long after purchasing it, as the inside had started sprouting…

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I used this fancy ice cream scoop to scrape out the insides:

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3) Pour your water into a glass baking pan, and set two scooped-out halves in the pan face-up (so the round part is in the water).  I discovered that my microwave was smaller than I realized, so I had to crowd my squash into a glass pie pan.

4) Cover the pan with ceran wrap, and microwave for 10-12 minutes.  If squash is larger, you may need to add a few minutes.

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5) Remove the squash from the microwave and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes.  Once squash is cool enough to touch, use a fork to gently scrape the pulp from the sides.  It will come off in stringy, spaghetti-like pieces.  It may also help to use a second fork to hold the squash in place.

6) Toss spaghetti squash with sauce of your choice (see below!), and store the rest in a plastic container.

CASHEW ALFREDO

(yields about 2 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp non-dairy butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1) Combine all ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth.

2) Toss with spaghetti squash (or other pasta)

I like my sauce a bit thicker, but if it seems too thick you can add more milk.  This sauce has a distinct, cheesy flavor and tastes quite rich.  It can be stored in the fridge for several days, and may need to be blended, reheated, or have milk added if stored overnight because it will thicken considerably as it settles.  It pairs very nicely with the spaghetti squash, or is a great way to flavor up some of those boring old vegetables hanging out in your fridge.

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