An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

Blender dressings are great, in part, because they’re fast. Everything into one container, puree, and you’re set. This is a dressing I tend to make quite a lot in the fall, and then I just keep on going all the way through winter. It’s an incredibly versatile blend of favorite ingredients like carrots, turmeric, coconut milk, ginger, and sesame. Also, lots of shallots. Which, as we know from last week, I rarely skimp on.
An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

A Versatile Dressing & Ways to Use It

I use this dressing on green salads, grain salads, and as an A+ finishing touch over sautéed, steamed, or simmered vegetables. It works nicely in cold, summery noodle salads, and as a dipping sauce for crudité. This is all to say, it’s great on many things. I’ll list of some specific ways I’ve used it recently below!
An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

Shredded Winter Salad: Add some winter citrus segments, to a bowl of shredded baby romaine, endives and radicchio, and toss with the ginger carrot dressing and lots of toasted sesame seeds.

Noodle salad: Toss soba noodles with it and then go from there, adding other favorite seasonal ingredients – roasted vegetables, toasted seaweed, tofu or whatever protein you like, etc.

Brussels Sprouts: Pan-fry some brussels sprouts along these lines, transfer to a serving bowl, and toss with a bit of the dressing.

Farro Salad: I did this as a side for Thanksgiving – combine farro, lots of toasted seeds, and plenty or arugula in a large bowl and toss with a generous amount of the ginger carrot dressing.

Summer / Early Autumn: tossed with green beans and topped with deeply roasted cherry tomatoes +toasted almonds

A number of you were curious about a winter miso chowder I posted a photo of to my instagram feed recently. I’m going to write it up next. Making it again tonight, and fine-tuning the ingredient amounts. It’s definitely a hearty, winter warmer.

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Black Olive Red Lentil Pasta

Overhead, close-up photograph of red lentil pasta, cheese, and black olives.

Post sponsored by Barilla. See below for more details.

When it comes to vegetarian pasta dishes, it can feel a bit harder to get protein into the meals. I typically opt for making a side salad loaded with chickpeas and occasionally I’ll make a version of lentil Bolognese. However, sometimes I just want a simple, 20-minute dinner that doesn’t take any fuss. Enter this black olive lentil pasta using at Barilla Red Lentil Penne.

Alliums

I love shallots, but I know they can be a bit of a pain when it comes to mincing. Swap out shallots for minced garlic or minced onion. If you want to make this during the spring, this is also an opportune time to use green garlic.

Overhead photograph of red lentil pasta with olives and a box of barilla pasta.

Olive varieties

I typically reach for kalamata, primarily because we pick up olives from the olive bar quite frequently. However, using black or green olives would work as well. We keep a couple cans on hand for quick meals, and this would definitely be one of those quick meals!

Barilla Red Lentil Penne

Up to now, I’ve showcased the chickpea pasta from Barilla, but I’m also excited to share their red lentil version. This beautiful pasta is made from just red lentils and one serving has 13g of protein. When cooking vegetarian, it can be a puzzle to get enough protein into your day and I love when I can use ingredients like lentils in unexpected ways. You can find all varieties on Amazon.

Make it Vegan

One of the best things about this pasta: it’s easy to make vegan. While I love the parmesan in this recipe, you could easily leave it off. Or, try your hand at some vegan parmesan. I love using this mix that has hemp and nutritional yeast- it’s such a great nutty flavor.

Side-angle photograph of red lentil pasta with black olives and parmesan.

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Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Barilla. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week. continue reading

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Beer-Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta

Hang in there with me on this one. It’s a study in efficiency, and with some faith, it all comes together in the end. In short, poach a whole head of cauliflower in an olive-oil dappled, chile-spiked, beer-based broth, then wedge it & roast it until golden-crusted and butter tender. At the last minute, use that same broth to cook your favorite pasta. Serve it all up in a bowl with a shower of fresh herbs. Beer-roasted Cauliflower with Pasta
PRO TIP: Only add as much pasta as you’ll eat to the broth. It’s not great for leftovers. Use whatever pasta you like – I used a whole wheat fusilli here, but you could use penne, or one of the alternative grain or legume pastas.
Beer-roasted Cauliflower with Pasta
I started working on this recipe just before leaving San Francisco. It’s the perfect hearty bowl for cold nights, wintery weather, or summer in SF.  A squeeze of lemon brightens everything up.

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Chickpea Crepes with Roasted Vegetables and Chipotle Compound Butter

Overhead photo, close-up, of yellow chickpea crepes topped with parsnip and carrot pieces and chipotle compound butter

I love recipes like this one. There are three components, all in their own way delicious and solid. Straight-forward roasted vegetables look like the star but I actually think it’s the chickpea crepes and the chipotle compound butter.

