sweet and smoky granola

Sweet and Smoky

Granola with lemon zest and dried cherries

Recipe by: Jenny Eden Berk (adapted from Cookie and Kate)

Serves 10-15

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola)

  • 1 ½ cup raw nuts and/or seeds (I used 1/2 cup chopped pecans, ½ cup almonds & 1/2 cup sesame seeds)

  • 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (or pink Himalayan sea salt )

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ cup melted coconut oil or olive oil

  • ½ cup maple syrup, honey or agave

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ⅔ cup dried fruit (I used dried Cherries and Berries)

  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

  • Zest from 1 lemon

    — Add semi-sweet chocolate chips and coconut flakes, if desired.

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts and/or seeds, salt and cinnamon. Stir to blend.

  2. Pour in the oil, maple syrup and/or honey/agave and vanilla. Mix well, until every oat and nut is lightly coated. Pour the granola onto your prepared pan and use a large spoon or spatula to spread it in an even layer.

  3. Bake until lightly golden, about 22 to 24 minutes, stirring halfway (for extra-clumpy granola, press the stirred granola down with your spatula to create a more even layer). The granola will further crisp up as it cools.

  4. Let the granola cool completely, undisturbed (at least 45 minutes). Top with the dried fruit (and optional chocolate chips, if using). Break the granola into pieces with your hands if you want to retain big chunks, or stir it around with a spoon if you don’t want extra-clumpy granola.

Hot tip: Add the coconut flakes half way through baking for a crispy texture and sweet, nutty taste.

Serve over yogurt, with your favorite milk as a cereal or even a satisfying topping for ice cream.

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Vegetable Noodle Pancakes

Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main course

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, finely sliced
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced on diagonal
1/2 cup snow peas, julienned (thin sticks)
1/4 cup carrots, coarsely shredded
1/2 cup beansprouts, enoki mushrooms or finely shredded cabbage
1 tsp. soy sauce or Tamari
2 tsps. mirin
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. black sesame seeds
1 tsp. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbsps. vegetable oil
1/4 lb. thin spaghetti, cooked al dente (7 minutes), drained & cooled under running water
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts
2 limes, cut in 4 wedges each

Method:

1. Combine ginger, shitakes, scallions, snowpeas, carrots and beansprouts in a medium bowl, and toss to combine.
2. Combine soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, black sesame seeds, sugar and eggs in a medium bowl.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tbsps. of the oil. Heat a minute or two until surface of the oil begins to shimmer. Add mixed
vegetables, season lightly, and stir, tossing constantly for 3 - 4 minutes until they begin to wilt. Remove from heat source and let cool slightly.
4. Add cooked vegetables to the egg mixture.
5. Heat remaining 2 tbsps. oil in skillet over medium heat. Using tongs make 4 individual pancakes, or one large one to be cut in wedges later on,(Individual pancakes will give you more crispy edges).
6. Cook about 3 -4 minutes until bottom is golden. Turn and repeat on other side.
7. Serve garnished with crushed peanuts and additional sesame seeds, beansprouts and lime wedges.

NOTE: Feel free to sub out different vegetables and garnishes for a slightly different but always delicious pancakes.

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Farro & Lentil Soup

With fresh veggies from the Farmers Market

Serves 6-8

Recipe by Jenny Eden Berk

Ingredients:

1 box of vegetable broth

1 onion roughly chopped

1 whole sprig of rosemary

2 cups of water

½ teaspoon miso paste

2 peeled and chopped carrots

1 diced garlic clove

1 tbs rice vinegar

1 cup of dry lentils (soaked) or 1 can of lentils

1 bag Trader Joes - 10 minute farro

1 small jalapeno chopped (optional)

1 tbsp honey

¼ cup almond milk

2 cups of de-stemmed and roughly chopped kale

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper


Method:

Bring a large soup pot over high heat with 2 tbs olive oil

Once hot, Add the chopped onion, garlic farro and lentils and saute until farro begins to brown slightly and the garlic and onions are aromatic.

Add salt and pepper

Add broth, water, rice vinegar and miso paste and bring to a boil

Reduce heat and add chopped carrots, jalapeno and rosemary

Simmer on low for 20 minutes

Add almond milk (or coconut milk) honey and kale and simmer for another 5 minutes


Serve warm with your favorite hearty bread.



