Saturday, April 30, 2011

Shredded carrot and zucchini salad

A super easy shredded salad, very light and spring like!

It's been a very busy week but I'm finally going to get around to posting a few things we enjoyed on Easter Sunday.  This was the salad I made to go with our salmon dinner.  I wanted something light, and easy.  I always wanted to find a way to get my kid to eat the zucchini which he'll do when it's shredded, he's not crazy about slices but he doesn't really realize what he's eating when it's shredded!

Shredded carrot and zucchini salad

2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon veganaise
sea salt to taste

Combine the above in a medium sized bowl, mix well to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. 

A new bread

I found a new bread recipe that I wanted to try.  I was intrigued by how low sugar it was, only 1 tablespoon of palm sugar, and that it used a flour I had not experimented with yet-garbanzo fava bean.

First things first I need to make up a batch of Amy's basic flour blend.

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup garbanzo fava bean flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch

I doubled the ingredients so I would have enough to try her new bread recipe.  Plus now I have some in my fridge so I can try it out in other dishes, like waffles or muffins. 

Now, the bread!

3 cups Amy's basic flour blend
1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 packet dry instant yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
2 extra large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan with spray and/or line with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

Whisk together the flour, gum, sugar and yeast.  Set aside.

Put the water, eggs, oil and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until combined *I do not have a paddle attachment so I used my trusty spoon and elbow grease!*  Add the dry ingredients, except the salt, mix on low until incorporated.  Increase to medium high an mix for a minute.  Turn off, add the salt, mix for two minutes more.

Turn the batter into the prepared loaf pan, place in a warm place for an hour to rise until the loaf doubles in size.

Score the bread with a sharp, serrated knife if desired.  Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the loaf sound hollow when you tap it. Let it cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn the loaf pan on its side, scoot the loaf forward so the steam can escape, but leave it in the pan.  Let it cool for another 10-5 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Paulo really enjoyed this bread, so did I.  It has a good flavor and a great texture to it.  I was a little put off by the beany smell of the flour but Amy was right, you can't smell that after it's cooked!  I will be adding this to my bread baking rotation for sure.

Happy baking!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Here we are, the final Monday of April, hardly seems possible!  Yet here we are and it's time for Menu Plan Monday again.

Sunday: honey mustard salmon with fingerling potatoes, asparagus and shredded zucchini and carrot salad
Monday: stir fry veggies and tofu over lentils
Tuesday: fish tacos with black beans and salad
Wednesday: ground beef (tempeh for me) and potato hash with kale chips and steamed broccoli
Thursday: Paulo's birthday!  He's opted for pizza so Momma gets the night off from the kitchen
Friday: out for dinner before Paulo's school play
Saturday: family dinner to celebrate Paulo's birthday with a crunchy taco/tostada bar

For more inspiration visit Menu Plan Monday on Organization Junkie's site.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lemon rasberry cake-gluten free and vegan

Yes folks, I think we have a winner!  This is an awesome vegan, gluten free cake, and I will be making it again next week and weekend for Paulo's 7th birthday.  Credit for this deliciousness goes to Allyson at Manifest Vegan!  Take a minute, click the link and see how gorgeous her cake turned out.  I aspire to such baking beauty, alas, I'm a work in progress.  The cake though, the cake is awesome!

For those that do not wish to click the link...your loss, her cake is's the recipe:

Lemon Raspberry Celebration Cake
By Allyson
Published: March 14, 2011

This given recipe yields a double layer cake, rather than the triple one shown, but for you ambitious bakers out there, I’ve also included the breakdown for a third cake* at the bottom.

Lemon Raspberry Celebration Cake ~ Vegan & Gluten Free
makes two 9″ round cakes


•1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
•1 1 /2 cups potato starch
•1 cup tapioca flour
•1 cup brown rice flour
•2 tsp xanthan gum
•3 tsp baking powder
•1 1/2 tsp sea salt
•2 1/2 cups sugar
•2/3 cups olive oil
•1 cup very cold water
•1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
•1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
•zest of 1 lemon
•4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
•2 cups fresh raspberries
•1 recipe vanilla bean buttercream (below)


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Line two 9″ cake pans with a parchment circle, and lightly grease and flour the sides of each pan.
3.In large mixing bowl, combine sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Sift together very well.
4.Add in sugar until well combined.
5.Stir in olive oil.
6.Gradually mix in almond milk and water until all liquid has been used.
7.Stir in lemon extract and zest.
8.Stir in vinegar, one tablespoon at a time, and mix on high speed, or mix vigorously by hand.
9.Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake cakes for about 30-35 minutes, or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. The cakes will be ever so slightly golden brown.
10.Let cool and make buttercream icing. You’ll need lots of it for this.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Icing Ingredients
(Make two batches of this to cover a 3 layer cake)

