Cauliflower Mash

  
Mmm… Looking for an alternative to mashed potatoes? This is an easy and tasty one. This cauliflower mash was a perfect compliment to macaroni and cheese and avocado oil sautéed red chard with garlic and pine nuts. What you will need:

1 small head of cauliflower, leaves removed and diced

4 TBS water

1 TBS margarine

1/8 cup of vegan sour cream

1/8 cup vegan shredded mozzarella

Place cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl with water and cover. Microwave until cauliflower is soft, about 5 minutes. Spoon out water. Add margarine, sour cream, and cheese. Using a submersion blender, blend until smooth and serve warm. If a submersion blender is not available, place all but the water in a food processor and process until smooth. Yummers!

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Cashew Avocado Dip

  
Just thought this up and it’s amazing. What you will need:

I cup raw almonds, soaked for at least 8 hours

Juice from 1 small lemon

1 medium avocado, pit and skin removed

1 TBS olive oil

1/8 tsp sea salt

Place everything in a food processor and process till desired consistency. May need to stop and scrape sides every so often. Yummers!

Cold Quinoa Salad

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An upcoming potluck after work required me to think ahead on what to take that would be easy to make and transport. Looking around my pantry and fridge, I came up with a cold quinoa salad that was a big hit. What you will need:

1 cup uncooked red quinoa

2 bell peppers of different colors, I used red and yellow, diced

10 oz sweet corn

1 can artichoke hearts, sliced thin

3 green onions, sliced into small circles

1 TBS walnut oil

2 TBS rice wine vinegar

1 tsp liquid aminos

1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well combined. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Yummers!

 

Avocado Dip

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In addition to the artichoke dip I loved in Spain, was an avocado dip. So yummy and easy. You may already be making it! What you will need:

2 ripe avocados

1 TBS fresh lemon juice, from a lemon

Hot sauce (optional)

Crusty bread

Remove pit and peal of avocado and mash the meat. Stir in lemon juice. If wanting a little kick, stir in a favorite hot sauce. Serve immediately with crusty bread. Yummers!

Pasta Salad

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This is one of my favorite summer recipes. What you will need:

1 package pasta. I tend to go with a quinoa pasta (gluten free) and this was a veggie blend.

2 different colored bell peppers, like red and orange, diced

3 to 4 green onions, diced

1 can black olives, pits removed, sliced

1 can artichoke hearts, cut into smaller pieces

2 TBS olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp chili powder

1 TBS dried basil

Cook pasta according to directions to al dente. Drain and place in a bowl with all ingredients. Stir. Can serve now or let chill. Yummers!

Winter Squash

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Winter squash is a wonderful addition to almost any dinner, and Thanksgiving almost demands it.

The thought of making squash used to bum me out. I would fight to get it cut in half, scoop out the seeds, turn up my oven, set the halves in a pan with water to bake for what seemed like forever, and then spend more time than I wanted to clean the pan. Yes, dread was a good word for it. This process actually discouraged me from the yummy that is winter squash. No longer.

There is a super easy way to make winter squash. For someone like me who can often struggle with time, this is my answer.

Wash the outside of the squash. Place squash in a microwave safe dish with lid. Cook for 10 minutes. Using a pot holder, check that the squash is very soft to touch. If not, cook another two minutes check again, repeat until soft. Once soft, let cool a few minutes and use a large knife to cut open for faster cooling. When ready, scoop out seeds and serve. Yummy! Oh, so much easier!

Cold Cucumber Soup

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Gardens are overflowing! The CAS is sending home multiple cucumbers and my friends are desperate to find others who want cucumbers. I needed to do more than just keep making salads and eating slices with hummus. I started looking through cookbooks for cucumber soup and was shocked to find how involved many of the recipes are. This inspired me to simplify. If you like cucumbers, this is worth a try. What you will need:

3 large cucumbers, peeled and cored

1 cup plain coconut yogurt

1 cup vegetable broth

1 avocado

1 tsp fresh dill

Stick it all in a blender and blend until your desired consistency. Place in fridge and chill for at least 8 hours. Yum!

Cabbage Salad

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The CSA kept giving us these beautiful heads of green cabbage. I decided to make a slaw of sorts and it turned out amazing. Here is what you will need:

1/2 a head of a small to medium green cabbage or one tiny cabbage, shredded

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 ear of sweet corn, the corn cut off

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp sugar, I used coconut sugar because it’s what I had

1/2 tsp fresh dill, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Put it all in a glass bowl and stir. Cover, place in fridge, and let ferment at least 8 hours; overnight if possible. Remove from fridge and stir again. Taste to make sure the flavor is just right then serve. Enjoy!

Gazpacho

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Our CSA gave us cucumbers, tomatoes, and yellow bell pepper. I HAD to make gazpacho and it was delicious. What you need:

3 cups tomato juice with the lowest salt content possible

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sweet red wine

4 shakes Tabasco or other hot sauce

3 ripe roma tomatoes, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, seeds removed and diced

4 small or pickling cucumbers, diced

Vegan sour cream; I like Tofutti

Place everything but the sour cream in a blender and start blending at a low setting. After about 20 to 30 seconds, begin to speed up the blender every 30 seconds or so until everything is blended but with a little chunky left. If the blender is a bit small, this can be accomplished in batches. The soup can be served right away or chilled. Ladle into blows with a spoonful of sour cream for fun. Enjoy!

Baked Asparagus

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Spring is wonderful for so many reasons and fresh asparagus is one of them. We got the most beautiful asparagus from our CSA and I had to bake it to melt in our mouths! I’m salivating just writing about it. What you will need:

1 bunch of fresh asparagus

The juice from one half of a lemon

3 TBS olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the asparagus and twist off the bottoms that will be hard to chew. Place asparagus into a large plastic bag that zips shut. Add the other ingredients, seal bag and mix everything well by shaking the bag. Pour everything into a large glass baking dish and place onto the middle shelf of oven. Bake 10 minutes and shake dish to make sure everything is getting evenly baked. Return pan to oven and bake another 10 minutes. Check asparagus that it is browning. If browning, remove pan and serve hot. If not browning yet, bake another 5 minutes and repeat this step until baked. Enjoy!