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Fish Tacos

With Avocado Yogurt Sauce

I have been a vegetarian for 28 years and I'm mostly vegan. But every once in a while I crave, of all things....fish tacos! Why? I have no idea. But, for this once a year phenomena, I use this recipe. It's awesome. From Arlene Jacobs (my chef mama). 

Do you guys like fish tacos?

 

Serves 4

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs

Ingredients:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

½ red pepper, diced ¼” inch

½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped, plus 8 sprigs for garnish

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 tbsps. ancho chile powder

1 lb. flaky white fish fillets, e.g. cod, hake, tilapia

Salt, to taste

8 corn taco shells

1 cup tomato salsa, homemade or store-bought

½ cup pickled red onion

1 lime, quartered, for garnish 

Method:

  1. For marinade: combine olive oil, lime juice, jalapeno, red pepper, cilantro, garlic and ancho chile powder.

  2. Pour over fish fillets, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

  3. Remove fish from the marinade and place directly in a heated 12” sauté pan. Season with salt and cook for about 4 minutes on one side and 2 – 3 minutes on other side, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

  4. With a fork, flake the fish in the pan, stirring into the marinade remaining in the pan. Check for seasonings. You may want to add some of the remaining marinade at this point.

 

NOTE: For a crispy taco, serve the fish, salsa, avocado/yogurt cream, pickled red onion and cilantro sprigs separately and assemble individually at the table. Serve with shredded lettuce and hot sauce on the side.

 

Pickled Red Onion:

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup vinegar

Pinch sugar

 

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kimchi salad

Tofu salad

with Kimchi Mayo

Kimchi is a tangy and probiotic rich condiment used in many Korean dishes. It has that typical fermented taste not unlike tempeh and kombucha but also has a spicy zest to it as well. I love it. I put it in my salads, my wraps and even on top of stir-fry. This one uses both the kimchi and its juice in the mayo. While we’re using Tofu here you can easily swap this out for chicken, tuna, beans or any other protein you’d like. The powerhouse and star ingredient here is the kimchi.

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/3 cup mayonnaise (eggless for vegan)
1/4 cup chopped Kimchi
2 tbsps. Kimchi liquid
1/4 head of cabbage, thinly sliced
2/3 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup snow peas, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
3 scallions, thinly sliced
4 ozs. firm tofu, well drained and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
Salt & pepper, to taste


Method:

Combine mayonnaise, Kimchi and Kimchi liquid in a small bowl. Season, to taste with salt & pepper. Let sit for about 30 minutes for flavors to blend.

2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add the dressing, salt & pepper, to taste and toss well to combine.


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Linguine Pasta

with Cashew/Cilantro Pesto

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Cashew/Cilantro Pesto:

 

1 cup raw cashew pieces

¼ cup water

3 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup packed cilantro leaves with tender stems

1 squirt Sriracha

Salt, to taste

1-inch piece ginger, sliced

1 medium clove garlic, roughly chopped

Juice of ½ lime

 

1.  Soak cashew pieces in water in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours, or overnight.  Drain.

2.  Combine cashews with olive oil, cilantro, Sriracha, salt to taste, ginger, garlic and lime juice.  Grind in food processor to a grainy consistency.  Check for seasonings and adjust, to taste.

 

Pasta:

 

2 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb. linguine, cooked to package directions.

1 bunch of kale, blanched, roughly chopped and squeezed dry

2/3 cup cherry tomatoes

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

1.   In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil for about 1 minute.  Add the kale and cherry tomatoes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss until tomatoes are blistered and kale is tender, 2-3 minutes more.  Add drained pasta to the pan and stir.

2.  Add enough of the cashew/cilantro pesto to generously coat the pasta, reseason and serve.

 

NOTE:  Any leftover pesto can be used cold as a dip for vegetables, as a vinaigrette with the addition of olive oil and more lime juice or gently heated and served with cooked vegetables and/or rice.

 

When draining pasta, save some of the cooking water to use to moisten the sauce at the end, if needed.