•6 tbsp vegan margarine (cold)
•6 cups organic confectioner’s sugar
•1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (or use 1 to 2 actual vanilla bean pods, scraped)
•6 tbsp almond milk
•2 additional tbsp vegan margarine (softened)

Icing Directions
1.Cream together the cold margarine and about 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar.
2.Gradually add in other ingredients, except the softened margarine.
3.Once all the other ingredients have been combined and are fairly smooth, add in softened margarine.
4.Mix on very high speed, whipping until fluffy.
5.Use immediately on cake, or chill in fridge for later use. If refrigerated, make sure you let it warm up slightly by setting on counter until softened enough to spread onto cake. If you find the icing too thick, add a touch more almond milk to thin.

Cake Assembly – - Requires 2 cups fresh raspberries

1.Once cakes have cooled, invert them once onto plate and then reposition them so that the top of the cake is facing up. Basically, you’re flipping both cakes out of the pans and just making sure the bottom is on the bottom and top is on the top.
2.Use a long serrated knife to slice the tops of the cake off so that both cake rounds appear very level. Use excess cake for crumbs… or just eat it!
3.Use a small portion of the icing to create a crumb layer on the each cake… meaning, apply the first layer of frosting without worrying about keeping those crumbs out of the icing; that’s what this step is for!
4.Chill briefly in freezer until the crumb coating has hardened.
5.Now, place one of the cakes onto a steady cake dish or icing plate.
6.Top liberally with frosting and arrange fresh raspberries on top of the frosting. Place second round cake on top of frosted cake and press gently to set the filling in between cakes.
7.Frost again with a second layer of frosting, and garnish with any fancy piping that you can dream up.
8.Garnish with fresh raspberries, lemon zest, and of course, chocolate decorations!

If you're really ambitious and want the triple layer here's the measurements for that:

 3/4 cups sorghum flour
• 3/4 cups potato starch
• 1/2 cup tapioca flour
• 1/2 cup brown rice flour
• 1 tsp xanthan gum
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 3/4 tsp sea salt
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 1/3 cups olive oil
• 1/2 cup very cold water
• 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
• 1 tsp lemon extract
• tsp lemon zest
• 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

I was so happy with the way this cake turned out, it was moist, had great flavor and texture, I was thrilled.  I made it last Saturday because Paulo was invited to a birthday party on Sunday and I wanted to be sure he had a sweet treat to eat when all the other kids were eating the birthday cake.  I don't expect my sons' friends' parents to accommodate my child's dietary restrictions.  That's my job you know?  So I made the cake Saturday and set it in the fridge over night, I brought it out a few hours before the party and also before we'd be eating it at brunch and let it warm up a bit.  Loved it.  So good.  So very, very good. 

So, thank you Allyson for a fabulous recipe and for making my baby boy's birthday next week special!  Now, go click that link and marvel at the beauty that is Allyson's cake!

Sweet potato and green pea curry

I keep revisiting curries in the hope that my son and husband will grow to love them as much as I do.  I've yet to find the magic recipe that makes them both go Mmmm!  So if you have a tried and true curry, please tell me what it is!!  This one turned out a little too thick for my preferences but I enjoyed the flavors and textures and was a quick, easy, weeknight meatless meal.

In the meantime we dined on sweet potato and green pea curry last week.

1 sweet potato, scrubbed, peeled and diced
1 cup green pea, frozen is fine
Mushrooms, assorted types, diced
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 can of coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Thai Kitchen red curry paste
sea salt to taste
Raw cashews
Rice, cooked
Olive oil

Heat olive oil in a pan and add the onions, saute until soft, add the mushroom and potato to the pan.  Add in the red curry paste and coconut milk, simmer until warm and the potato is soft.  Add the green peas and cook until heated through.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. 

Serve over rice, we used a combination of brown and black rice, top with cilantro and cashews.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pineapple Jicama salsa

A light and refreshing side just in time for the return of warm weather!

Pineapple Jicama salsa
A Krista kitchen creation

1/2 jicama, skin removed and diced
1/4 pineapple, cored, skin removed and cubed
1 serrano chile, seeds removed if desired, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, diced
Juice of one lemon
sea salt to taste

Combine the above in a large bowl, mixing well to distribute the lemon juice.  Season with sea salt to taste and enjoy! 

