Posts tagged pine nuts
tomato + avocado + corn + basil + quinoa salad

Dont' worry .... I do not not need a tomato and corn intervention ..... yet.

I do realize that this is about my fourth recipe this summer that involves tomatoes and/or corn. I don't plan on changing the name of this blog to tomato lovers anonymous, and I promise I have noticed that there are plenty of other wonderful summer fruits and vegetables that are begging for my attention too. 

As you can tell, I have been completely smitten with tomatoes and corn and a bit obsessed with getting in as many of their indulgences that I can. I promise (with fingers crossed behind my back) that this is the last post involving corn and tomatoes (together). Everywhere I go, including my backyard, all I see are these gorgeous tomatoes and bushels of corn begging to be enjoyed. I just can't help myself. 


I posted a picture of this salad on facebook and instagram a few days ago when I was working on the recipe, and never before did I have so many demands for the recipes. Demands! I had planed on posting this recipe sometime next week, but with so many requests I knew it could not wait.

I had thought you were over my tomato and corn pictures and posts, but I was mistaken. Apparently you and I are the same, and you want to savor every second of these tomato and corn filled months as much as I do. Apparently you and I are heirloom tomato and sweet summer corn soulmates

Last week one of my oldest and closest friends came to visit from Denver with her boyfriend. As with any long weekend with good friends, it was filled with lots and lots of laughs, plenty of great meals, some seriously delicious key lime pie, fancy homemade lattes, and big bottles of roséThe first night they arrived, we swung by our friend's parent's house to say hello, and while we were there one of her friends was preparing this awesome looking summer salad with corn, tomatoes, basil and avocado. YUM. It took everything in my power not to jump right in and devour their salad. 

The next night I insisted that we make that same salad, and we did. It was then that I decided that this was THE perfect summer salad. Since then I have made this salad another three times. It has only been a week. And you know what? I can (and probably will) eat this every other day until summer vegetables start to dwindle. 

Don't you worry, I have plenty of fun, creative recipes involving some of the other wonderful summer veggies coming your way ... but for now, let's enjoy these gorgeous plum, ripe tomatoes, and super sweet corn while we can. The way they were meant to be. With just a touch of really god olive oil, salt + pepper, and a few other goodies. 

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whole roasted cauliflower + kale pesto

I feel like my recipes have been a bit of a celebration of vegetables recently …. and I like it that way.  

Part of my passion behind this blog is showing that vegetables can be the star, instead of just a side. This recipe is the perfect example, it take the cauliflower and makes it a big bright superstar. 


I mentioned a couple of recipes ago that I get a lot of inspiration from eating out, and our meal at the Fat Radish totally inspired this dish. We had a whole roasted cauliflower as an appetizer, and I just loved how they served it whole instead of chopped up into florets. It was so much more exciting. I thought with just a few added extras, this would make an impressive entree.

Michael and I shared this for lunch last week. I served it over some millet and tossed some currants on top. Each with fork in hand we tore into this cauliflower, and finished it in about 7 minutes. We both agreed, it was an awesome meal that was fun to share and full of flavor. 

I have something to admit. For someone who is obsessed with kale, I had been a bit skeptical of kale pesto. I thought, how can kale pesto taste good? Kale on it’s own is nothing special and it needs some love and a good bit of massaging to taste great. It does not have an exciting scent or taste like basil or mint, so how is it going to flavor a pesto? Well … after making one batch I now have a whole new level of respect for kale.  I’m not quite sure what it is, but kale pesto is crazzzy good.


I’m warning you now, you’ll probably be seeing a few more recipes with kale pesto in the coming weeks, but for now, if you've been skeptical like me and haven't tried it, well, you must. And then you must smear it on this roasted cauliflower and eat this for a meatless Monday or Tuesday ... or any day of the week. I'm certain you will be smitten. 


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pine nut + peppercorn shortbread // vegan + gluten-free

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this ..... but ... here it goes .... 

I do not have a single cookie recipe on this blog. Well, until now.

It is not that I do not love cookies, trust me, I do. Having a mid-day cookie is my secret indulgence. I usually pick up a freshly baked one when I am grocery shopping and nibble on it while waiting to check out. Sometimes the checkout person asks me about the half eaten cookie "do you know there is only half a cookie in there?", sometimes they giggle at my response, and sometimes they give me a look like "you couldn't even wait until you checked out to start eating that cookie". 

Michael knows all about my secret mid-day cookie indulgence. I think he finds it funny.  

So for my very first cookie recipe here, I thought it was appropriate to give you a recipe for my favorite cookie of all time.


Hopefully you know me well enough by now to know that this cookie will not be your average shortbread. These little guys are both vegan and gluten-free. You're probably wondering how shortbread could possibly be vegan, well, I have a trick up my sleeve.

Earth Balance. I use Earth Balance butter in place of real butter. I am not saying that this is a much healthier alternative to using real butter, but for someone like me who cannot have dairy (especially butter) this makes for a great alternative. If you tasted Earth Balance and regular butter side by side, you would never be able to tell the difference. 

