Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Is it Fall already?

No, it's just the beginning of summer.  Not that I'm excited for fall or anything.  Well, maybe a little bit since I'm traveling to Argentina in August.  In honor of my trip, and the fact that it's winter in South America, here is a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Chickpea Chili.  Yes, this chili is as warming and delicious as you can imagine, and you can serve it with rice for a complete meal.


Pumpkin Chickpea Chili
adapted from Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats
page 121

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes  



Ingredients (continued...)
  • 1 can pumpkin purée
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons chili powder, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup minced cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat sauté the onion, garlic, green pepper and salt in olive oil for 10-15 minutes until tender
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil
  3. Once boiling, immediately reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until heated through
  4. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot
Makes 5 servings

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Culver Hotel

I traveled to Culver City from the safe haven of my Santa Monica existence to see the film "The Other Woman".  Truth be told, it was the first time I've been to the movies since the Holidays.  The Other Women was hilarious; the funniest chick flick I've seen since Bridesmaids. 

http://cdn5.agoda.net/hotelimages/345/345786/345786_130315143705611_STD.jpg
Culver Hotel, Culver City, CA

In New York, NY, the hotel/restaurant scene is popular, so I wasn't surprised when the bustling restaurant nearby the movie theater belonged to the Culver Hotel.  I'd like to say that the Culver Hotel is to Culver City what the Crosby Street Hotel is to Soho, but truthfully, I don't know the area well enough.  I'll just have to go by the food, ambiance and the crowd of people on a Saturday night, and say this one is worth checking out.

My friend and I stopped by for drinks/dinner after the movies, and the gluten-free, vegan options were superb!  I started with the Hummus and Grilled Vegetables...


And then I ordered the Red Organic Quinoa Salad with grilled asparagus, mushrooms, avocado, goat cheese brocolini (not dairy-free), cucumber, lemon-ginger vinaigrette, spinach and arugula.

Culver Hotel
9400 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 558-9400

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ringing in the New Year with Breakfast Risotto

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great time celebrating NYE.

I woke up this morning and decided to get a jump start on 2014 by cooking breakfast.

I made this delicious breakfast risotto from my favorite cookbook The Gluten-Free Vegan.  The recipe is delicious, and it can be frozen which is great if you want to warm it up during the week or bring it to work!

Breakfast Risotto
adapted from the Gluten-Free Vegan, pg. 112

Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk (I found this in the Asian cooking isle at my supermarket and used Thai Kitchen light coconut milk)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • ½ cup currants
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ pitted mango or banana, peeled and chopped (I used banana)
Directions
  1. Pour 1 cup water into a large skillet and place over medium heat.
  2. When the water starts to boil, add the rice.
  3. When the water is absorbed, add the second cup of water and when that is absorbed, add 1 cup of coconut milk.
  4. Continue cooking over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed, then add the rest of the coconut milk. 
  5. When the rice is cooked and all of the liquid has been absorbed, add the pineapple, currants, nuts, spices and mango or banana.
    Serves 4

    Sunday, November 17, 2013

    Fall Side: Sautéed Spinach with Pine Nuts

    Spinach is super healthy.  It's loaded with antioxidants, fiber, iron and other vitamins. 

    I've been cooking spinach lately and this recipe with pine nuts is one of my favorites!  It's delicious and easy to cook.


    Spinach with Pine Nuts
    adapted from the Gluten-Free Vegan, pg. 74

    Ingredients
    • 1-2 tablespoons organic olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts
    • 1 bunch spinach, washed and chopped (4-6 cups)
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
    • Freshly ground pepper
    Directions
    1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic
    2. Once it has become aromatic, about 1 minute, add the pine nuts and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until they begin to brown slightly
    3. Add the chopped spinach and cook until it wilts, 3 to 5 minutes
    4. Season to taste with salt and pepper
    Ps. Think you are having a reaction to Spinach? Read my post about Spinach intolerance here

    Want to learn more about the health benefits of Spinach? Check out this site

    Friday, September 27, 2013

    Eveleigh


    8752 Sunset Blvd
    West Hollywood, CA

    One of my favorite LA restaurants is Eveleigh in West Hollywood.  Eveleigh offers a great mix of organic, locally sourced ingredients and creative menu items like fried cucumbers with yogurt.  I went to eat at Eveleigh with my co-worker Corissa recently, and our waiter said that Eveleigh changes its menu daily.  I believe him because I see different menu items each time I go.

    Corissa and I ordered a lot of starters, we each got an entree and we ended with dessert.  Everything was delicious! Eveleigh is tapas style so you can share.  It has a great location on Sunset boulevard with a rustic interior and outdoor patio seating.  Kingswood in New York is listed on Eveleigh's website, so I wonder if they have the same owner.

    Eating gluten-free at Eveligh is no problem.  My co-worker and I ordered so much food! We started with the patatas bravas: fried russet potatoes, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, chili pepper aioli.


    and then ordered a delicious quinoa and zucchini dish: red quinoa zucchini, carrots, shallots, chervil, mint, preserved lemon oil.


    For my entree I ordered day boat halibut ramps, sorrel, young fava beans, vermout.


    Friday, September 6, 2013

    Roasted Vegetable Paella

    I moved to LA last month and my yoga mat and cookbooks came along for the ride.  With a bigger kitchen and beautiful weather, getting settled in LA was easy.  I broke in my new kitchen with a vegetable paella recipe from The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen.  This recipe is fun because it introduces a new way to prepare vegetables: roasting them in the oven instead of cooking them on the stove.


    Roasted Vegetable Paella
    makes 4 main servings or 6 to 8 sides

    Ingredients
    • 3 cups gluten-free low-sodium vegetable broth
    • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
    • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
    • 1 large red bell pepper (about 8 ounces), cut into bite size chunks
    • 1 large yellow bell pepper (about 8 ounces), cut into bite size chunks
    • 1 large green bell pepper (about 8 ounces), cut into bite size chunks
    • 2 small zucchini (about 4 ounces each), cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Salt, the coarse kind, and freshly ground pepper to taste
    • 1 large onion (about 8 ounces), finely chopped
    • 3 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon died thyme
    • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    Directions
    1. In a medium saucepan, combine the broth and saffron; bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine the garlic and enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  Drain and let cool.  Peel the garlic and set aside.
    3. Preheat the oven to 400F.  Place the bell peppers, zucchini, and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet with sides.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss well to combine.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender and beginning to char.
    4. Meanwhile, in a large deep-sided nonstick skillet with a lid, heat the remaining oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring until light golden, about 8 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring until the liquids have almost completely evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the rice and broth mixture; bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently until the rice is tender yet firm to the bite and has absorbed most of the liquid, about 35 minutes.
    5. Stir in the roasted vegetables and parsley and cook, stirring, until heated through.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 

    Friday, June 28, 2013

    Tofu Breakfast Scramble

    Breakfast is my favorite meal to cook for.  It beats dinner and lunch because it's more fun and you don't have to worry about serious ingredients like artichokes.  And most importantly, you can make Mickey Mouse pancakes.

    Breakfast Scramble
    serves four

    Ingredients
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion (about 1 cup), chopped
    • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
    • 1/2 cup seeded and chopped red bell pepper
    • 1 cup chopped zucchini
    • 1 cup cleaned and chopped mushrooms
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 cup seeded tomatoes
    • 1 pound tofu, drained and cut into cubes
    • 2 teaspoons wheat-free tamari sauce
    • 1 teaspoon curry powder
    • Freshly ground pepper
    Directions
    1. Place oil in a large skillet and heat on medium-high.
    2. Add the onion and saute until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
    3. Add the carrots and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
    4. Add the red bell pepper, zucchini and mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes.
    5. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. 
    6. Add the tomatoes, tofu, tamari sauce and curry powder and stir to mix well.
    7. Cook until heated through and the vegetables are tender.