Wild Rice with Asparagus

This is a recipe I came up with recently because I got some asparagus from market. It’s a good time of year for asparagus, which pairs well with lemons (also abundant in the springtime).

Wild rice and lentils round it out as a meal that is high in protein.

Wild Rice with Asparagus

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: About 45 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup wild rice (+ 2 cups water)

1/2 cup green lentils (+ 1 1/2 – 2 cups water)

Juice of 1 lemon

2-3 teaspoons olive oil

2-3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Handful parsley, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium lidded saucepan, bring wild rice and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook, covered, for about 40 minutes (or until water is completely absorbed).

In another pot, combine lentils and 1 1/2-2 cups water (this depends on whether you prefer softer or firmer lentils). I prefer firmer lentils, so I use closer to 1 1/2 cups water. Simmer the lentils and water for 30-40 minutes.

While the rice and lentils are cooking, heat a medium saute pan on high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Continue to cook on high, adding water to prevent sticking, for about 8-10 minutes. Add asparagus with a pinch of salt and continue to cook until asparagus is tender (about 15 minutes).

Once cooked, remove pan with asparagus from heat.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Once rice and lentils are cooked, combine with the asparagus and chopped parsley. Toss with lemon vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.

This dish can be served warm or room temperature, so it is a great spring dish. The flavors of lemon, pepper, and asparagus combined with the texture of wild rice is really quite nice.

Almond Cookies

These simple cookies are both vegan and gluten free. They are also quick and easy to make, really only requiring one bowl.

These are basically an almond shortbread cookie, so they are not too sweet at all and pair well with spring and summer fruits such as berries and stone fruits.

Almond Cookies

Prep. Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

Yield: 8 cookies

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

1 cup almond flour

Pinch salt

3 Tablespoons vegan butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350º F.

In medium bowl, soften or lightly melt butter.

Add vanilla. Mix.

Add almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt. Mix until well-combined.

Roll dough into 8 balls, then place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down the centers to flatten somewhat.

Chill for 5 minutes, then place in oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until bottoms and edges are browned. Let cool on baking sheet.

Hopefully you enjoy these cookies! I like that they are not too sweet and this small and easy batch is perfect to throw together for a coffee or tea date. Plus, being vegan and gluten free, they are good for most people to eat (aside from those with almond allergies of course).

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Sometimes I just feel like making my dog cookies (as is the case with all the loved ones in my life). When that itch arises, I scratch it with this super simple recipe.

Plus, they’re peanut butter…. and my dog LOVES peanut butter.

These can be baked in a specific pan for cookies, or they can simply be rolled, flattened, and placed on a baking sheet.

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Yield: about 30 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup flour

2 Tablespoons ground flax

8 Tablespoons water

1/3 cup peanut butter

Extra 1/4 cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Mix together the oats and flour in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the ground flax and 8 Tablespoons water. Add peanut butter and cream until well-combined.

Add the flour/oat mixture to the flax/peanut butter mixture until combined. This may be quite dry, so add the extra 1/4 cup water (or more, if necessary) to create a workable dough.

This dough can be either pressed into a pan, or rolled into balls and flattened. Either way, the cookies should be baked for about 20 minutes.

Lemon-Garlic Rice with Cannellini Beans

This is a really simple dinner that is great for Spring. The broccoli can easily be substituted with asparagus, as that also goes really well with the bright lemon and garlic flavor.

If I have them on hand, I may also throw a few diced tomatoes in the pot with the rice to deepen the flavor. Additionally, you can really use any herbs you like. I tend to just throw in my Tuscan seasoning because I always have it on hand, however fresh thyme or even rosemary would be a welcome addition.

Lemon-Garlic Rice with Cannellini Beans

Serves: 2

Time: about 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup long-grain brown rice (if using short-grain, cook time will be shorter)

1 cup water

Zest of 1 lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1/2 lemon (save the other half and serve the wedges as garnish)

1 teaspoon Tuscan seasoning (I use Penzey’s)

Large pinch salt

2 cups broccoli, chopped (asparagus also works)

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 onion, diced

Directions:

Place rice, water, lemon zest, garlic, lemon juice, and Tuscan seasoning (as well as any additional herbs) in a medium or large saucepan with lid. Bring to a boil, then once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes with lid on.

While the rice begins to cook, prepare the broccoli by chopping it. Dice the 1/2 onion.

In a small saucepan or sauté pan, cook the onions on high heat until caramelized. To help achieve this, I use water to help the onions not stick (this also helps to sort of deglaze the pan).

Once the rice has been simmering for 15 minutes, add the broccoli along with a splash of extra water and a large pinch of salt. Return the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked and broccoli is tender.

During this time, drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Add to cooked rice and broccoli until the beans are warmed through.

Serve with caramelized onions and lemon wedges. I also have extra salt on the table for my husband, as well. Fresh parsley or thyme would -also be excellent garnishes!

I find this is definitely a simple and healthy meal that is also an easy way to throw in spring vegetables. You can add more veggies and herbs, so it can be pretty different, but the base is nice and fresh. Can’t really go wrong with rice and beans!