 


Spiralized Salad Asian-Style

Spiralized Salad

Asian-Style

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs

Serves 4-6:

Ingredients:

Salad:

 

2 cups packed spiralized or shredded carrots

2 cups packed spiralized or shredded beets

2 cups bean sprouts

3 shallots finely sliced

½ cup fresh or defrosted frozen baby peas

Cooked shitake mushrooms (see below)

¼ cup packed cilantro leaves

Garden sprouts for garnish (optional)

¼ cup chopped peanuts

 

Shitakes:

 

3 ozs. fresh shitake mushrooms, very finely sliced

½ cup mirin

1 tbsps. Tamari

1 tbsp. Thai Fish Sauce or Coconut Aminos (vegetarian/vegan)

 

Vinaigrette:

 

Juice of 3-4 limes (1/4 cup)

2 tsps. vegetable oil

Liquid from shitakes

½ tsp. grated fresh ginger

3 scallions, thinly sliced (both white and green parts)

Salt, to taste

Sriracha or hot sauce, to taste


Method:

1. Add carrots, beets, bean sprouts, peas cilantro and cooked mushrooms in a medium bowl and set aside.

 

2. Over medium heat, simmer shitakes with mirin, Tamari and Fish Sauce or Coconut Aminos for 8-10 minutes until mushrooms are tender.  Allow to cool.  Drain mushrooms over a bowl and set aside separately mushrooms and liquid, (approximately 3 ½ ozs.).

 

3.  Combine lime juice, vegetable oil, shitake liquid, grated ginger, scallions salt and Sriracha.  Taste to correct seasonings to your preference.

 

4.  Pour enough vinaigrette over vegetables to coat, and toss, adding more salt or Sriracha if needed.  Serve, topped with chopped peanuts

and sprouts.

 

 

 


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Nutty Oat Bran Bread

Adapted from

sumptuous spoonfuls.com.

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs

Ingredients:

2 cups assorted nuts and seeds (pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.)

½ cup flax meal

1 cup oat bran

½ cup steel cut oats

¼ cup almond flour

3 tbsps. psyllium husk powder

2 tbsps. chia seeds

1 tsp. sea salt

3 tbsps. maple syrup

3 tbsps. melted coconut oil or grass-fed butter

1 ¾ cups water

1 egg (optional)


Method:

1. ln a large mixing bowl, stir all ingredients together, except the egg, until well combined.

2. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 8-12 hours.  This gives the psyllium and chia seeds time to bind all ingredients together.  Add the egg, if using just before baking.

3.  Preheat the oven to 350o F. .  Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, and gently pat dough into pan.  - Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and flip onto parchment paper.  Slide the loaf (on the parchment paper) and return to the oven for another 30-40 minutes until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove and cool.

 

NOTES:  Slice the bread thinly and freeze individual slices for later use, if desired.  Delicious toasted under the broiler and topped with ricotta cheese and chopped dried fruits or fresh berries.  Drizzle with honey for extra sweetness.

 

Try making it with 1 tablespoon light miso  for a savory loaf.

 



tofu ceviche

Tofu Ceviche

with pepitas

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 lb. tofu (1 pkg.)

1 cup fresh lime juice

¾ cup 1/4-inch diced plum tomatoes, seeded and juiced

1 tbsp. finely chopped shallots

4 medium radishes, 6 wedges

¼ cup fresh orange juice

1 ½ tbsps. coconut aminos (or tamari)

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

2 tsps. finely chopped jalapenos

1 ½ tsps. kosher salt or more to taste, plus extra for glass rims

(Extra salt may be needed of offset salt-free tofu)

1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro

2 tbsps. salted, roasted pepitas

Method:

1.  Cut tofu into four slices horizontally and place on a plastic wrap covered rimmed cookie sheet.  Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap topped with another cookie sheet or flat tray and weight it with a heavy object or some canned foods to allow water to drain.  Place in refrigerator and leave for about four hours or overnight.  Remove and drain well on paper towels.

2.  Cut tofu into ¼-inch cubes and place in a bowl with the lime juice.  Let sit for about 45 minutes and drain well in a colander.  Discard the lime juice.  (or save for a vinaigrette)

3.  Combine with the tomatoes, shallots, radishes, orange juice, coconut aminos, lime zest, jalapenos, salt and cilantro and toss to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning. 

 

quinoa salad

Lentil & Quinoa Salad

with Cucumbers

Recipe by Arlene Jacobs - serves 4-6

Ingredients:

3 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil (more, as needed)

½ cup leeks, thinly slices

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 cup green lentils, cooked

2 cups red quinoa, cooked

½ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

¼ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped dill

2 tsps. grated lemon zest

2 tbsps. lemon juice

Salt & pepper, to taste

Method:

1.  In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, cook the leeks and garlic until soft and translucent – about 10 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper after 5 minutes of cooking.  Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

2.  Add 1 additional tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to the pan, and gently cook the cucumber slices, until slightly soft.  Salt lightly.  Set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the leeks and garlic, lentils, quinoa, almonds, parsley, dill lemon zest and lemon juice and more oil, if needed.  Add salt & pepper, to taste.

4.  Spread cucumbers on plate in an overlapping ring, and mound salad in the center.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Elkhorn Noodle Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

with Einkorn Noodles

NOTES FROM THE CHEF:

Spring isn’t over yet.  You can easily and quickly make this delicious dish by recognizing that RECIPES ARE ONLY A GUIDE.  That’s about the wisest advice I can give you to become the best cook ever!   The recipe is listed below, but you can knock it out of the park by keeping several cooking principles in mind.

 You are the best judge of what tastes good, according to your palate, and must taste frequently as you go along.  This also helps you see how the flavor develops at each stage.  This is one of the ways to become a great cook.  Learn from each cooking experience and gain the self-confidence to rely on you alone, rather than to blindly follow recipes developed by others under different conditions.

 Buy the best and freshest ingredients you can find.  There are tricks to improve the taste of substandard ingredients, such as adding acid or sugar, but starting with good products puts you ahead of the game.

Pay attention & be mindful (if I may borrow that term) from Jenny.  There’s something to be said for the expression, “put a little love into it”.  Don’t walk away, play with your devices, or glance at the TV when you’re cooking.  Just cook.  This will help you avoid, burns, do-overs, over-or under-salted food, etc.  Doing it right and having a great result is very satisfying.

Here are some tricks to help you make this the best Pasta Primavera you’ve ever had:

 

1.  Use plenty of water and salt for cooking your pasta (salinity should approximate ocean water).  Check frequently (by tasting) for the point at which your pasta is just below the al dente point – (the pasta still has a little bite).  Don’t blindly rely on the recipe printed on the box, but USE IT AS A GUIDE.  For example, your pot may not be the same size as they suggest and you may have more water in it, so you’d have to increase the amount of salt in the water.  Taste it to find out what’s just right.  Under-salting the water will result in bland pasta and vice-versa, where you’d have to decrease the amount of salt in the rest of the dish to compensate.

 

 2.  Drain immediately, but place a cup or bowl under the colander to catch some of the cooking water for use later to create a sauce-like consistency to coat noodles, and prevent them from becoming too dry.

 

3.   Run cold tap water over noodles to prevent further cooking and return them to the pot, adding a little oil (to prevent sticking), and taste for saltiness. Adjust.  The proper use of salt in your cooking (unless prevented for health reasons), is another one of the most important principles in good cooking. (Disclaimer:  my opinion).

 

4.  Over medium heat add remaining ingredients to the pan, heat, toss, taste once more for proper seasoning, and add some of the reserved pasta water for a good sauce-like consistency.

 

5.  Arrange pasta in a bowl, add garnish, if using, and pour over a final drizzle of good olive oil.      

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs - Serves 4

Ingredients:

1-12 oz. pkg. Einkorn spaghetti (or pasta of choice)

3 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

2 plum tomatoes, cut in ¼’s

½ tsp. sugar

4 medium button mushrooms, sliced about ¼-inches

1 small zucchini, sliced about 1/4-inches

1/3 cup cooked (and peeled) fava beans or peas

1- 1/2 tsps. finely chopped fresh thyme

1 cup shaved imported Parmesan cheese (room temp.)

 

Method:

Heat oven to 400oF.

1.  Season cut tomatoes with salt, pepper and sugar and let sit for about 10 minutes.

2. Toss and spread all vegetables,  except favas or peas on the sheet pan with 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil and salt & pepper, to taste.  Place uncovered in the heated oven, and roast, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes.

Set aside.

3.  Heat water to a rolling boil in a large saucepan and add salt, to taste.  Add pasta and cook, stirring frequently until it achieves a near al dente texture.

4.  Remove pasta to a colander set over a bowl.  Set aside reserved pasta water and drain under cold running water.  Return pasta to the empty pot, pour over 1 or 2 tsps. oil and salt, if necessary and toss.  Add the vegetables, favas or peas.

5.  Return pot to medium heat, and add several tablespoons reserved pasta water and the vegetables.  Toss lightly and taste for final seasoning.

 

6.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil, or extra, if desired and garnish with Parmesan.                     

 

 

Plant-based recipes

onion paste.jpg

Caramelized Scallion Sauce

(adapted from Francis Lam )

This recipe, adapted from Francis Lam’s recipe in the NY Times was a great discovery and now sits on my refrigerator door next to the ketchup.  It’s so versatile and can add a depth of flavor to so many dishes.  I’ve used it in omelets, with pizza, pasta, vegetables, soups and stews. It keeps in the fridge for about a month, and I replace it as soon as it runs low because it’s now a staple in my home.  Try it with a grilled cheese sandwich.  Here I used it on top of some yogurt on a cracker as an hors d’oeuvres-  perfect when someone drops in on short notice.

 

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs

Ingredients:

4 bunches scallions, whites & greens, cut in 1-inch pieces

Vegetable oil, to cover

Method:

- Combine scallions and oil pulverize finely in a blender.

- Cook at a low simmer for about 1 hour, or until it turns a brown color. (Not attractive, but delicious)

tahini miso dip

Miso Tahini Dip

With warm grilled Pita Bread

When I was recently in NYC visiting my Mom and some friends, she made me a snack that was unforgettable. At first I thought it was hummus but soon realized it had a bit of a kick to it. A pleasant and tasty surprise that I soon fell in love with. When I had it, I used carrot sticks to dip, which was epically good. This recipe calls for a equally delicious warm grilled whole wheat pita bread. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do!

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs

Ingredients:

¼ cup light miso

1/3 cup Tahini

¼ cup mayonnaise (optional for vegans)

Pinch cayenne

Salt, to taste

Method:

Combine in blender all ingredients.  Add some water in order to thin to desired consistency.  Taste for seasoning.  Serve with grilled pita bread or your favorite raw veggies.


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Mujadara

A delicious, simple dish made out of lentils, rice and fried shallots/leeks

I remember the first time I ever tried Mujadara a few years ago. I was on a girls weekend trip away and my friends and I stopped at a little Mediterranean restaurant along the way to our hotel. I ordered it from the vegetarian menu not really knowing what to expect. This dish is commonly prepared in eaten in countries such as Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq and is very basic, consisting of lentils, rice and fried and caramelized shallots or leeks sprinkled on top. Honestly, I wondered how on earth I had gone 40 years without even knowing what this was. It was a perfect combination of savory and sweet, belly-filling but healthy and most importantly so flavorful and exquisite deliciousness.

Today, Chef Arlene has created a special version of Mujadara that I hope you all love as much as I do.

Ingredients:

1 cup brown or green lentils

1 tbsp. ground cumin

1 tbsp. cinnamon

2 tsps. ground coriander

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 cups long grain brown rice (cooked per pkg. directions to al dente), not too soft.

Salt & pepper, to taste

1 tbsp. lemon zest
2 large red onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup roughly chopped parsley

1-4 oz. container Greek yogurt

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 3000F.

2.  Rinse and sort lentils removing any impurities.  Bring 4 cups water to a boil and cook lentils for about 15 minutes until al dente.  Do not allow lentils to become too soft.  Remove and drain in colander saving the cooking liquid for use later.  Rinse with cold water and set aside.

4.  Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a separate saucepan until a slice of onion sizzles. Add sliced onions and cook slowly, stirring frequently until they are golden brown.  Remove ½ of the onions and spread on a foil-lined cookie sheet and salt lightly.  Place in the oven for about 10 minutes until amber colored.  Do not burn.  Add the garlic, lemon zest, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, bay leaves and salt & pepper to taste to the remaining onions in the pot.  Cook for about five minutes more.

5.  Add 1 cup of the reserved lentil water to the pot along with the rice and lentils. 

6.  Cook for about ten minutes more, adding more water, if necessary.  Adjust seasonings if needed.

7.  Serve with the crispy onions and chopped parsley and yogurt on the side.

 

NOTE:  You can add dark leafy greens of choice during the last 5 minutes of cooking.