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Olive Pistou

What is Pistou? Pistou is a typical condiment from the Provence region of France most often associated with the Provençal dish soupe au pistou, which resembles minestrone and may include white beans, green beans, tomatoes, summer squash, potatoes, and pasta. The pistou is incorporated into the soup just before serving.

This Olive Pistou is a refreshing take on the original Pistou made with a refreshing combination of kalmata olives, orange segments, golden raisins, and garlic.

Use this Olive Pistou to top salads, soups or even roasted vegetables.

  • 2 oranges, peeled, segmented, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 c kalmata olives, pitted, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp golden raisins

Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Store in a sealable container in the refrigerator.

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Tofu Ricotta

Tofu Ricotta can be used as a filling for lasagna, manicotti or as a topping for pizza. You can make a double batch and  freeze part of it for when you need it again. That way you have part of the work already done.

This particular recipe has steamed spinach in it. However, you could leave it out if you so choose. My thought is to try to get greens in my meals as often as I can.

  • 1 block of firm tofu, 14 oz., crumbled
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 1/2 tbsp shallot, minced
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 lemon, zested – safe half of the lemon for juice
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 3 c baby spinach, steamed, drained well, chopped

In a large bowl mix together: tofu, tahini, nutritional yeast, shallot, nutmeg, lemon zest and juice. Thoroughly mix tofu.

Add spinach to tofu mixture and  stir until well combined.

The mixture should hold together well, but not too wet.

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The Best Mushroom Gravy

I have made mushroom gravy before, but I tweaked it and I can honestly say this is the Best Mushroom Gravy. It has a secret ingredient that makes the mushrooms pop in flavor.

  • 1/2 c onion, small dice
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, whole, remove stems and mince the stems
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1-2 c Basic Vegetable Stock – reserve 1c for slurry
  • 2 tsp porcini mushroom powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Note: Remove the stems of the mushrooms and mince. Slice the caps. Those will be added in another step.

In a large skillet sauté onion, minced mushrooms stems and All-Purpose Seasoning . Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add garlic to skillet and cook the garlic until it is fragrant. Deglaze the pan with vegetable stock as needed.

Note: The porcini powder is made by grinding dried porcini mushrooms into a powder.

Mix together 1 c of vegetable broth with cornstarch and porcini mushroom powder to make a slurry. Set aside.

Add the remaining vegetable broth and miso paste to the mushrooms in the skillet. Bring to a simmer.

Turn heat off and add slurry. Stir gravy until has thickened.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

 

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Sweet Potato Cream

This Sweet Potato Cream was used in my Blueberry Crumble with Sweet Potato Cream. That little treat was amazing – All of it. I thought the Sweet Potato Cream was so good itself that it deserved a post of its own. It is a versatile cream that can be used for parfaits or as a topping.

This recipe is fairly simple. It just takes a little steaming, blending, chilling and a little patience. It is so worth developing patience.

  • 5 c sweet potatoes (white), peeled, cubed, steamed
  • 2/3 c maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 – 1 c water

Peel and cube the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Steam potatoes. (You can either use a covered pot with a steamer basket or your microwave.) The potatoes should be fork tender. Let cool completely.

Combine all the ingredients into a high-speed blender. Start with 1/2 c of water and add more as needed, until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency and your desired thickness. Chill for at least an hour.

Note: Sometimes I like to mix this with some whipped coconut cream to make a mousse like texture.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Vanilla-Pumpkin Spice Pecans

These pecans are addictive. they have a hint of vanilla, sweetness and pumpkin spices. They are perfect and you can make them on the stovetop. I tasted one, and I wanted more.

  • 1 1/2 c pecan halves
  • 3 tbsp maple sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Spice Blend
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • pinch of Himalayan Salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Add all the ingredients to a ziplock bag and shake.

Add pecan mixture to a non-stick skillet. Toast nuts on medium heat, until the maple sugar is melted . Stir the nuts frequently to coat. Once the maple starts to sugar it will go very quickly, about 30-60 seconds. Transfer nuts to a silicone mat. Let nuts cool.

Note: I have used these nuts to top cakes or salads. There are so many possibilities.

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Pan Toasted Pecans

However you say the name, Pecans, it really does not matter. They are delicious any way you say it. I like to toast them in a pan and add a few little touches to make them a step above ordinary – extraordinary.

You can change up the flavorings and make them different every time. I like to add them to salads for a crunch factor. Just snacking on them is good too. They are just plain good.

  • 3/4 c pecans halves
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch cinnamon

In a non-stick pan. (I like to use a ceramic pan, it works beautifully.) over medium-high heat add all the ingredients. Toss periodically.

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Toast pecans until the coconut sugar has melted and coated the nuts.

Transfer nuts to a piece of foil to cool.

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Enjoy just as they are or add them to a salad. The hint of pepper brings out the cinnamon. By warming the cinnamon the flavor is magnified.

 

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Cashew Sour Cream

This is a wonderful substitute for dairy sour cream. It has the perfect tang that you come to expect from sour cream. You can use this to replace dairy sour cream in any recipe. Other than soaking the cashews, it only takes about 60-90 seconds to make this condiment.

There is no reason why you cannot have this in your refrigerator anytime. You can also freeze this in portions if you choose to do so.

  • generous pinch of Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh
  • 3/4 c water, more if needed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c raw cashews, soaked, drained, rinsed

Combine all the ingredients into a high speed blender. Blitz ingredients until they are creamy and smooth. If needed add more water 1 tablespoon at a time.

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Refrigerate.

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Asian Dressing

This dressing is full of fresh flavor and is super simple to make. I initially made this dressing to go with my Asian Forbidden Rice Salad. It is so good I thought it deserved a post of its own.

Not only is it delicious in the Forbidden Rice Salad, it is also amazing in an Asian noodle salad, or even for a dipping sauce for spring rolls.

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  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger, fresh, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil (optional)

In a mason jar combine all the ingredients. Screw the lid onto the mason jar and shake until ingredients are well combined.

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Store in the refrigerator.

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Avocado Ranch Dressing

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am taking a Whole Foods Plant Based (WFPB) cooking class. This is from one of the assignments with my own tweaks. The dressing is very versatile. You can use for salad or for a dip for homemade tortilla chips or veggies.

  • 1 – 1 1/2 c almond milk, unsweetened (start with 1 c)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 tbsp dill, dried
  • 3 tbsp chives, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Himalayan salt to taste

Combine all ingredients into blender (except chives). Blitz until ingredients are creamy.

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Add more milk if needed for desired consistency. Stir in chives. Season with salt to taste.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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“Cheese” Sauce

This recipe is for those that cannot do dairy, yet miss the cheesy goodness. I promise this is a life saver in the cheese department. It is very easy to make too. I made this “cheese sauce to go in a Southwestern Bean and Rice Casserole, which I will share the recipe in an upcoming post.

  • 4 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/3 c GF Flour blend
  • 3 c almond milk
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard, dried
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric, ground
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

In a large pan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook butter/flour mixture until a paste forms, stirring continuously.

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Add milk, nutritional yeast flakes, tomato paste, salt, mustard and onion powder.

Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened.

Add lemon juice and stir.

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This sauce can be used for so many different dishes.

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Enjoy.