Lentil vegetable bowl (vegan/gf)

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I’ll admit it.  I used to think lentils were just boring brown mushiness.  But I had heard good things (especially about their impressive nutrition resume), so I tried them out.  That was a couple of years ago at this point and now they’re one of my go-to legumes!  They require no pre-soaking, as opposed to dried beans, so you can have them for dinner without planning ahead – yeah, it happens.  They’re also cheap, like other legumes, so you get quite the nutrition bang for your buck.  They’re pretty fuss-free, so I often just throw in some vegetables and spices with them and let them go at it.  For the version in the photos I used carrots, parsnips, broccoli, and kale, but add what every floats your vegetable boat!  :)  Also, I love using warm curry spices (turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne – also all very good for you!), but you can go more savory (basil, oregano, thyme, etc.) if you prefer. Continue reading

Sweet potato and black bean nachos (vegan/gf)

First of all, I am aware I’ve been kind of absent in the blogosphere lately… life happens.  I hope you welcome me back with open arms.  :)  Now let’s get to some good eats!

Sometimes I just need (well, I guess it’s a very strong want…) some nachos.  And is there any more perfect south-of-the-border flavor combination than black beans and sweet potatoes?  Didn’t think so.  (The sound of peepers – my neck of the woods’ version of crickets – was the only response I got, so I I’ll take that as a no.)  These cravings came together with the bag of delicious quinoa and black bean tortilla chips in my cupboard tonight for a fabulous meal.  Dig in!

IMG_3691Don’t worry, this fed both me AND Travis…  :) Continue reading

Basil-avocado sauce with lemon (vegan/gf/nut-free)

So I know I’ve been posting a lot of basil-y and lemon-y things lately, but I just love buying mounds of fresh basil from my local farmers’ market… you’ll just have to deal.  :)  The more specific reason for today’s recipe is for my cousin, Susanna, whose youngest son has many complicated allergies, including dairy and nuts.  After my parsnip pesto post, she asked about nut-free pesto.  Well, this is my first stab at it, and it definitely has that delightful basil flavor of pesto, without dairy or nuts!

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Pasta with lemony parsnip pesto (vegan/gf)

This post is brought to you by the letter P…

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Do you ever have a vision, but it’s teetering between genius and disaster in your head, so you’re wary of trying it?  Who am I kidding, we all have.  Well this dish is one of those visions, and I’m going to come right out and say that the scale tipped heavily towards genius.  The sweetness of the parsnips married with the sharpness of the lemon and garlic, tempered by buttery walnuts and fragrant basil, all tossed with pasta, olive oil, spinach, and onions…  YESSSSS! Continue reading

Twice-baked potatoes with black beans, veggies and “cheese” sauce (vegan/gf)

Potatoes are one of my winter staple foods – in fact, there is a farm at the local indoor market that specializes in supplying tasty taters all year round, and I tend to pick up a batch every week or two.  Well, as much as I love potatoes, it can get boring having them just about the same (albeit delicious) way every week (roasting is my favorite, especially with some baked beans and veggies… yum!).  I’ve seen several postings about either stuffed or topped baked potatoes lately on my favorite blogs, and as I gazed today into the sad eyes (yes literally, in some cases) of my neglected potatoes, I saw a tasty Mexican-inspired topping in their future.

IMG_3557SUCCESS.  I licked my plate.  ‘Nuff said. Continue reading

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

Kale pesto and sweet potato pasta (and my thoughts on canned chickpeas)

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I love kale.  And lucky for me, it’s a vegetable that enjoys Maine’s soil and seasons.  Unfortunately, it seems that many of my fellow farmers’ market go-ers also love kale and other greens, because there’s been an absolute dearth in recent weeks – even months.  So I’ve broken down (many times…) and bought kale from the grocery store, but at least it’s organic (important because kale is on the infamous dirty dozen list), it’s from a Massachusetts company (Olivia’s Organics), and it’s grown in the US.  I’ll save why I eat local for another post… Continue reading