Roasted Potato, Tofu & Asparagus with Creamy Thyme Lemon Sauce

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If I were Jamie Oliver this would be on a cutting board. But I’m not, which also leads to why my rice was mushy, because Jamie told me that the rule of thumb was thirds, 1 part rice, 2 parts water. Why didn’t I stop myself on this dumb idea and realize that the ‘one finger’ rule has always worked for me and that instead I don’t need Jamie Oliver to tell me how to make rice. I don’t mean to knock Jamie too much here, I do love the little lisp-talking, (annoyingly) unorganized, cutting-board-loving, back-to-basics chef. Continue reading

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Endamame and Mandarin Salad with Refreshing Asian Mint Dressing

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I say screw winter, I am having a salad despite the freezing temperatures outside and the idea of a warm steaming bowl of soup beckoning me on days like this. I want something chalked full of rich raw nutrients, regardless of what the weatherman says, yeah that’s right I refuse to let the winter hold me down. Continue reading

Cashew Basil Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

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Zucchini flowers are in season here in Italy and they are popping up all over restaurant menus. They  often appear on menus in the traditional Roman way which is with a mozzarella and anchovy stuffing and are then battered and deep fried. Other traditional ways of preparing them are stuffing them with cheese, or making them with pasta or risotto, but the inspiration for this recipe came from dinner out the other night. I had a cheat night, which I have to say that I have had too many of them lately and I am ready to get back on track, but cheat nights aside, I had a fabulous stuffed zucchini flower with a French sort of ricotta with herbs that was pan fried. This recipe is my healthy take on the one I had at the bistro the other night. I subbed the cheese for cashews and tofu, to make it a little lighter in calories and fat, and then added in a good dose of basil, and it turned out fantastically! It ended up not taking much time at all to make either, bonus!

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Sweet Potato & Asparagus Quiche

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I’ve been craving this quiche that a friend had made for my Christmas party this past year. It was full of veggies and it this had a wonderfully flaky homemade crust. . . but, and there is a but here, there were eggs in it 😦 , and we know that eggs are a no-go. So ‘if there was a problem (eggs!) yo I’ll solve, check out this eggless quiche as the cashew resolve it’! Corny I know but I had to do it!! Right, back to the recipe, I had to veganize it and make it  healthier than its original vegetarian version. I’ve played around with vegan quiches before – tofu base, bean base, etc, but none were really able to hit that sweet spot. . . until I was struck with the great idea of tofu AND cashews! And the cashews did the trick, they really deliver as promised, making it  creamy and silky. The tofu adds in some extra protein and also helps balance the heartiness of the cashews, making it a little lighter. Now to the veggies: sweet potato and asparagus. I know the combination might not sound convincing but trust me, and the 6 other people that ate it and loved it, the sweetness of the potato and the crunchiness of the asparagus are a match made in heaven!  But there is one ‘but’ on my end of the healthy deal – I didn’t go all out like my friend and make the crust myself, and I can explain, really, I honestly just don’t have time with a hungry 1 1/2 year old and a husband-boy to feed, so I opted for a store bought crust. Regardless of wether you decide to make the crust or just buy, I assure you that this will be a hit! In fact, my son loved this so much he was licking his fingers, my husband ate almost half of it while my friend nearly polished it off, and meanwhile my in-laws still don’t believe me that there are not eggs in it! So I guess I can say without a doubt that this was a home run in my house and that it will for sure be a repeat in this house! I hope it becomes one in your house too!

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Mexican BBQ Ranch Salad with Herb Crusted Tofu

collage MEXSo I must admit that I have been AWOL for quite some time now, and it is my new resolution to post at least once a week. . . let’s hope I can live up to this :)! I just met a recent food blogger here in Italy, who is really quite successfully at what she does, and this definitely got me motivated, I am psyched to get back to sharing my recipes with you all, again! So on to the main event. . . this awesome Mexican BBQ Ranch Salad!

I was craving something that reminded me of home, and since I have a ton of different salad varieties in the fridge, I found it only fitting that I use some up, and what doesn’t fit the bill better and is more American than ranch dressing!?. I also felt like I needed something hearty for my husband who, on a quick side note, is too lazy to make and/or eat lunch, so when he gets home at night he’s starving. . .  and of course for me too 😉

I know there are quite a few steps to it, but I promise it is well worth it 😉

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