Monthly Archives: December 2012

Black Eyed Pea and Kale Salad for a Prosperous and Healthy New Year



Southern tradition in the United States dictates that the first thing you should eat just after midnight on New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s Day be black eyed peas for a luck and prosperity in the year ahead. Modern lore has evolved to include additional ingredients such as greens, tomatoes, and cornbread. The black eyed peas which swell as they are cooked represent prosperity. Superstitious Southerners eat 365 black eyed peas for each day of the year. The greens, traditionally collards, mustard, turnip, or cabbage, represent money, and the cornbread represents gold. The combination of the black eyed peas with stewed tomatoes is supposed to bring wealth and health.

Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies (vegan)



Who says that holiday baking isn’t the same using vegan recipes? These gingerbread cookies are among the best I have ever made with or without dairy and eggs. They are easy to make, crisp, and have just right amount of spice.

Quick and Easy Black Bean Chili


IMG_4106Make this yummy chili in under 30 minutes from stove to table. Its hearty, satisfying, loaded with dietary fiber, and good for you.

Non-Dairy Cashew Sour Cream



Using cashew cream works great to serve with or incorporate into many dishes in place of dairy. From soups to lasagna, even desserts, I have had so much success that when I serve it to guests they not only cannot tell that its not the real thing, but they love it too.

Corn Tamales with Red and Green Peppers (vegan and gluten-free)



Tamales are among the traditional foods found on the Latin American holiday table. Made sweet, savory, or stuffed, no Christmas celebration in this culture would be complete without them. This version of tamales is inspired and by those that were made by Michael Roberts from the former Trumps restaurant in Los Angeles, California. If you decide to make tamales part of your holidays or not, they are delicious and worth making. Serve them with a quick and easy to make black bean chili, sweet pea guacamole, and cashew sour cream.

Feliz Navidad.

Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake



This gingerbread is rich, dense, and loaded with flavor. Although the presentation of this gorgeous cake will make a stunning addition to your holiday table, you certainly do not need to go through the efforts of making poached pears to make an upside-down cake. The gingerbread on its own with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar will be just as delicious…almost. Try serving the plain gingerbread with an orange scented glaze or with roasted applesauce and cashew cream in place of making the upside-down cake.

Honey and White Wine Poached Pears with Pomegranate Seeds



With all of the heavy meals that are served during the winter months, I am always seeking out desserts that are on the lighter side. Poached Pears make a perfect light dessert or snack. When pears are in season, I make them on a regular basis to have around. They hold for several days in the refrigerator, I love them and so do my children.

Traditional Potato Latkes (vegan and gluten-free)



Hanukkah, the festival of lights, translates from Hebrew to mean “dedication”. Hanukkah celebrates the triumphs, both religious and military, of ancient Jewish heroes. Traditionally, Hanukkah foods are fried in oil to symbolize the flame from purified oil that was used to rededicate the Hebrew’s temple on Jerusalem’s Mount Moriah that the Jews reclaimed after 3 years of fighting. That flame that should have only lasted a day but miraculously burned for eight days and nights and today it is called Hanukkah. Yes, I could be giving you a recipe for baked, low-fat latkes, but since I am actually making them this year, I am going for tradition all the way.

Roasted Chunky Applesauce



Late Fall is truly the best time of the year for really great apples. Last weekend when I was at the farmer’s market, I think I counted 11 different varieties of apples being sold. My favorite apple variety is the Honeycrisp. To me, they have the perfect balance of tart, crisp, and sweet. That being said, I enjoy all sorts of varieties and like to have many of them in the house at a time. My kids love sampling the different varieties and weighing in on which ones they like best too. It makes a fun snack to prepare a platter of sliced apples sprinkled with ground cinnamon and letting everyone pick their favorites.

Tofu Breakfast Scramble with Asparagus and Mushrooms



Tofu is one of those food items that I have historically not been a big fan of. But over the past couple of years, I have warmed to the idea of experimenting with it and learned to use it in recipes that I truly love such as Dilled Tofu Salad. Recipes for using tofu in a scramble like dishes made with eggs are classic vegan fare.  Vegan cookbooks, blogs, and gurus all share versions of this ridiculously easy and satisfying dish, but not until recently have I tried them out for myself.