Grains and arugula salad

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If you enjoy the taste of grains, this dish has an abundance of them.

There is millet, quinoa, black rice and basmati too. The wonderful

assortment of other ingredients are basil, arugula, sweet onions and dried cranberries

with a garnish of pine nuts and chopped almonds.

Each forkful is like the bits and bites commercial, where you just never know

what you will end up with. No bite will contain the same type of grain. The light

dressing consists of lemon juice with a hint of garlic and parmesan combining the

grains and vegetable components.

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Recipe:

5 1/2 T olive oil

2/3 c quinoa

6 T coarsely chopped almonds

7 T pine nuts

2 sweet onions, thin slices

2/3 c chopped basil

2 c arugula

2/3 c dried cranberries

1/4 c lemon juice + zest

2 minced garlic cloves

Instructions:

1. Cook the rices in separate pots. Drain and set them aside.

2. Toast the almonds and pine nuts if you prefer.

3. In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, zest and garlic together.

4.. In a large bowl, toss the rices, sliced onions, basil, dried cranberries and

arugula with the dressing.

5. Garnish with the almonds and pine nuts.

Serves 4.

Adapted from seriouseats.com

Blueberry, white chocolate, gf oatmeal cookie

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I had a bag of gluten free oat flour that was trying to jump out of the bin!

It was always relegated to the bottom while the other bags of flour were

always chosen to be the star player.

Today was the debut of this gluten free oat flour in this gourmet dried blueberry,

white chocolate, coconut flaked oatmeal cookie. It really rocked with all these

amazing flavors all together in one cookie.

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Typically, I have grated coconut on hand for my baking needs and today

I had these decadent coconut flakes from bob’s mill. I found this cookie to be

a soft texture and not overly sweet. The missing ingredient maybe some kind of

nuts to really take this to the next level. In my pantry, I even have coconut almonds which

could substitute for the coconut flakes.

Instead of your usual oatmeal raisin cookie, try this one with the blueberry, white chocolate and

coconut flakes. You will never return to the same old recipe.

Recipe:

3/4 c dried blueberries

1 t vanilla extract

2 beaten eggs

1 softened stick of butter

less than 3/4 sugar or other sweetener

1 3/4 c gluten free oat flour

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1 c white chocolate

Instructions:

1. In a bowl, mix the blueberries, eggs and vanilla. Cover with wrap and let it stand for 30 min.

2. In another bowl, cream the butter, add the sugar and mix together.

3, In a third bowl, mix the oat flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

4. Pour in the blueberry mixture into the dry and mix well. Now add in the white chocolate.

5. Place the dough in the fridge for 2 hours, Cover with plastic wrap.

6. Preheat oven to 350. Use a small spoon and scoop a spoonful onto your prepared

baking sheet.

7. Bake for 13 minutes. Cool.

Adapted from boulderlocavore.com

Cauliflower with cheese crumble

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Some of my friends grew up with cauliflower in a cheese sauce but mine

was always stir fried with soy sauce or simply steamed.

Now I am making up for lost time. The nuttiness of the mild tasting cauliflower

roasted in the oven and then sprinkled with bread crumbs and grated old

cheddar cheese is so divine! I could even eat it with a spoon.

This terrific cauliflower side dish is superb served with your mains. Or for a meatless

Monday perhaps with rice or some other type of grains.  The type of cheese could vary

from a blue cheese or a caciocavallo Italian to complement the roasted cauliflower.

Recipe:

1 large cauliflower with florets

1/4 c olive oil

1 c toasted breadcrumbs

1/2 c grated cheese

1/2 sliced blanched almonds – optional

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 420. Roast the florets with a bit of olive oil for 20 min.

2. Turn over and roast for another 20 min.

3. Lower the heat to 350.

4. Sprinkle the cheese and breadcrumbs and almonds if using.

5. Cook for 5 more minutes and serve.

Serves 2.

Adapted from http://www.globeandmail.com

Vegan carrot cake and cashew frosting

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Carrot cake with cream cheese icing is my all time favorite dessert. This decadent

orange root vegetable cake with a combination of cream cheese, butter and icing sugar

is really delightful.

Now this vegan carrot cake with cashew frosting is almost edging my first version out of the

ballpark. The moistness with the applesauce rather than eggs and the cashew nuts blended into

this dreamy frosting that is light and nutty is EPIC! Who knew that soaking raw cashews would result

in this creamy alternative to cream with less calories.

The frosting also contains almond milk and the sweetness is derived from the maple syrup. You also

do not have to be vegan to enjoy this light and tasty frosting. Together the vegan carrot cake and this

cashew frosting are a winner.

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Recipe:

2 1/4 c flour

3 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

3 t cinnamon

1/2 t nutmeg

1 t salt

1/2 c applesauce

1 c almond milk

2 t vanilla

3/4 palm sugar or other

1/2 c melted coconut oil

2 c grated carrots

Frosting:

1 c soaked raw cashews

1/4 c almond milk

1/4 c maple syrup

2 t coconut oil

1 t vanilla

2 t lemon juice

1/2 t salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9X13 baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together.

