Tag Archives: Cooking

Luxurious Tomato Basil Pasta

Today I did my very first Facebook Live! I was a bit nervous, but when you’re talking about a subject that you’re passionate about, it just comes easy!

The FB Live was me preparing a recipe … Luxurious Tomato Basil Pasta from the Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon!

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk (I used cashew milk)
  • 9 oz uncooked pasta (I used Fusilli)
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

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Directions:

  1. Soak cashews for minimum 2 hours, then drain and rinse. Add cashews and milk to blender and blend until smooth
  2. Cook pasta, according to instructions, to al dente
  3. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent.
  4. Add tomatoes and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted
  5. Stir in cashew cream through pepper and cook until heated through
  6. Add pasta to skillet and mix
  7. Enjoy!

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Tip: if at any point the sauce or pasta dries out, stir in a splash of almond/cashew milk (I anticipate this for the leftovers).

After a quick taste, I have to say … this is one delicious dish! I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow and Tuesday! Will absolutely be adding this recipe to my collection of go-to’s!

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Takeaway Taco Salad

During the last bit of 2016, I was wondering what I would do to challenge myself in 2017. And since I’ve recently (re)found my love for cooking, I thought that a great challenge would be to test a new recipe at least once per week!

I’ve looked through and flagged many pages in 6 of my top choice cookbooks (in no particular order):

  1. The UnDiet Cookbook, by Meghan Telpner
  2. Whole Foods to Thrive, by Brendan Brazier
  3. Oh She Glows Everyday, by Angela Liddon
  4. Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook, by Del Sroufe
  5. Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking, by Dana Shultz
  6. Thrive Energy Cookbook, by Brendan Brazier

For Week 1, I decided to try a simple-looking recipe … Takeaway Taco Salad from The UnDiet Cookbook.

The base recipe has only 8 ingredients, with 2 sub-recipes with 6 ingredients each.

The first sub-recipe is Cashew Cream Cheese and is noted to be “the perfect dairy-free, creamy, cheese-y alternative” and can be made thinner to resemble sour cream. I’m always skeptical on cheese alternatives …

Well yet again, (author) Meghan has proven herself and her recipe to be great! This recipe makes about 1 cup of “cream cheese” and is noted to only last refrigerated in an airtight container for 4 days … so I’ll be finding ways to use this!

The second sub-recipe is Tahini Dressing and I’ve made this a couple of times before with the Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potato recipe, so I know it’s awesome!

On to the base recipe! The theory of this recipe is to pack it into a mason jar and have it ready to go … on the go! But I’m trying it at home, so I’ve simply placed the ingredients in a bowl in a pretty fashion so that I could take a picture:

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Then I poured them all into a larger bowl, added the called-for amount of Cashew Cream Cheese (1 TBSP), mixed it up … then checked the recipe for how much Tahini Dressing to use. But it wasn’t specified.

So I opted for approximately 2 TBSP of Tahini Dressing and mixed it up. Once all combined, I poured it back into a more reasonably-sized bowl and dug right in!

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The recipe makes 1 serving … something I absolutely ADORE since I’m only one person and live with no others!

You’re only required to use 1/4 avocado … so I know I’ll have this at least 3 more times to use up the whole avocado. But I think this recipe could very easily come into regular rotation!

I made the dressings this morning so they could marry and thicken in the fridge during the day. But honestly – this recipe was so very easy!

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Recipe Taste Off – Sweet Potato Dishes

A quick look back on contestant number 2 (“Loaded Sweet Potatoes” from the Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook) … after the “Avocado Cilantro Crema” married all its flavours together overnight, it was much more flavourful. Again, as with contestant number 1 (“Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” from The UnDiet Cookbook), the leftover serving was quite a bit better.

Tonight I tested out a recipe from Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking cookbook …

Contestant Number 2: Thai Baked Sweet Potatoes (picture as shown in the cookbook)

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I’ve done my best to make these recipes exactly as detailed. One difference I had to make between this recipe and my version is the chickpeas … I substituted in black beans instead as chickpeas don’t agree well with my digestive tract.

Again, this recipe was easy to follow. It called to rub the sweet potatoes with grape seed oil before baking, but given how the other sweeties turned out without oil, I opted to omit this oil.

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The book lists a sub-recipe for “Ginger Tahini Sauce” inside the main recipe and it was also very easy to follow. It called for 1 – 4 TBSP hot water to “thin” the sauce and I used 2 TBSP, but honestly, it didn’t really need any water. The tahini & ginger created quite a bit of sediment, so I ended up using a sieve to make it smoother. An after-thought would be to throw these ingredients into the Vitamix to get it mixed up well, and next time I think I’ll use the suggested tahini alternative of peanut butter.

