Isa’s Goddess Pasta a/k/a Tahini Linguini

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I think I have a girl crush on Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Or I should say a goddess crush because she is a kitchen goddess extraordinaire. Every recipe of hers that I’ve tried, I’ve loved. Here’s the latest – Goddess Pasta or as I am calling it, tahini linguini because if that not the name of a new Muppet, I don’t know what is.

Anyway… about this recipe. Isa promises it’s so ridiculously easy that she almost left it out of her cookbook, “Isa Does it”.  I’m glad she didn’t. This recipe IS(a) fast and easy. And despite what I thought was a lot of garlic and green onion (or chives), the dish is mild yet flavourful and creamy, crunchy and satisfying. I ate this dish hot, but I think it would even be great cold. So, without further ado, here’s how I made Isa’s Goddess Pasta. If you want to make it the way Isa does it, buy the book!

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Ingredients

12 oz linguini

The juice of 1 lemon

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (a 15 ounce can)

1 bunch broccoli cut into bite sized pieces. I also peeled the stem and sliced it up.

3-4 spring onions chopped finely

4 cloves garlic minced

2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt (I don’t salt my pasta water)

A few grinds of pepper

½ to 2/3 cup tahini (I didn’t measure exactly!)

½ cup hot water (I used the water from the boiling pasta)

1 Tbsp olive oil

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Directions

Boil the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is boiling, prep the sauce and other ingredients.

In a large bowl, blend together the green onion, lemon juice, salt, tahini, nutritional yeast, hot water and ground pepper. You will have a thickly creamy dressing. If the dressing is too thick, add more water.

In a large wok or frying pan, heat ½ tablespoon olive oil and sauté the garlic until it’s golden. Add the garlic to the sauce mixture.

Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and heat. Add the broccoli and stir fry until the broccoli is bright green but still very crunchy.  Add the broccoli to the sauce mixture and add the chickpeas.

Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Toss everything to combine and serve up. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 4 servings.

p.s. I think next time I may even add some shredded carrot and julienned red pepper for extra colour.

 

 

 

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Sweet sesame wings – cauliflower can fly!

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Cauliflower wings are one of those magical vegan cooking tricks that knock my socks off. Today I tried a recipe closely based on one from Jessica in the Kitchen for sticky sesame “wings”. Oh… these are so delicious – sweet, salty, crunchy, spicy (or not if you prefer) and so satisfying.

Put on some music, gather your ingredients and chef-y vibe and just make these. You will be so glad you did.

My version is saucier and has a bit more seasoning than the original but the beauty of cooking from scratch is you can make things just the way you want.

Ingredients

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1 small head cauliflower washed and cut into florets (no stems!). You’ll have about 2 ½ – 3 cups of cauliflower florets. Make sure the cauliflower florets are completely dry before you start battering them.

For the batter and coating

3/4 cup besan or gram flour (a/k/a chickpea flour)

¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

¾ teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional – leave out if you don’t like heat)

1 ½ cups bread crumbs (I used a mix of panko and gluten-free bread crumbs)

For the sweet sesame sauce

½ cup real maple syrup

¼ cup Braggs liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds. You can toast sesame seeds by spreading them on a sheet of tin foil or other small dish or pan and roasting them at 425F for 3-5 minutes. Watch them… they can burn easily. You need to know your oven, and with roasting seeds or nuts, less is always more! You can roast the seeds in your oven while it’s preheating, or use your toaster oven, if you have one (that’s what I do).

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

¾ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder

2 chopped green onions

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Directions

Preheat your oven to 450F. Make sure your oven is completely heated up before you put the cauliflower in.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Put your breadcrumbs in a small bowl.

Combine the besan, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, red pepper flakes and ground pepper in a separate bowl and mix until you have a thin batter.

Now you’re going to work assembly-line style. Dip each cauliflower piece in the batter. Shake off any excess batter and roll the cauliflower in the bread crumbs to coat the piece. Place the piece on the cookie sheet.

