Updated on March 29, 2016
I clearly cannot get enough green in my life, given the last few dishes that I’ve made! I guess that’s what happens after months of mostly orange/beige/brown foods and then surging into a more vibrant color palette come March. I featured radishes, arugula, and fennel in my last recipe; this time I felt the need to grill up some asparagus, for a dish that is the perfect balance of healthy and comforting.
Grilling is legitimately one of my favorite ways to cook food. It’s simple, efficient in terms of time, and imparts great flavor upon already tasty fruits and veggies. You may have already picked up on this, given how many “grilled” recipes I have on my site – including sandwiches, duh. I love how the grilled asparagus pairs with the sautéed mushrooms, and the contrast in flavors and texture to the creamy pine nut sauce and crunchy zucchini ribbons.
I feel that pine nuts are an under-utilized ingredient in my pantry, and love the richness it gives to dishes. In the case of this meal, Silk’s Unsweetened Cashew Milk joins pine nuts for a subtle roasted flavor without sweetness for a creamy sauce base, then is seasoned with sautéed garlic (YUM) and white pepper. I dare you not to steal large spoonfuls of this while you’re making it! Or I do, because that’s what I do. 😉
The yin to the creamy sauce’s yang, is a bed of zucchini ribbons, easily made with a plain ol’ vegetable peeler, for a fancy and delicious replacement for starchy noodles. This method is great if you don’t have a spiralizer on hand to make oodles of zoodles. Lastly, leeks and mushrooms are sautéed and seasoned with oregano and fresh lemon juice to crown this delightful entree.
It really comes together quickly, if you’re into a lighter weeknight meal type of thing! And if you have a hard time finding the Unsweetened Cashew Milk (great for everything, seriously) use Silk’s locator here and maybe get a coupon while you’re at it!
While I’ve been obsessed with Spring’s fine fruits lately, I can’t neglect the tasty vegetables that this beautiful season also has to offer. Farmers market stalls display a rainbow of colors that are truly inspiring, which is super helpful when you’re feeling a little stumped in the kitchen.
I often forget how much I like using fennel in recipes, that is until Mary from Nom Yourself and I teamed up to make a bountiful lunch the other day. Aside from piecing together a delicious pesto bowl, we made a simple puff pastry pizza topped with thinly sliced fennel, onion, vegan ricotta, balsamic glaze and basil. What a way to reinvigorate your motivation to cook!
After that, I knew I wanted to put together a spring-y salad that was light, fresh, and still filling. I even made it gluten-free and oil-free! (not that it’s hard to make the veggies and whole foods the star of this recipe) Another plus is that you can find all of these ingredients easily and it takes less than 30 minutes to put together.
I’m a fan of making this salad ahead, then eating it for lunch for a couple of days. It could be easily transported in jars or tupperware for bringing to work!
It seems as though I can’t get enough berries in my life! It’s hard to resist them with their cute size, bright colors, and pops of flavor; they’re like edible jewelry, though far more messy than my other accessories ;). I also have VegNews to thank for this recipe, in that I just did a shoot for them on all kinds of vegan white chocolates, leaving me with a surplus of sweet, heavenly goodness that I needed to put to good use.
Now, in my experience, white chocolate can be pretty polarizing in terms of how people feel about it. For me, I don’t mind it and definitely think it has its place in the world of desserts and sweets. Taking that into consideration, I wanted to balance out the overly sweet nature of white chocolate with tart berries, the subtle flavor of matcha, candied lemon pieces and a pinch of salt to even everything out. (You can find vegan white chocolate chips online!)
This Spring White Chocolate Matcha Bark can be made in under 30 minutes, and is absolutely gorgeous, which makes it the perfect dessert to bring to an Easter brunch or to treat yourself and some friends with, whenever you like! I can picture a plate full of this delicious bark sitting amongst tea sandwiches, cookies and cups of coffee on a bright spring morning. Ideal, yes?
Before I get to the recipe, I must say, I went to the Natural Products Expo (West) this past weekend for the fifth time (what?!), and what a crazy four days! So, so many new vegan products and brands of which I’ve posted some pictures of on my Facebook page. My favorite item there was the new Breakfast Scramble Pocket from gardein, which was seriously so good.
Now, onto the Bark!
Now, I love food, but occasionally I do dabble in making fun cocktails. The most popular recipe on this site (by leaps and bounds) is my Apple Pie on the Rocks drink, featuring cinnamon whisky. But, this Boozy Mint Strawberry Lemonade is perfect for the arrival of Spring!
It all started when a friend and I were making lemonade for my dear friend Michelle’s birthday gathering, this past weekend. We had tons of ripe Meyer lemons, but no light-colored sweetener within reach. Surveying the kitchen, we found coconut nectar, and if you’re familiar with it you know that it is a very dark amber color. Short on time we used that and water to make the lemonade, which came out a super unappealing murky tan color.
We poured it over the ice in a the cute, glass drink dispenser, laughing at the appearance of it. A few minutes later, it hit me, we should puree some strawberries and throw them in! This would help with the color, and add some great flavor. Back inside we went to test it out, and somehow a solid amount gin was added to the strawberries — you know, to help them puree ;).
Into the lemonade the strawberries went, along with a few sprigs of mint; and upon first sip we all fell instantly in love. I knew that I’d need to make this again! It was the perfect drink for this dessert-laden, garden birthday celebration and should be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
Now, you can make this without the gin, if drinking is not your thing. Just add some more water to dilute the tartness of the lemons. I love this recipe, because we’re using whole ingredients, not just store-bought lemonade with who knows what in it! Using basil instead of mint could also be supremely delicious and I dare you to try it out for me.
This soup was born out of necessity; necessity to clean out my fridge and replenish it with fresh food! Then, when I posted the first rendition on my instagram, I knew that I would have to recreate it for you guys and actually pay attention this time around! How could I let you miss out on all of this grilled goodness?
Now, before I get into telling you all about this soup, I have to tell you about the background that it’s sitting upon. I was on a mission to find a light, marble-looking background for another shoot and ended up at Home Depot (maybe Lowe’s has it too? I don’t know). I enter the tile aisle and my eyes widen with all of the background possibilities! While nice tile is expensive when you have to renovate a room, buying a single large piece is actually cost-effective for photo stuff (though I will warn that they’re pretty heavy).
After checking out a few tiles and putting them in my cart, I turned into another aisle and found large linoleum squares and now my life is forever changed. I may super late to this, but I care not! There were some really cool industrial-style tiles that I picked up and the sheet pictured is one of them. I can’t wait to play with them more! Some of them have the vibe of beaten/worn metal but with a patina that you can’t wipe away and definitely cheaper. If you’re into this type of thing, check out your local home improvement store!
Back to the food! Something that is useful for this recipe: a panini press/mini grill/grill pan or an outdoor grill. I love using my panini press for grilling things because it’s contained and I don’t have to go outside to use it! Con, I have to grill in batches, instead of grilling everything at once on a larger grill. Either way, this and roasting are two of my favorite cooking methods!
This soup is chock-full-of vegetables and marinated tofu, plus rice noodles, making it filling and healthier than ordering out. If you’d like less sodium in your soup, use coconut aminos or low-sodium soy sauce in place of liquid aminos. An essential ingredient in this recipe is the toasted sesame oil, and the even better Hot Pepper Sesame Oil (which is optional, but HIGHLY recommended) for a finishing drizzle. Mmm..
All-in-all, this dish comes together in roughly 45 minutes, with some easy multi-tasking, as most of that time is pressing/prepping/marinating. Perfect for a hearty, weeknight meal!