One of my favorite comfort foods is a dish I call “Pasta Roni” which is a play on the classic decades-old “beefaroni” dish made of macaroni, beef, and tomato sauce except that my version tastes better, is plant based, and more nutritious! Oil and dairy free, Pasta Roni is the dish everyone wants on a cold night when nothing but a tummy-warming bowl of pasta will do.
Inspired by Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe for Lentil-A-Roni in Isa Does It, the Pasta Roni recipe showcases whole grain pasta, lentils, tomatoes, and greens for a delicious and nutritious meal. Isa uses raw cashews that have been soaked in water, drained and then blended with vegetable broth in a high-powered blender to make the sauce creamy but I am not a cream sauce person so I don’t use cashews. If your preference is for a creamy sauce, then by all means, soak 1/2 cup of raw (not roasted) cashews in water for a few hours and then blend away before adding to the sauce.
But first, a few words about other ingredients: Read more
Lark Ellen Farm Trailblazers are the newest additions to the trail mix market. Unlike GORP (Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts), Trailblazers have a base of sprouted nuts and seeds that are sweetened with maple syrup and then combined with ingredients like semisweet chocolate chunks, fruits, pure vanilla extract, salt, and spices to create the most unique and delicious trail mix options on the market.
Organic, grain-free, gluten-free, and vegan, the Trailblazers are also low in sugar (2-5 grams per serving) and high in flavor, texture, and, of course convenience. Lark Ellen Farm Trailblazers come in three savory varieties: Read more
The pili nut (pronounced “peeley”) is probably the nut you’ve never heard of because pili nuts are not native to North America or Europe. Grown in Southeast Asia and primarily in the Philippines, the pili nut is often called “the chosen one” because of its nutritional value (high in magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, zinc, Vitamin B1, vitamin B6, folate, copper and 8 essential amino acids).
Shaped like an almond in the shell and a pine nut in the raw, the pili nut tastes like a creamy mild macadamia nut, although a friend says “a pili nut tastes like the offspring of a macadamia nut and a pine nut.” Like most nuts, you can do many things to it: dry, sprout, roast, mill, candy, caramelize, and even turn it into nut butter. It’s that versatile. But, like most nuts, the quality of a pili nut varies depending on where and how its grown. Read more
Eating light in the summertime is as easy as tossing a salad together with fresh seasonal produce. Fill a large bowl with assorted greens (the darker the better) and then add a handful of blackberries, blueberries, and sliced strawberries along with a chopped avocado and sliced almonds for an added crunch. Drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette or your favorite dressing over the top, toss and serve. Lunch never tasted so good! Read more
Right across the Williamsburg Bridge on a quiet street (South 6th) in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, is a tiny store called Dr-Cow that makes tree nut cheeses that taste just like cheese, only better (and unlike any of the commercial non-dairy cheese substitutes sold in grocery stores). These organic, dairy-free, raw, and plant-based cheeses are low in fat, sodium, and calories, have no cholesterol, and are high in iron and plant protein.
At Dr-Cow, tree nut cheeses are made the same way exceptional dairy cheeses are made: with three ingredients – milk, a culture, and salt – but instead of cow milk, Dr-Cow uses nuts (primarily cashews and macadamia nuts) which means, Dr-Cow cheeses contain no gluten, no casein, no soy and are lactose-free. And, yet, they taste incredible. Read more
It’s like eating cookie dough, only better.
Almond Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Crumble is a chewy, delicious, and nutritious topping that take minutes to make, a few hours to chill and seconds to devour. With only six ingredients: almond butter, whole grain oats, almonds, maple syrup, chocolate chips, and a touch of salt, Almond Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Crumble is the perfect topping for baked fruit, oatmeal, whole grain cereals, or ice cream because it satisfies a sweet craving while providing lots of nutrients and fiber without added refined sugar or flour. Read more
Maple Nut Brittle is a scrumptious dairy-free confection that is super easy to make and hopelessly addicting. Crunchy, slightly sweet, and incredibly delicious, Maple Nut Brittle is made with 9 ingredients:
- macadamia nuts
- coconut flakes
- cacao nibs
- maple syrup
- sorghum syrup
- canola oil
- coconut sugar
When I was young and first saw The Nutcracker, I was fascinated with the Sugar Plum Fairy who ruled over the Land of Sweets. I remember thinking she had the best job in the world (what could be better than ruling over a Candyland?). Forget about the Prince and Clara, I wanted the Sugar Plum Fairy’s job (until I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then I wanted Willy Wonka’s job but that’s another story).
Although I wasn’t a fan of sugarplums when I was a child (they reminded me of fruitcake), I grew to appreciate how sweet, delicate, and delicious a home-made sugarplum is, especially when I made them myself with the top quality ingredients. Read more
Jordyn Gatti, the founder and CEO of Better Almond Butter is on a mission to “make better food in a better way.” Although almond butter sounds like such a simple product, it really isn’t because there are two things consumers need to think about when selecting the most nutritious and delicious almond butter on the market: the almonds and whether the almonds have been sprouted.
The FDA requires that all almonds grown in California (where the majority of US almonds are grown) be pasteurized either by a steam process or by being gassed with a fumigation chemical called propylene oxide (PPO) – a jet engine fuel additive that is considered carcinogenic in Europe – to prevent foodborne illnesses (specifically, to prevent the transfer of bacteria from the field to consumers). Read more