Compound butter and do a little dance

There’s nothing quite like compound butter. Butter is pretty fantastic as it is but when you start playing with flavors that like to tango with the creamy fat, it’s a new level.

What can you add to butter? Truly a lot. Garlic, ginger, herbs, spices, truffles, and sun-dried tomatoes just to name a few. From there you can use these butters on bread, tossed with roasted vegetables, as a pasta addition, added to steamed vegetables, or tossed with homemade french fries (a favorite of mine).

I think what I love most about this particular butter is that it’s smoky without being overly spicy. The chipotles add just the right amount of heat that helps to balance some of the butters richness. The butter makes more than you need, so plan to use it again later in the week.

Chickpea crepes: you need these

I’m not joking, you need these. Chickpea crepes have a subtle flavor but are naturally gluten-free and have a bit of protein. The are such a solid base for numerous veg-friendly meals.

One note, these crepes are different than socca. Socca is thicker. These crepes are my traditional crepe recipe with a couple small tweaks to accommodate the chickpea flour.

Roasted Vegetables

Finally, I know the vegetable combination might be a bit surprising here considering I’m known for squash and sweet potatoes. However, I love the carrots and parsnips together. Not only is the color beautiful, the mellow earthy flavor is the perfect compliment to the crepes and chipotle butter.

Of course, you have options. Swap the carrots and parsnips out for sweet potatoes, squash, other root vegetables, or summer flavors like peppers, green beans, and corn.

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Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh

This might be the best tempeh recipe I’ve highlighted to date. It features a simple ginger and garlic-spiked orange glaze that plays off the nutty, earthiness of pan-fried tempeh beautifully. Unlike many other tempeh recipes, there is no need for a long marinade time with this one, making it great for a last-minute weeknight meal.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh
The recipe comes with a bit of a story, originates in a book I suspect many of you haven’t seen yet, and started with an email I received one morning last September from Australian cookbook author (and natural foods enthusiast) Jude Blereau. It read,

Dear Heidi, My name is Jude Blereau and I’m a Natural Foods Chef and author from Western Australia. I’m currently in San Francisco, having a fabulous time(…) I’d love the opportunity to have a chat with you and meet you. We do similar work I think, though with our own different slant. Hoping we can meet…

The name sounded quite familiar to me, I did a quick scan of my cookbooks, and spotted her book immediately. It was a thoughtfully composed volume of natural food recipes that I had tucked into my suitcase on my journey back from New Zealand a couple years ago. The minute I discovered Wholefood in a bookstore in Wellington, I knew I was reading along with a cook I had much in common with. Flash forward a couple years (and emails) later and we are chatting over coffee and croissants at Tartine Bakery here in San Francisco.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh
We talked about all sorts of things, and I asked Jude if she’d let me highlight one of her recipes here on the site. She told me she had a new book just published in Australia, and that she’d send the new one to me upon her return. Today’s tempeh recipe is from Jude’s new book – Coming Home to Eat: Wholefood for the Family published by Murdoch Books. It is beautifully written, delicately designed, brimming with great recipes, and punctuated by a handful of photographs (by Geoff Fisher and Michelle Aboud) that help set the aesthetic tone of the book perfectly.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh
My hope is that Coming Home to Eat will get U.S. distribution sometime in the near future, but as far as I know, that could take some time. Meanwhile, you can follow Jude through her site or her blog. And if you find yourself in Perth looking for a cooking class experience or natural chef training program – Jude’s the one to track down.

And thank you for reaching out Jude, I look forward to visiting you in Perth someday. You books an inspiring, and your enthusiasm infectious. I hope our paths cross again soon. -h

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Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

Sit tight! This is one of my very favorite recipes. It’s a boosted wellness honey – bright rosy pink, vitamin C packed, and bursting with flavor. This honey tastes like a thousand Sweet Tart candies were crushed up and dissolved into it. It’s tangy, sweet and sour, and ups your honey game immediately.

Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

I tend to make a big container of this Vitamin C Honey a few times a year with whatever powdery Vitamin C ingredient magic I have on hand. This batch has rose hips and hibiscus, and some echinacea. It’s an electuary of sorts.

Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

Little jars of it make the best gifts. Or a little spoonful after a meal to satisfy a sweet tooth. If you love PB&J sandwiches. Make one with this honey in place of the jelly.

Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

I’ll note this in the recipe down below, but use my recipe as a jumping off point. Play around! If you can’t find one of the ingredients I call for, no big deal. Leave it out, or add another spice or powder you like! Pitaya powder is tricky to source (and pricey), you can totally leave it out, and maybe crush up some freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries instead!

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5-Minute Mushroom Latte (2 Ways!)

5-Minute Mushroom Latte (2 Ways!)

If you’re like me, you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of medicinal and adaptogenic mushrooms.

Until recently, I never would’ve dreamed of putting mushrooms anywhere near my coffee or hot chocolate, but now I’m putting them in my morning lattes, smoothies, evening hot chocolate, and beyond! Let me show you how easy it is to make 2 delicious mushroom “lattes” at home in just 5 minutes.

5-Minute Mushroom Latte (2 Ways!) from Minimalist Baker →

Roasted Sweet Potato Baked Eggs

Close-up, overhead photo of roasted sweet potatoes with baked eggs nestled in among the sweet potatoes.

Some recipes are born from a love of making some of my recipes easier. I love to whip up a good quiche or frittata but sometimes I like to keep things simple (really simple). This baked egg dish is about as easy as it gets, once you get quick at dicing.

The Sweet Potatoes

Don’t throw this recipe out if you don’t like sweet potatoes. It’s really the concept of baked eggs that I would recommend. Any vegetable that goes well with baked eggs, and can be roasted, is a possibility here.

During the winter months, try different varieties of squash. During the spring, roasted asparagus is a nice touch (but I’d skip the first roasting step- no one likes mushy asparagus). And finally, in summer, roasted sweet corn and peppers rounds out the year. You could also mix two recipes and use something along the lines of this sunchoke hash.

Alliums

There are a few items that you can tell I love, just by the amount I use them in recipes. Shallots are at the top of the list. Sure, they are can be more of a pain to prep but the flavor gets me every time. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory, all with a small hint of garlic.

Of course, you can go with something a bit more forward. Try a bit of minced garlic added in with the sweet potatoes. During the spring months, green garlic can also add a nice flavor (and a bit of color contrast!) Or, go with the solid stand-by of minced yellow onion.

Vegan (a complete overhaul)

For almost every recipe I give, I can almost always turn it vegan. That is, however, a bit harder when baked eggs are the star of the show. I’d say if you’re bent on doing something similar, roast the sweet potatoes and turn it into a tofu scramble. Not the same but still delicious.

Spicy Baked Eggs

Finally, switch up the herbs. I’ve made this with a bit more savory elements and it’s delicious. Coat the sweet potatoes in a bit of curry powder, berbere spice, or a simple mix of cumin/coriander. It takes a bit of reworking the herbs but the end egg bake is delicious.

Overhead photo of roasted sweet potatoes and baked eggs, topped with rosemary and goat cheese.

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A Simple Brown Rice Sushi Bowl

I first published this recipe in 2007, on page 156 in Super Natural Cooking – the Sushi Bowl. Looking back at the recipes included in that book, this is one that has remained a personal favorite of mine (top five for sure), and from what many of you have told me, it has long been a favorite for many of you as well. Simply stated, we are talking about a de-constructed sushi roll – brown rice, tofu, avocado, toasted nori and green onions served with a tangy, sweet citrus-soy dressing. When I don’t have toasted nori on hand, I swap in a handful of crushed kale chips. 
Brown Rice Sushi Bowl

The Citrus Dressing

This dressing rules. You do a quick simmer of a bit orange and lemon juice, and then season it with a bit of brown sugar and rice vinegar. I wrote the recipe calling for orange and lemon, but I often make the dressing with grapefruit or blood orange juice, and it is exceptionally good – puckery citrus sweetness coating the grains of rice throughout each sushi bowl.
Brown Rice Sushi Bowl
So! If you love avocado rolls, this is a tricked out version, in bowl form. So simple, especially if you have cooked brown rice at the ready. This is the sushi bowl from lunch today, made with kale chips in place of toasted nori. 

Sushi Bowl-ing

When I originally wrote this recipe, it was conceived as a lazy day way to enjoy my favorite sushi roll ingredients. In an attempt to pre-empt comments related to sushi & bowls, I’ll leave you with this. I think there is occasional confusion with the idea of a sushi bowl, because the perception is that sushi is the roll itself. But, as Haruhiko mentions in the comments down below, “Sushi is a term that technically refers to the seasoned rice itself. There’s makizushi, inarizushi, chiraishizushi, etc., and what they have in common is the seasoned rice. You don’t need raw fish for sushi to be sushi.” xo Haruhiko! Hope this helps!

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