3. In another bowl, whisk the applesauce, almond milk, vanilla, sugar and oil.

4. Mix the dry with the wet.

5. Fold in the carrots and stir well.

6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool.

7. For the frosting, combine the nuts, milk, syrup, oil, vanilla, lemon juice and salt in a blender. Add a bit

more milk if the mixture is stuck in the blender.

8. Chill for 30 min.

9. Spread on your carrot cake.

Adapted from loveandlemons.com

Tofu, brussels sprouts and millet salad

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Did you know that millet is in your bird seed? It is a strange fact but then

again, it is a very nutritious grain.  This totally vegetarian and vegan tofu, brussel

sprouts and millet salad is  quite refreshing from quinoa.

Like you, I have tried quinoa, couscous, barley, farro, wild rice and all of these have an

amazing taste and texture. Millet has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Millet is gluten free

and for vegan diets provides a large percentage of our daily protein. This can easily be used

in salads, soups and alternatives to rice.

The color of millet is a yellowish color and the size of the grain is very tiny. It takes a bit more time

to cook up for your various meals but is worth it.  Millet can also be ground up into flours for breads

and other things.

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Recipe:

1 firm tofu, cut into squares

1 T brown sugar

2 T soy sauce

1 t sesame oil

1 grated garlic clove

Salad:

1 cup millet

2 T sesame oil, divided

1 lb brussels sprouts

1/4 c rice wine vinegar

2 T honey

1 minced garlic clove

Instructions:

1. In a shallow dish, mix the brown sugar, soy, sesame oil and garlic clove together. Add in the cubes.

2.Preheat oven to 375.

3. Heat 1 T sesame oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the millet and toast for a minute. Next

add in the water and bring to a boil. Simmer until cooked. Place in a bowl.

4. In a pot of boiling water, cook the brussels sprouts until a fork pierces through.

5. Toss in a salad bowl to mix the tofu and the brussel sprouts with the cooked millet.

Serves 2.

Adapted from http://www.cookinglight.com

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles

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This dish is absolutely divine as an alternative for the real mccoy. Zoodles is

simply spiralized noodles using our favorite vegetables. If zucchini is not your

choice, you could use carrots, parsnips, beets or even squash.

Someday, I may buy a spiralizer but for now, I have my julienne peeler which

produces straight slices which I can curve around the bowl like a noodle. The

thinness of the zoodle is the key to success.

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The namesake kung pao is a truly flavorful dish composed of sriracha,

chicken or pork, vegetables and peanuts and then served on a bed of fluffy

white granules of rice.

Recipe:

2 medium zucchini, trim the ends

1 t grapeseed oil

6 oz chicken breasts or thighs, boneless

kosher salt and pepper

1/2 red pepper, cut into 1/2 pieces

1 t sesame oil

2 minced garlic cloves

2 T crushed unsalted nuts

2 T thin slices of scallions

1 t hoisin sauce

2 1/2 T water

1/2 T sriracha

2 t sugar and 2 t arrowroot powder

Instructions:

1. Use your spiralizer or julienne peeler to prepare the zucchini.

2. In a bowl, whisk the soy, balsamic vinegar, hoisin, water, sriracha, sugar

and arrowroot powder.

3. Season the meat with salt and pepper. In a large pan over medium high heat, add

the meat cooking until browned on both sides and cooked through. Set aside.

4. Lower heat to medium. Add the sesame oil and garlic to the pan, cook for 30 sec.

Add the bell peppers, stir in soy mixture and bring this to a boil.

5. Reduce the heat, simmer until thickened. Next stir in the zucchini noodles, incorporate

into the sauce, mixing well.

6. Add in the chicken and divide amongst 2 plates.

Serves 2.

Adapted from http://www.skinnytaste.com

Farro salad with dried cranberries, turkey bacon and goat cheese

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Oh my goodness, this hearty farro salad with dried cranberries, turkey bacon and

goat cheese is incredible! The chewy texture of the farro is nutty tasting and complements

any of its pairings.

The turkey bacon is lean and low in fat for those of us who need to watch our calories.

It looks like ham when you purchase it from the grocery store.  The dried cranberries are

an excellent choice to complete this sensational farro salad with the creamy goat cheese.

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I love farro! It is my favorite wheat of the moment. I still enjoy the taste

of quinoa, barley, couscous and rices but farro is fabulous.  It is so

educational to learn that farro is an ancient grain that has existed for

decades.

Recipe:

3 T olive oil, divided

2 T apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 c farro

6 oz turkey bacon

1 T thyme fresh

2 oz goat cheese crumbled

1/4 c dried cherries or cranberries

Instructions:

1. In a pot of boiling water, cook the farro until soft.

2. In a pan, heat a bit of oil and fry the turkey bacon. Slice when cooled.

3. In a mixing bowl, toss the farro, turkey bacon, cider vinegar, oil, dried fruit

and thyme. Garnish with goat cheese.

Serves 2.

Adapted from cookinlight.com