While this was great for dinner that night it was almost better the next day, the flavors blended together wonderfully.  I served this as a side dish for bean tacos but this would on top of grilled fish for a light summer dinner.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mac n "cheese" revisited

Paulo loves Mac N Cheese, the good old fashioned boxed kind.  To be honest, so do I.  It was the first thing I ever learned to "cook" for myself.  I have fond memories of standing in the kitchen, stirring the noodles, book in hand and of licking the bowl clean of that abnormally orange "cheese" sauce.  Since his allergy diagnosis, Kraft is off the menu. 

I attempted a cheese sauce a while ago, he seemed to like it but I just wasn't happy with it.  It took me a while to get back to the kitchen for a recipe reboot.  For it to be a safe food for Paulo I use quinoa or rice noodles, Daiya cheese, almond milk and Earth Balance spread.  The first attempt came out too sweet, this one was much better.  Added bonus, it even has a similar hue to the good old Kraft boxed mac!

Mac N "cheese" Paulo style
A Krista kitchen creation

2 tablespoons Earth Balance
3 tablespoons finely minced onion
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp yellow mustard
1 cup daiya cheddar
2 cups quinoa elbow noodles

Cook the noodles as directed, being careful not to overcook them.

Saute the onion and garlic in the Earth Balance until soft. 

Add the rice flour and stir well to create a paste. 

Pour in the almond milk and bring to boil, add the seasonings and the daiya, stirring to melt the daiya.  Taste, adjust seasonings as needed.  When the daiya is melted, add the vinegar and mustard, mix well to combine.

Drain the noodles and return to the pot, pour the sauce over the warm pasta, and coat the noodles.

Paulo gave this an enthusiastic two thumbs up and is already asking me to make it again!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

It's that time of the week again, time to look for inspiration to answer the age old question....what's for dinner?

Monday: Black and brown rice with roasted veggies and kale chips
Tuesday: Almond crusted trout with salad and broccoli
Wednesday: Soft tacos with refried beans and salad
Thursday: Salmon with salad and steamed veggies
Friday: out to a friend's house...really looking forward to that!

For more inspiration visit Organization Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Poached eggs two ways

We hosted wonderful friends this morning for brunch.  I love feeding people, it's just part of who I am. 

If I love you I feed you, if I feed you I love you

This particular morning we had the usual over abundance of food; lemon vanilla coconut scones, banana oatmeal pancakes, ham, fruit and cheese, a delightful corn salad provided by an equally delightful friend (we did however really miss his fabulous other half!) and we had poached eggs two ways:

A poached egg on thinly sliced, toasted, baguette topped with thinned lemon basil cashew cream.  I tossed a few snipped chives on top after I took the picture.  It might sound like an odd combination but I think it worked rather well, it tasted very Spring-y!

And my personal favorite, the poached egg topped with balsamic vinegar marinated tomato and basil.  I could eat tomato and basil soaked in balsamic vinegar every single day and not get tired of it!  

This morning made me remember that I miss having people over!  It's been such a horribly wet, rainy, dreary winter we've just hibernated half the year away.  Today was a beautiful Spring day and it felt great to be feeding people I love again!

Lemon basil cashew cream

I'm on a cashew cream kick.  I make no apologies for it, if you haven't tried it, you must, it is just that good!

Lemon basil cashew cream
A Krista kitchen creation

1 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 tablespoons water
zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 cup fresh basil
sea salt to taste

Process all in a high powered blender and enjoy.

On this meal it was used to top a very simple dinner of brown rice with a mixture of beans cooked in the crock pot.  I love my crock pot too...almost as much as I love cashew cream.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spicy cashew cream

Oh I heart cashews!  Big puffy heart as some of my darling friends would say.  Alas with braces the actual crunching of cashews is forbidden.  Enter...cashew cream! 

The culinary goddess that is Susan Powers over at Rawmazing posted a delightful looking salad topped with a Cayenne cashew cream, I knew I had to try it.  As an added bonus, I already had everything I needed on hand, love it when that happens!

To see the full recipe and drool a little over her photography click here.

Lime Cayenne Sauce

Lime Cayenne Sauce
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon agave or raw honey
  • 1/2 lime, juice from (I used a lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste (I used the sea salt I keep on hand)
1. Place all ingredients in high speed blender. Blend until smooth

Not only is this a delightful topping to a salad it is also a fabulous raw veggie dip and as a sandwich spread.  The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chile adzuki beans and rice

Beans and rice are a perfect, vegetarian, dinner.  High in protein and good carbs it is filling and nutritious and as an added bonus-cheap!  Add a side of sauteed swiss chard and you're getting even more bang for your nutritional buck.

