Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cornbread Dressing (vegan and gluten-free)



I took over the role of preparing and hosting Thanksgiving dinner many years ago, but I always have my mom make the dressing as her contribution regardless. I have been enjoying it for my entire life, and no Thanksgiving for me would be complete without it. When I changed the way that I eat with a dedication to a plant-based diet, I had to figure out a way to replicate the flavors of my favorite Thanksgiving dish with a new set of ingredients. Considering the fact that it never had meat in it, I had a fair chance of making it happen. Last year, I did a satisfactory job. This year I nailed it thanks to a new recipe I concocted for the cornbread base that happens to be gluten-free as well.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing Base



Thanksgiving would not be complete without my mother’s dressing. Being vegan and avoiding gluten challenged me to create a suitable substitute for the cornbread and vegetable dressing that I adore with a base courtesy of Mrs. Cubbison’s. Aside from the fact that I wanted to make it vegan and gluten-free, I also wanted to create a recipe that was free of preservatives and sugars. Yes, it is an added step in the process of preparing Thanksgiving dinner to make your own stuffing base, but the results are worth it when you get to enjoy your favorite things.

Basic Flaky Pastry Dough 101



When most kids are young, they play with Play-Dough. I played with pastry dough. When my mother made pastry, she would give me the scraps to play with. Unlike Play-Dough, it really was edible and I would make my own little pastries with sugars, jams, nuts, chocolate chips or whatever we had around. The kitchen was my play room. It was no surprise that as an adult I found myself cooking professionally as a pastry chef.

Kale Salad with Quinoa, Citrus, and Sundried Tomatoes



As my obsession with enjoying kale salads seems to only be growing, I am always trying to come up with new ways to enjoy one. We were expecting a guest for lunch last Sunday and I was feeling too lazy to go to the grocery store. While trying to make do with what we had in the house, I came up with this winner based on a salad that I like order at Porta Via restaurant in Beverly Hills, California. The hearty marriage of flavors is my new favorite.

Max’s Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie



There has been a long standing tradition of parents getting to come in to school for their kid’s birthdays and share a small celebration with their children and classmates to commemorate the occasion. Our school has recently adopted a no sugar no nut policy for all celebrations. Naturally, when I got word of this mandate I was quite pleased as loading up on cupcakes, doughnuts, and candy is the last thing our kids need in the middle of their school days. Although it is a treat and brings pleasure to our taste buds, there is no necessity for sugar in our diets and moderating such intake is a good thing for the sake of our kid’s health. This does not mean that I believe in deprivation.  In fact, I feel that if children too are restricted from treats they will only find ways to rebel whenever they have the opportunity. We must do our best to find balance in our choices, moderate the quantities, and get creative with fresh clean ingredients.

Braised Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage


IMG_7064We all have those food memories that make us crave things from time to time. For people like me, such cravings inspire trips to the grocery store so I can fulfill the desire in my own kitchen as soon as absolutely possible. I was never much of a carnivore, and when dining out I would often order dishes on the menu purely based on what it was being served with. The gratins of yukon gold potatoes, satueed kale, corn pudding, heirloom tomato salads, braised cabbage, or mashed potatoes whetted my appetite far more than the fillets of beef, smoked pork chops, or market fish. It’s not surprising that being a vegetarian came so naturally to me. 

Pumpkin Gingersnap Smoothie



The beginning of October rings a bell for me marking the official beginning of fall and all my favorite foods that go along with it. The inspiration of these ingredients also act as a reminder that Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that it is time to start thinking about new recipe ideas. This is partially due to the fact that if I am going to create dishes to share with you, I’d better get started.