Repeat until all of the cauliflower pieces are coated.

Bake for 20-22 minutes.

While the wings are baking, prepare the ingredients for the sauce by whisking all the ingredients together.

Remove the wings from the oven and spoon or brush a small amount of the sauce on each piece. Don’t douse the wings though or they’ll get soggy. If you have leftover sauce, you can spoon it over the wings when you serve them.

Enjoy!

Wasabi, lime and tahini dip

I enjoyed these wings with veggie sticks and a wasabi, lime and tahini dip. I mixed 1/3 cup tahini, the juice of one lime, 2 teaspoons wasabi paste and ½ cup water together.

 

Edamame hummus – green goodness

EdamameHummus.jpgHummus is one of those easy-to-make, easy-to-tote, go-to dishes that people love. Except for my sister. She hates chickpeas and she hates hummus. Her preferences got me wondering if there were other types of hummus out there and OF COURSE there are. I found this recipe, which I modified only slightly, on the Oh She Glows blog.

You need a food processor for this recipe and the foresight to thaw your edamame, if you’re using frozen.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups shelled edamame – you can use frozen and allow the edamame to thaw at room temperature for 45 minutes

1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped

Juice from ½ lemon

1/4 cup tahini

2-4 tbsp water, to thin as needed

1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt (or to taste)

about 1/4 tsp ground pepper

1/4 tsp ground coriander (optional)

½ tsp Franks hot sauce (optional)

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Directions

Put everything in your food processor and whir until the ingredients are smooth and well-blended. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl a couple times. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!

Classic hummus – the elevation of the chickpea!

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I really love chickpeas and hummus is the expression of all that is right and good about this humble, adorable legume. This savoury dip is great spread in sandwiches or served up with veggies and pita bread. It’s packed with fibre, protein, iron and magnesium.

My Lebanese pal, Roger, taught me how to take my hummus from good to great. Thank you, Roger!

You will need a food processor for this recipe (or the patience of a saint to mash and grind all your ingredients by hand). Okay, let’s go. You could have hummus in 5 minutes.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups chickpeas (that’s one 15 oz can drained and rinsed or ½ cup dried chickpeas cooked).

Juice of one lemon

1-2 cloves garlic cut in pieces

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup tahini

¼ to ½ tsp cumin

5-10 drops hot sauce (I use a chipotle hot sauce).

Directions

If you really want to show some love and have an extra 15 minutes, pop the skins off the chickpeas – just pinch the chickpea and the skin will come off. Removing the skins creates the most silky, smooth hummus you’ve ever had. Yes, it’s kind of tedious work but put on some great tunes and shed that skin (and discard them).

If you take the time to discard the skins you’ll have hummus in 20 minutes. If you skip this step, you’ll have hummus in 5!

If you leave the skins on, that’s cool too. You’ll have a more “rustic” texture. Roger confesses he far prefers the skinned chickpea version of hummus but rarely has the patience to do this step.

Put everything in your food processor and blend and blend and blend. You can add up to 1/3 cup water to make a creamier dip. Do NOT add olive oil at this stage. It can actually make the hummus a bit bitter.

Serve your hummus with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.

Enjoy!

Baked falafel with lemon-garlic tahini sauce

Falafel

There is a Lebanese restaurant in town that makes the best falafel. They’re crispy crunchy on the outside and cakelike and tender inside. They’re also deep fried. Oh oh!

These falafel are lightened up by baking them and they’re quick and easy to make. The hardest part will be waiting for them to finish baking.

I love these falafel drizzled with a garlicky lemon tahini dressing and served on a bed of greens with tomatoes and avocado. Cucumber, onion and olives are other great, traditional additions. Falafel are often served inside pita bread too.

You’ll need a food processor for this recipe .