Chile adzuki beans and rice with greens

One cup adzuki beans, sorted, rinsed
One cup brown rice
Greens of your choice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 serrano chile, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 handful cilantro leaves

Place the beans in a pressure cooker and cover with 2-3" of water.  Bring the pressure cooker up to full pressure and cook for 10 minutes.  Do a quick release and drain the beans to a bowl, season with salt and set aside.

Cook the brown rice according to directions.

In a blender combine the oil, vinegar, chile, garlic and cilantro, blend until smooth, taste and add salt if desired.

Heat olive oil in a large pan, add the rinsed greens and saute until done.

Top the rice with the beans and chile sauce, serve with the sauteed greens.

Monday, April 11, 2011

GF zucchini oat bread

Ahh bread...sweet, tasty, lovely bread!  We love bread, since Paulo's food allergy results I've learned to cook it in a whole new way.  Eliminating my beloved whole wheat flour and learning how to use things I'd never heard of before like sorghum flour.  I've baked some great breads that are safe for Paulo and delicious.  I have two go tos for his lunches, a honey oat bread and a buckwheat bread.  I have favorite muffins, pancakes and waffles, I still struggle with cakes, but I'm working on it!  What I wanted this weekend was a zucchini bread and I wanted to see if I could take a traditional recipe and tweak it to meet our gluten free and vegan baking needs...the result was a very moist and flavorful bread that we all-even the wheat eaters-loved.  Along with changing the flours to suit our needs, I cut the sugar in half and omitted the nuts due to the food allergy policy in Paulo's school.

GF Zucchini Oat bread
A Krista Kitchen Creation

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 cup GF oats
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3 tbsp egg replacer mixed with water (or 3 eggs if you prefer)
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup melted Earth Balance butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 zucchini, unpeeled and shredded
3/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Combine 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon; set aside.

Combine flours with starches, oats, baking powder, salt, baking soda, xanthan gum, sugar and remaining cinnamon; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat egg replacer and water with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes or until foamy. Add the applesauce, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the dry mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. Stir in zucchini and raisins.

Spoon into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on rack. Wrap and store several hours before slicing. Makes 16 slices-Mine will not yield 16 slices because I cut them way too thick!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lentils with tomatillo sauce

I'm fast becoming a fan of lentils.  They're cheap, nutritious and quick to cook.  I used red lentils in this dish, because that's what I had on hand, and I think it worked well with the other flavors in the bowl.

Tempeh lentils with spicy tomatillo sauce
A Krista Kitchen Creation

1 cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
1 teaspoons taco seasoning spices
1 cup tempeh, cubed
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
Beans, any type, about 1 cup
olive oil

Heat the olive oil in the pan and add the onion, saute until soft.  Add the lentils and stir, add the water to the pan and bring to a boil, simmer until lentils are soft, about 20 minutes.  When lentils are close to being done add the tempeh and the seasoning spices.  Add in the beans (I had some black beans on hand, I drained off most of the broth and added it all to the pot.) Stir well and allow to warm through.

Spicy tomatillo sauce
A Krista Kitchen Creation

3 tomatillos, husk removed, rinsed and diced
1 serrano chile, sliced, seeds removed if desired
5 mushrooms, washed and cubed
olive oil
red wine vinegar

Heat olive oil in a saute pan and add the chile, saute until softened.  Add in the tomatillos and mushrooms, stir well and bring to a simmer, season with sea salt if desired and add the cilantro.  Finish with a splash of red wine vinegar.

Ladle the tempeh lentils into a deep bowl and top with the tomatillo sauce, enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Another was a good one though, I completed my first EVER race, a 10K, Paulo had gymnastics and a birthday party plus a playdate so it was a full social calendar for my little man which makes him my little happy man!  But, back to Monday and menu planning! 

Monday-brown rice with adzuki beans and sauteed garlic greens, add chicken for the boys
Tuesday-swai fillet over quinoa with edamame
Wednesday-bean tacos with salad
Thursday-potatoes with top round steak for the boys and veggies galore for me
Friday-Waffle sandwiches and soup
Saturday-at Paulo's school for a fundraiser dinner

I'm starting my Spring Cleanse so there will be some minor modifications here and there for me but the boys remain easy as ever to feed.

For more menu planning inspiration visit Menu Plan Monday at!