Hot Cross Buns (vegan)

I don’t celebrate Easter much, but I do enjoy a little something to welcome in Spring. A weekend morning with some hot cross buns is a great way to do that, in my opinion. These are quite simple to make and don’t take nearly as much time as one would expect from an enriched, yeasted dough.

The dried fruit can be whatever you like (I use half raisins and half chopped apricots, but currants are more traditional).

Hot Cross Buns (makes a dozen servings)

Prep Time: 1 1/2-2 hours

Bake Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup lukewarm water

3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (lukewarm or room temperature)

1/3 cup canola oil (plus a splash extra to coat the bowl)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons orange zest (about the zest of one large orange)

1/4 cup sugar

3 3/4 cups AP Flour

3/4 cup dried fruit of choice

Wash:

2 tablespoons almond milk

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons almond milk

Directions:

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, stir together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and lukewarm water. Let sit for a few minutes until bubbling.

While the yeast is activating, in a separate bowl stir together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, sugar, and dried fruit.

Once the yeast is quite bubbly and active, add the flour/spice mixture, almond milk, and canola oil. Stir until just combined with a spatula. Begin to “knead” the dough by using the dough hook of the stand mixer on low or medium-low speed.

After about 4-5 minutes, it should be thoroughly combined and somewhat elastic. Use a splash of canola oil to coat the sides of the mixing bowl. Turn the coat to allow the dough to become coated.

Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

Once risen, punch down the dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide evenly into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a round bun, then place into parchment- lined baking dish (10″ x 14″ or 11″ x 13″ both work well).

Cover again with dish towel and let rise for around 30 minutes (dough should mostly spring back when touched). While dough is rising, preheat oven to 375º F.

Make dough wash by mixing together almond milk and maple syrup. Brush onto rolls.

Bake buns for 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown. This could vary considerably depending on the oven used, so I would recommend checking earlier to ensure they are baking well. The buns will touch while rising and baking, but that is completely normal.

Once the buns are golden-brown and cooked through, remove from oven. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and place on cooling rack, counter, or large cutting board to continue cooling.

Whisk together almond milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla to make icing.

Once the buns are cooled, top with icing using a piping bag or drizzling with a spoon.

Enjoy! These store well in a covered container for 1-2 days, though they will begin to dry out after that. They are best served the same day or the next day.

Udon Noodles with Miso

This is such an easy and quick dinner. I often make this when my husband is working late and I’m eating solo because it is a really easy dinner to make for one. It is also really simple for more people as well, but this recipe is for just one serving!

Because udon noodles cook in just a few minutes, it is ready really quickly.

Udon Noodles with Miso

Prep & Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

85 grams Inaniwa-style Udon noodles (other types are good, but I like the texture and quick cooking time of Inaniwa Udon)

Large handful red cabbage, shredded

1 carrot, peeled into long strips (I just use my peeler on the entire carrot to get lots of thin strips)

1/3 cup shelled edamame (I use frozen and heat it in the microwave or on stovetop)

1 Tablespoon Miso paste

1-2 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Dash sesame oil

Sprinkle of red chili flakes

Green onion, finely chopped

Directions:

Fill medium or large, lidded saucepan with water and bring to a boil.

While the water is heating, prepare the veggies by shredding the carrots and cabbage. Heat/steam the edamame and set aside.

Mix together the miso paste, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, sesame oil, chili flakes, and 1 Tablespoon of the water. If it is still too thick, add another Tablespoon of water.

Place the sauce in a small saucepan on medium-high heat until it begins to boil, then reduce to a simmer.

By now the water should be boiling and you can cook your noodles. With Inaniwa Udon this should only take around 3 minutes, but check your package instructions to be sure. Toss the cabbage and carrots in with the noodles for the last 1-2 minutes of cooking to soften them.

Once the noodles are cooked, drain, then toss with sauce.

Serve topped with green onions.

Hopefully this recipe makes sense. It’s hard to describe the cooking of the veggies, so feel free to ask if any questions arise!

Braised Red Cabbage

Hi! Today I thought I’d share how to make braised red cabbage. I have German heritage and am quite fond of certain German foods (specifically red cabbage and pretzels).

I like to serve this with beyond sausages, mustard, and pretzels.

Braised cabbage is much easier to make than it seems and it really only requires a few ingredients! The big component is having time to let it braise.

Braised Red Cabbage

Ingredients:

Teaspoon canola or olive oil

1/2 head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 2-3 cups cabbage)

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 apple, roughly peeled and sliced

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar (you can increase if you want a richer flavor)

Pinch cloves

Pinch cinnamon

Pinch salt

Pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare the cabbage and rinse with cold water.

Heat oil in large lidded pan on medium heat. Add onion and cook a few minutes, until beginning to soften. Add a splash of the balsamic and the apple slices. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add cabbage to the pan, mix well to coat cabbage. Add cloves, cinnamon, salt, and remaining balsamic. Stir well and reduce to low heat.

Cook, covered, on low heat for about an hour. Stir occasionally, about every 10-15 minutes. Add pepper and salt to taste before serving.

This keeps well in the fridge for several days, as long as it is covered properly. I prefer storing this in glass containers.

Hopefully you enjoy! It is really surprisingly easy and to serve more it can be easily doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled.