In a small pot, heat 2 cups water to a boil. Add quinoa, lower heat, and add lid to pot; let simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bake or steam (or microwave) sweet potato until just soft. Remove from heat and let it continue to cook in a covered container. Sauté, broil, steam or bake asparagus stalks until they begin to sweat. Do not overcook.
Steam kale (or spinach) and salt to taste (add a dash of lemon pepper or lemon juice—optional). Cut an avocado in half, then lightly (partially) slice it into chunks while it’s still in its peel, then scoop out its flesh. When quinoa is done, make tahini dressing: Stir 1–2 tablespoons tahini with garlic, lemon juice, water, parsley and salt to taste (some people blend or purée, but stirring vigorously should be fine). Make sure water is drained from quinoa and that the quinoa is fluffy.
Fill one half of a serving bowl with quinoa, one quarter with sweet potato and one quarter with a mixture of avocado and green veggies. Drizzle tahini sauce on top and serve.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan (or two) with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, reserving 1 tablespoon of the pomegranate molasses. Toss well until all vegetables are evenly coated. Spread the vegetables out on the pan(s) in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, toss vegetables. Return to oven for another 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables can be easily pierced with a fork. Serve drizzled with the remaining pomegranate molasses, a sprinkling of sea salt, and more freshly cracked black pepper.
Cooking pasta for a cold salad is radically different from cooking pasta for a hot dish. Going against the grain, you cook it not to al dente, but to tenderness. Overcooking it will leave you with a soggy mess instead of a salad, and undercooking it will produce hard-as-nails pasta once cool. Cooking the pasta just right will render this a perfect American staple. Make this dish soy free by choosing a soy- free vegan mayonnaise. Use gluten-free pasta to make it gluten free.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well and transfer to a large baking dish to cool. Stir gently every few minutes to cool it faster. Once it is cool, transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard and mix well. Add 1/2 cup to the pasta and set aside the remaining dressing. Stir in the bell pepper, onion, parsley, and relish. Season with salt and black pepper.
Chill the pasta salad in the refrigerator for an hour to meld the flavors. Stir the remaining dressing into the pasta salad before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Note: For Tex-Mex salad, replace the lemon juice with lime juice. Replace the mustard with 2 teaspoons of chipotle adobo pureé. Reduce the celery to 1/2 celery rib. Replace the parsley with cilantro. Stir in 3/4 cup roasted corn kernels.
Lightly coat the outside of the eggplant with olive oil and place it on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. Roast the eggplant whole at 350 degrees for 40–60 minutes, or until it’s tender to the touch. Then remove it from the oven, let it cool, peel it and remove the seeds. If you need to, you can the eggplant a day or two in advance.
When you’re ready to make your tapenade, it’s time to roast your vegetables. Make sure the red bell peppers and onion are cleaned and roughly chopped; then mix them together and add whole cloves of garlic. Roast these veggies at 350 degrees until the garlic is browning and the onion is clear and starting to caramelize.
Finally, place everything in a blender and blend until fully pulverized. Serve over pasta or chill and serve as a dip.
Note from the author: I made my own tapenade because I had eggplants that were on their way out and I think they’re best ground up with a ton of garlic. The dish is pictured on this page shows the tapenade served over alkaline noodles, with sliced tomato, roasted artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and a healthy amount of Sriracha for extra heat.
For the marinade
For the sauce
For the tofu
For the vegetables
Make the marinade: Mix all ingredients together in an airtight container.
Marinate the tofu: Drain and rinse tofu. Wrap in paper towel, and then press water out by sandwiching the tofu between two plates and placing a heavy weight on top. Leave for about 30 minutes and up to an hour. Unwrap the tofu and pat dry. Cut into about 32 cubes. Place all tofu cubes in airtight container with marinade. Shake to coat the tofu pieces. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to four.
To bake the tofu: Heat the oven to 375°F. Remove tofu from marinade and brush off large chunks of garlic/ginger; save the marinade. You will use it later. Place tofu pieces on baking sheet and lightly dust with cornstarch. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until browned and puffy.
Prepare the sauce: Take 2 tablespoons of remaining marinade (including ginger and garlic chunks) and heat with an additional tablespoon sesame oil in sauce pan. Add red pepper flakes. Cook on medium heat about 5 minutes or until garlic and ginger are fragrant. Add all other ingredients except cornstarch. Cook on medium heat. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with about 1 tablespoon warm water to form a paste. Pour into sauce and stir. Bring sauce to simmer and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Prepare the vegetables: Heat remaining marinade plus 1 tablespoon olive oil in large frying pan. Add onion and cook until translucent (4 minutes on medium heat). Add broccoli, bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook vegetables about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup chopped peanuts and remove from heat.
Serve tofu, vegetables and sauce over rice. Garnish with additional chopped peanuts and sesame seeds.
Time: 7 to 8 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
NOTE: Stir-fries require a mise en place, with all of your prepared ingredients within reach of your wok. Read the recipe through twice before you begin, because once you’re at the wok you won’t have time to stop and check the instructions.
Drain and dry the tofu slices on paper towels.
In a small bowl or measuring cup combine 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, and stock or water. Combine the salt and sugar in another small bowl. Have all the ingredients within arm’s length of your pan.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch steel skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and swirling the pan, then add the tofu and stir-fry until lightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, stir-fry until there is no liquid visible in the pan, and remove the tofu to a plate.
Swirl in the remaining oil, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds. Add the baby broccoli and the white and light green parts of the onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar, toss together and add the soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
Return the tofu to the wok along with the sesame seeds and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch or arrowroot slurry, the cilantro and the onion greens, stir until the mixture is lightly glazed, and remove from the heat. Serve with hot grains (einkorn pictured below) or noodles.
Advance preparation: Stir-fries are last minute dishes as far as cooking goes but you can prepare all of your ingredients hours in advance. Keep in the refrigerator until 15 to 30 minutes before you cook.
Preheat oven to 375.. Partially bake empty pie crust. Let cool.
Skin tomatoes: Bring a large pot of plain water to boil. Have a separate bowl of iced water nearby. Cut a shallow X on the bottom of each tomato, going just through the skin. Boil the tomatoes until you see the skin loosen near the X (less than a minute) then quickly move them to the ice water to stop cooking. Slice each tomato from stem down into 1/4 inch slices, arrange on a towel-lined pan or colander and salt lightly. Let sit about 10 - 20 minutes.
Put the pie crust in the oven to bake . In a separate bowl, mix the mayo and cheeses until smooth. Stir in the juice. Set aside. Assemble the pie:
Blot tomato slices, then use to cover the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle with half the green onions and basil. Add salt and pepper. Repeat. Spread the cheese mix over the completed pie. Decorate with reserved basil leaves and/or halved cherry tomatoes.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the cheeses are just golden and everything is cooked through.
Important: Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Place the red potatoes in the boiling water and cook until a fork goes in easily but the potatoes are not mushy. Drain the water and set the potatoes aside to cool.
Place a steamer basket in a large pot and fill with an inch of water. Break cauliflower into small florets and place in the steamer basket. Cover with a lid and place on medium heat. Steam the florets, being careful not to overcook, then set aside to cool.
Core apples and cut into bite-sized pieces and add to a bowl. Trim radishes and quarter in wedges and add to bowl. Add diced onion and cooked cauliflower. Peel skin from potatoes, dice into bite-sized pieces and add to bowl.
Sprinkle salt over salad and toss. Mix the oil and vinegar and then drizzle over the salad and toss to mix in. Add chopped parsley and gently mix.