Ingredients for the falafel

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (one 15 oz can drained and rinsed)

2 cloves garlic

½ onion chopped roughly (it’s going in a food processor)

1 tsp cumin

1-2 tsp coriander (depending on your taste)

1/4 tsp cayenne or a few drops of hot sauce

¼ tsp smoky paprika (optional – I just love the taste it adds)

¼ cup fresh parsley

½ tsp ground pepper

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp lemon juice (about ¼ of a lemon)

1 Tbsp regular or chickpea flour (optional but helps to keep the dough thick and dry)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Put all your ingredients in a food processor and pulse together until you have a thick dough. You may need to scrape down the sides occasionally to get everything incorporated and you may need to add a bit of water to get everything to bind together, but you do not want an overly wet dough and it’s okay to have some lumps and bumps in your dough too (I call this aesthetic “authentic”, “homemade” and even “rustic”.).

Take about 2 tablespoons of dough in your hand and roll it into a ball. Place on the cookie sheet. You can press the ball a bit flat to make a patty or you can mark with a fork as I have done here (similar to what one does making gnocchi). The patty shape is great if you’re going to eat the falafel inside a pita.

Bake for 15 minutes then turn the balls/patties over and bake for another 10 minutes. They should have a nice golden outside and tender, moist inside.

Ingredients for the lemon-garlic tahini sauce

1/3 cup hot water

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 clove garlic minced

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Juice of half a lemon

¼ cup tahini

Directions

Mix everything together in a small glass or bowl. Whisk until well blended and spoon over the falafel.

 

Chickpea mini muffins with lemon tahini sauce

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These little cuties are savoury and satisfying. I love them served on a bed of millet with lemon tahini sauce and a big side salad.

The original recipe is from Esther’s Kitchen (Esther being the Wonder Pig). I have made a few alterations and embellishments to the original recipe to amp up the flavour because that’s how I like it. Feel free to leave out any of the seasonings –the herbs, garlic, shallot/green onion or salt as you prefer…. But why? Why?

You can eat these muffins hot or cold, they’re portable so they make a great snack or breakfast on the go, and they’re easy and affordable. What’s not to love?

Ingredients for the muffins

Makes 12 mini muffins

2 cups of chickpea flour – also called besan or gram flour

2 cloves garlic minced

2 shallots diced OR 3 green onions chopped

1 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped

1 Tbsp fresh dill chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 cup water

Directions

Heat the oven to 400F. Grease a mini muffin tin.

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until everything is incorporated and moist. Spoon into the muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes. The muffins should be golden on top when they’re done.

Ingredients for the lemon tahini sauce

1/3 cup hot water

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cup tahini

Directions

Mix everything together in a small glass or bowl. Whisk until well blended and spoon over the muffins.

 

Seize her salad….and eat it yourself

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If you like creamy, garlicky Caesar salad dressing, pay attention.

This recipe comes from Esther’s Kitchen Esther being the wonder pig. My embellishments are the kale, chickpea croutons and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Get out your blender and let’s get started.

Ingredients

One head romaine lettuce – washed and torn into bite sized pieces

TIP – check prices. It’s December in Canada and a big head of local, organic kale costs less than the imported romaine so this salad is got the nutrition boost of kale. Mmm.

½ cup water

1/3 cup tahini

1/3 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds

Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)

1 tsp miso

2-3 cloves garlic

1 medjool date, stone removed

Salt and pepper to taste. I used about ¼ teaspoon each.

Directions

Put everything but your salad greens into the blender and blend until creamy. You will have a thick dressing, but it should not be a paste. If it is, add a bit more water and keep blending.

Put your greens in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top and toss well. I added roasted chickpeas (see recipe below) and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Roasted chickpeas

½ cup cooked chickpeas patted dry

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp each of black pepper, smoky paprika, garlic powder

Toss all the ingredients together in a cup or small bowl. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let cool before eating. When they are done the chickpeas will be almost melt-in-your-mouth crunchy; they won’t have any chewiness/moisture to them. If they don’t have that texture, roast the chickpeas for another 5-10 minutes.