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

The Fantastic Friday Five: Beet cake, Brunch, and Ballet

The Fantastic Friday Five is a (new!) weekly series featuring odds and ends from my everyday life – food, running, gardening, and more!

Sooooo here we go! I’m trying out a weekly feature in addition to recipe posts, because sometimes there are things I want to share that don’t necessarily merit a full post. I’m hoping this also kickstarts me into more regular posting, on any topic. Enjoy!

#1:  Beet bundt cake for girls’ night

Choco beet cake juicejam&joy

Photo by juice jam & joy (see original post here) – We ate the cake before taking a picture of it… mine had mini choco chips on top…  :) 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 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

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