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There was the perfect amount of beans to cover each of the servings, and just the right amount of sauce, too.

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As I posted this picture, I realized I opened my bag of sesame seeds but totally forgot to put them on the dish!!! #BlondeMoment #IWasStarving

This was a very nice dish. I prefer this one over “Loaded Sweet Potatoes” (contestant number 2), but I think I still prefer “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” (contestant number 1) overall!

I had a couple of observers that seemed pretty interested in all 3 recipes!

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This first batch of Recipe Taste Off has been VERY successful and I am looking forward to the next batch which will consist of Soba Noodle recipes!

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Recipe Taste Off – Sweet Potato Dishes

The other night I made the 1st of 3 sweet potato dishes (“Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” from The UnDiet Cookbook). I had the second serving for lunch the next day and it was almost better than fresh the night before!

Tonight I’m on to the next recipe by Angela Liddon and her Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook …

Contestant Number 2: Loaded Sweet Potatoes (picture as shown in the cookbook)

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This one looks great … let’s see how the recipe turns out!

This recipe was easy to follow. It called for EVOO to saute the garlic & onions, but I was low on it, so I used coconut oil (as I have a huge “tub” of it from Costco!).

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Inside the recipe is a sub-recipe for “Avocado Cilantro Crema“. This was easy as well, but I had to use 3 TBSP more water than the 1 TBSP it called for as it was just a little thick, but light, for my Vitamix and wouldn’t stay down with the blades to become creamy.

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I cooked the sweet potatoes for a full hour and they were perfect this time. Now to assemble this dish!

The amount of crema that was made seemed like a lot, but the recipe didn’t indicate that you only use a portion of it, so I used half per serving. Same went for the black bean mixture … the recipe called for a whole can, whereas the other recipes call for 1/2 can.

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Ok … so there was a LOT of toppings on this spud, and it was a bit over-powered by the crema. But it was tasty.

It’s got a different taste than “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” (Contestant Number 1) but it’s also got a completely different dressing being avocado instead of tahini/tamari.

I would recommend this recipe, but suggest making or only using half the crema and beans. Also – the cookbook picture has the sweet potato topped with a white substance, but it was not mentioned in the recipe.

At this point, I’m a bigger fan of “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes“.

Friday I’ll likely make up the last of the 3 recipes in this Recipe Taste Off and provide my comments and suggestions!

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Recipe Taste Off – Sweet Potato Dishes

Last week I attended the Vancouver Sun’s annual book sale and snagged Meghan Telpner‘s “The UnDiet Cookbook” for a whopping $2.00!!!

Then after work on Friday, I stopped by Indigo on Granville Street to view a couple other cookbooks. I ended up spending a few tens of dollars and picked up Dana Shultz‘s “Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking” and Angela Liddon‘s “Oh She Glows Every Day“.

I spent a great deal of time on Saturday morning looking through each of these cookbooks and found that on a couple, possibly a few occasions, they had similar recipes. So what else is one to do but a Recipe Taste Off!

The first match up features the following 3 recipes:

  • Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes ~ The UnDiet Cookbook
  • Loaded Sweet Potatoes ~ Oh She Glows Every Day
  • Thai Bakes Sweet Potatoes ~ Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking

So I make a list of the ingredients for all 3 recipes, determine what I already have on hand, and reduce my list to the few items I have to pick up. Turns out, 6 medium sweet potatoes can run a person upwards of $10 LOL

One of the recipes is already set to serve 2 and since there is only one of me, I decided to make all three recipes to serve 2 …

Contestant Number 1: Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes (picture as shown in the cookbook)

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Damn, right!? Ok let’s get this show on the road!!

The recipe was very easy to follow. The amount of coconut oil that is called for to cook the onion and garlic seemed like a bit much, but it worked out perfectly.

I also had to make the “Tahini Dressing” in this cookbook as it was called for as the drizzle on the sweet potato. And this also super easy recipe is absolutely DELICIOUS!!! Holy Hannah it’s got flavour!!!

The sweet potatoes could have cooked for another 10 – 15 minutes longer, but I’d already cooked them the “maximum” 60 minutes as outlined in the book … and I was starving! Plus it all smelled so good, I couldn’t wait any longer.

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Once assembled, and photographed – of course!, I dug right in. I’m really glad I started out with this recipe as it lived up to its typed hype!

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I would absolutely recommend this recipe (& cookbook) and cannot wait to try some of the other recipes!

Just a couple of nights from now I’ll dig into the next Recipe Taste Off contestant! Stay tuned …

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