Today, I'm finally putting pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) to capture a few of the recipes I've concocted lately. I can't take credit for coming up with these recipes entirely on my own. My M.O. when it comes to haphazard cooking is to brainstorm something that sounds delicious (usually when I'm driving to the store "starving"), then google the combination of ingredients and find a few recipes that sound similar to what I have in mind. With ideas in mind, I come up with my own recipe. As a rule, I don't like rules. So naturally I never follow recipes to a "T"...just like I rarely order something off of a menu without adding/changing something. But, out of the chaos, wonderful things are made!
So, without further adieu, here are the recent recipes that I think are totally worth your time, effort and $!
Everyday Mushroom & Kale Tom Kha Soup
Adapted from Kimberly Snyder's recipe
time 15 minutes
4 C Organic Vegetable Broth
1 Can Coconut Milk (I find that the Organic Light version with guar gum actually works better to help the soup not separate once refrigerated)
1 carton (1-2 C) Button Mushrooms, diced or sliced
A bunch of Kale (any variety), torn into pieces
1-2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2-3 Tbsp Tamari
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
Fresh Black Pepper, to taste
1 Lime, juiced
Bring the broth to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the mushrooms and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients (excl. lime) & simmer another minute or so. Add the lime juice. To spice up this soup, toss in some sliced jalapeno along the way! Serve. Yes, that's it. So good & so easy!
* VEGAN * GLUTEN-FREE * DAIRY-FREE *
Meg's Go Bananas Bread
Adapted from GimmeDelicious.com
time 1 hour + 15 minutes
4 Super Ripe Bananas, (makes just over 1.5 cups mashed)
2 C Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Flour (like Arrowhead Mills)
2 Tbsp Milk
1 tsp Organic Vanilla Extract
1 C (8 Tbsp) butter, softened (I always use salted butter.)
2 Egg Whites
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 C Dark Chocolate Chips (or Cacao pieces)
Optional: up to 1/2 cup sugar (I wouldn't do more than 1/4, but depends on the sweetness of the bananas)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir to mix. Toss in the chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar, if any, then add in the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas until combined. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture, just until moistened. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake 50+ minutes. (I would check it at 45, then every 5 mins after, until a toothpick comes out clean-but just barely:)). I used a heavy stone dish and it took nearly 70 minutes. At 55 minutes, I laid foil gently over the top to keep it from getting too brown. Remove and let cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from the loaf pan to continue cooling.
* GLUTEN-FREE * VEGETARIAN * SOY-FREE *
Blackened Scallops/Vegetable "Alfredo" Pasta
Adapted from multiple recipes, incl. MinimalistBaker's Almond Milk version
time 1 hour (or so) - don't be scared by the long-looking recipe; it's not that bad! :)
1 1/2 to 2 C Coconut Milk, plus more to taste (I used Organic Light)
4+ Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
4 Tbsp Gluten-Free Flour
1/2 to 1 lb Bay Scallops
3-4 Shallots, minced and divided in half
1-3 Cloves of Garlic, minced (I'm sensitive to it, so I only used one)
1/8 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
3-ish Tbsp Coconut Oil (or Avocado/Olive/etc.)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Mixed Vegetables: I used Mushrooms (sliced button mushrooms), Asparagus (the top half), and Zucchini (I always split them & drag a spoon down the middle to remove the seeds so it gets less soggy when it cooks). For the Scallop version, I added the steamed broccoli at the end.
Pasta of your choice! I tried an Organic Caserecce (cooked al dente) one time and a G-F Orecchiette pasta another time.
2 Tbsp Smoked Sweet Paprika (or regular paprika)
1 tsp Cumin
1/8+ tsp Cayenne (more, if you like it spicy!)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Mustard Powder
Salt & Pepper, to taste
***(these are approximate; I just "eyeball" it for the most part, so feel free to add/subtract!)
Prep the Veggies/Scallops...
Slice and dice the veggies, as desired, and/or rinse the Scallops (and pat them dry). Toss in a little bit of coconut or olive oil. Combine the spices for the Seasoning until mixed well, and then shake over the veggies/scallops until they are covered. Set aside.
Make the Alfredo sauce...
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the oil, minced garlic, and half of the shallots. Cook for a minute or two, stirring to avoid burning. Reduce the heat just slightly and add the flour one Tbsp at at time, whisking as you add it. Once it's all added, cook for another minute or so (keep whisking). Begin adding the coconut milk, 1/4 cup at a time, until the consistency has thickened, but is not as thick as you ultimately want (the yeast adds thickness). Pour the mixture into a blender. Add the Nutritional Yeast, Cayenne, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper and remaining shallots. Blend until smooth. If needed, add coconut milk and adjust the seasonings.
Cook the pasta...
Enough said. Just don't over do it! And, salt the water. (Tip: adding a little drizzle of olive oil helps the pasta from sticking after it's cooked!)
Saute the Scallops & Veggies...
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Place the scallops in the pan. Depending on the size, cook for a couple minutes on one side, then turn them over for one additional minute on the other side. (Tips: Don't over cook them! As soon as you see the middle about to lose its translucence, remove from the heat. You can let them sit in the pan until you're ready to serve.) Separately saute the vegetables until they are cooked (again, don't over do it...no one likes wilted asparagus or soggy zucchini!).
Two options here:
(1) On a plate, layer the pasta, then Alfredo sauce, then the Scallops (plus some steamed broccoli on top), or
(2) While the Veggies/Scallops are still in the skillet (combine them into one, if needed), add the drained pasta & the Alfredo sauce (some or all of it) and toss everything together.
The first night, I made per #1; the second night (b/c I had leftover Alfredo), I made the veggie version, and served #2. I preferred #2, all mixed together before serving!