As for the gluten-free part of this recipe, since I am fairly new to gluten-free baking I had to consult my favorite gluten-free chef, blogger, and cookbook author, Aran Goyoaga. You might remember I did a workshop with Aran back in September. Her gorgeous cookbook came out shortly after that, and it has since become a staple and reference guide for gluten-free cooking and baking in my kitchen. 

I have had her recipe for shortbread earmarked for some time, and since cookie season is in full swing, I have been playing with some variations of this recipe. She made hers with pistachios (which are wonderful) but I chose to share the pine nut version that I tried the other day. I just love pine nuts in cookies. I also took her advise and added the peppercorns. They add a subtle little peppery kick. The peppercorns dress it up and make it a much more adult cookie. A really really good adult cookie.

I'm snacking on one right now ;)

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loaded homemade hummus

I started writing this post from my dark, powerless apartment in downtown nyc. Thankfully for me that was the biggest inconvenience for me and my family during hurricane sandy. We now have power again, and things are slowly getting back to normal where I live. 

We are extremely fortunate. This has not been the case with many people, especially those in the boroughs of NYC + the coast of NJ. The people who have not been as fortunate have weighed heavy in my thoughts.

I am always so impressed at the way new yorkers pull together in the wake of crisis and hard times. I'm also impressed with so many of my family members and friends who have donated their time and goods to people in need without any hesitation. We all know what we have to do, and taking care of our neighbors and people in need just comes naturally to the people of this area. 

Whether you live in NY or not, there are ways you can help. I found a couple of links that can point you in the direction so you can donate your time, money, or goods to people who need it most. 

7 ways to donate to hurricane sandy victims online via mashable

12 ways to donate time, skills, or supplies to hurricane victims via treehugger

buy an I (still) love NY t-shirt - 100% profits go to hurricane sandy relief

It may seem a bit trivial to post about something as simple as hummus while we are still recovering from one of the biggest disasters the nyc area has ever seen. We all have to get back to some sort of normalcy, and eating hummus daily is a part of my normal, everyday life. 

I eat a lot of hummus. It's pretty much my go-to snack food, and because of this I find that it's definitely better for me to be making my own. This hummus, however, is a fancier hummus. A hummus I might make if I want to impress someone, or make for a fancy party or pot luck. The toppings are more of a creative suggestion, a guileline, not a rule. Feel free to omit the toppings though if you are not in a fancy mood.

*If you have any other suggestions/links on how to help hurricane sandy victims, or want to share what you did to help, please feel free to leave that info in the comments section below*

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roasted sweet potatoes, red onions + pine nuts with tahini


As you may know, I am a huge fan of Yottam Ottolenghi. His books are a constant source of inspiration for me, and I frequently daydream about having lunch at one of his London restaurants.

My first introduction to Ottolenghi was unusual. On a visit to Maine a couple of years ago, my Aunt + Uncle took me to this fabulous book store in Portland, Maine that sold just cookbooks. Just cookbooks. Dangerous. 

Out of the mounds and mounds of gorgeous cookbooks, I could not tear myself away from this one vegetarian focused book with an attractive pillow-like white cover. The recipes were different. Unique. A wonderful combination of mediterranean + middle-eastern flavors. When I went to checkout, the cashier owned the book already and went on and on about what a great book it was. I couldn't wait to get home and make every single recipe. 

I bought Ottolenghi's book Plenty before it was released in the US, not knowing what a hit it would end up being here. That also means my book is in grams and celcius, and although it is slightly inconvenient, I look it as a badge of honor for discovering this book before it's US debut. 

After cooking my way through Plenty, I couldn't wait until I had the opportunity to eat at one of his London restaurants. This summer I had my chance, and it lived up to everything I had expected. I went to his restaurant in Notting Hill and order as many things that would fit onto one plate. I sat outside in the rain (because that was the only seat open) and I was in heaven. While I was there I was also able to pick up a signed copy of his original book, Ottolenghi: The Cookbook which features the recipes made at his restaurants, and it too has become a staple in my kitchen.

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acorn squash stuffed with a warm farro and pine nut salad

Since moving to nyc, I have been fascinated with the unlimited amount of choices and variety in grocery stores farmers markets, speciality stores, and produce. I walk around this city like a kid in a candy store. Anything I can think of, I can find it here. It is wonderful, exciting, and at times can be overwhelming. 

Back where I lived in CT, there were not many choices. I had a Whole Foods down the street which was my go-to. There was also a small Italian speciality store that I enjoyed going to for fresh pasta and interesting produce. That was really it. I was always able to find what I needed. Comforting and predictable, but not very exciting.  

Now, I live a walking distance from the Union Square Greenmarket which is one of the great food experience of nyc. It runs 4 days a week, all year round. I try to make it there at least once a week, more if I can. I always end up with way more {ahem ... pastries} than I need. 

The following are some shots from my visit last week.  


While I was there I picked up a few acorn squashes, some lovely herbs, a couple of gorgeous golden apples, and a few vegan and gluten-free plums tarts + corn bread {which are not pictured because they were promptly devoured}.

I had some farro at home and was looking to stuff the squashes with a warm farro salad. It seemed like the perfect lunch for these brisk fall days that we've been having recently. 

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