Homemade birthday sushi! (vegan/gf)

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Yesterday was the birthday of my bestest friend, Travis (who, lucky for me, also happens to be my future husband!), and we had people over for dinner and a party at our house last night. I had been itching to try making sushi at home for a while, and then a week or so ago a friend posted THIS POST from Peas and Crayons, which made it look easy (and it was!), so I got on it. I ventured out to Whole Foods (a store I only dare let myself go to except for toiletries, bulk items, and specialty items… sushi fixings fell into the last category), and I found a bamboo mat (for about $4), wasabi, pickled ginger (sans preservatives and fake colors – score!), nori (seaweed sheets), and sushi rice. I tried my first go at sushi earlier this week, and it turned out AWESOME. In Travis’ words, “This is the best sushi I’ve ever had.” Well then. Continue reading

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Kale and cabbage salad with cashew-sesame dressing (vegan/gf)

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Have I mentioned that I love kale? I believe I have, but the topic merits re-visiting. It’s especially wonderful in winter, on those days when all I want is GREEN and delicate salad greens are hard to come by (unless you bully other people out of the way at the farmers’ market, and that’s just not my style). Well the other night, Travis was coming home late from a work outing involving food and I knew he wouldn’t be hungry for a full meal (and I didn’t really feel like cooking something hot anyway), so I checked the fridge to inspire me. Lo and behold, I had a bunch of kale and also some beautiful purple cabbage from the market. I knew I wanted to make a salad, but the dish didn’t click in my head until I thought to use a cashew dressing, much like the one I like to use on noodles/rice/quinoa, as described here. Long story short, it was so delicious that we ate some, and then ate some more… and then we had to stop ourselves from being stuffed with the amazingness. Continue reading

For what ails me… (Cashew-sesame sauce)

I stayed home sick yesterday. I was basically a slug – lunch was instant miso soup and piece of peanut butter toast (thanks, Travis!) – but I made myself get off the couch and make some real dinner when my stomach wouldn’t let me idle any longer. I was feeling pretty uninspired, and I didn’t want anything that took too much effort, so my mind inevitably strayed to the comfort list.

You know, the foods that sound good in pretty much any situation. Such a situation as, say, feeling like crap.

I immediately thought of a favorite cashew sauce that I make and I mentally ran down the list of necessaries: cashews, garlic (ooh, an heirloom variety from the market – double check!), rice vinegar, tamari/soy sauce, sesame oil, curry paste… YES! And I even had some good veggie options and some brown rice spaghetti. It’s embarrassing how excited I got when I realized I could make the beloved dish that very night.

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Uh-oh, my mouth is watering again… I can get away with making it twice in a week, right??

Continue reading