I shouldn’t brag about having made this dish on Valentine’s Day. Because if I’m being honest, it reminds me of an ex-boyfriend who ate mostly white and pink foods off the kids’ menu, for whom penne alla vodka might as well have been a major food group.
He had other wonderful qualities, but being my co-pilot in taste was not one of them. So in a sense, this lightened up vegan penne alla vodka does remind me of my current love and how grateful I am to be with a fellow adventurous eater.
Sure, there may have been a time when Charlie would have vastly preferred the dose of heavy cream and cubed chicken, and was more than willing to pay the consequences at the end of the night. But he also continuously surprises me, this meatless year being no different.
You might not be able to tell from the photos but this plant-based vodka sauce has absolutely no milk, cream or thickener—not even of the nut or coco variety! It also has far less tomatoes than usual, which makes it a great option for those sensitive to acid or nightshades. What gives the sauce that gorgeous reddish-orange hue and a hint of sweetness are roasted carrots and fennel.
You throw this trio on a sheet pan and let them caramelize in the oven, then transfer them to a blender along with some veggie stock or water. The resulting sauce is thick, velvety and totally luscious. If you’re not Low FODMAP, you can add a little garlic or shallot to the roasting process, but I love the simplicity of this recipe and how many nutrients are packed into the sauce.
I’d like to say that this version is so good, my ex would never even know it’s not his usual …
No matter what time of year it is, one thing seems constant in my kitchen: the multiple bunches of wilting herbs in my crisper drawer.
In an effort to produce less food waste, in addition to composting, I’ve started growing my own herbs using this system in a pot on the kitchen window sill. It’s my goal to expand the collection this year. But until that happens, I’ve tried to be better at using the herbs I buy from start to finish before they go south.
After a recent grocery store hoarding spree, I put on my creative cook’s thinking cap (which in my imagination looks more like the Hogwarts sorting hat than an actual chef’s toque), and began coming up with ways I could salvage some of the ingredients without actually putting in much effort. One of concoctions that resulted was this easy green goddess dip recipe.
My favorite salad dressing in my first book, The Wellness Project, was a kefir green goddess made with half an avocado and some of the fermented yogurt-like drink, kefir. Since I had a few avocados lying around too and they were a little too browned and bruised to be an optimal toast topping, I decided to turn my favorite dressing into a dip and load it up with even more avocado than usual, Greek yogurt, and all those random bunches of herbs that were lying around.
The result was so good, I ended up taking it with me to my friend’s house for dinner and serving it alongside farm fresh crudités. She had already picked up a few dips from Taim and everyone in attendance assumed mine was from there as well, which, as those of you who have tasted their hummus know, is one of the highest compliments I …
I gained a lot of culinary influence from my college friend Salima, but no dish more so than hot and sour soup.
Her influence did not necessarily come by way of the kitchen, as I’m pretty sure the only thing she attempted to cook while we were living under the same roof was pancakes. They were never attempted during daylight hours and always resulted in batter on the walls and the faint smell of something burning that stuck with us for the week that followed. But she did have excellent (if eccentric) taste in the food she wasn’t making.
Under Salima’s tutelage, I tried escargot for the first time, which she gingerly doused in butter and arranged on toast for my sampling. I also learned to start ordering my steak rare versus medium (what was I thinking?!?). But the most ubiquitous dish in Salima’s diet was hot and sour soup.
I’ve seen Salima eat hot and sour soup as early as 8am. I’ve seen her eat it in at least 5 different countries, including Italy, where I had no idea you could even find hot and sour soup. It was her cure all comfort food. And most of the times that required curing and comforting, were the times of extreme hangover. If Salima was in a bad state, we all knew to run down the block to Shanghai, the local Chinese restaurant, and come back with a quart container of hot and sour soup to-go.
I’ve never had a problem with eating savory foods for breakfast. Before I was gluten-free, weekend dim sum was a hangover tradition. But I had always been more of a miso soup kind of gal before Salima came into my life.
Maybe it was some wacked out college kid’s placebo effect, but soon all of …
I have a love/hate relationship with butternut squash.
I love eating it. But every time I perch one on my cutting board to peel, I think to myself: today will finally be the day when I call Charlie from the emergency room having just accidentally amputated a finger.
Not having to peel any gourds is just one of the reasons to love this cheesy, warm butternut squash dip. But it may be the biggest revelation.
After taking on the ambitious task of adding butternut squash to my Thanksgiving stuffing last year, I pretty much thought my hands would never return to their pre-leprosy state. All the peeling left my paws looking as orange and opaque as the outside of a carrot. I considered myself in butternut squash retirement for the foreseeable future.
That was, until I realized I could just roast the whole damn thing.
Though I’m a longtime butternut squash soup lover, I somehow always took the scenic route (i.e. peeling, cubing, roasting) instead of just doing the cooking equivalent of Google Maps and taking the far more direct, painless, sensible path. This is very unlike me. In the kitchen, as on the road, I’m a much bigger fan of the easy way than what so and so’s grandmother has been doing for decades. So it’s crazy that I hadn’t adopted this halve-and-then-roast short cut of my butternut squash dip until now.
Once you bake the squash for 45 minutes or so, until fork tender, you simply scoop out the flesh and stir it together with some garlic and herbs. Since it’s Super Bowl season and this dip is meant to be shared with your slightly more hedonistic friends, I mixed in a little Greek Yogurt and cheese. You can use mayo instead if you’re looking to cut down …
As I mentioned recently on Instagram, one of Charlie’s intentions for this year is to give up meat. Which means, I’ve been poring over the Feed Me Phoebe archives for inspiration and pulling recipes like this Cabbage Fried Rice out of the attic.
The reason for his decision was a little documentary called Game Changers. There’s a particular scene in the middle of the film that involves data on the capacity for more erections on a plant-based diet that may be the most effective piece of vegan propaganda I’ve ever seen.
Needless to say, I’m thrilled about this change, as much for the virility potential as for the impact it will have on furthering our low waste ethos. To that effect, vegetable fried rice is a wonderful two-for-one as it’s a fantastic way to use up leftover grains, especially any rice languishing from past takeout orders.
The star of this vegetarian fried rice is Napa or Savoy cabbage. These varieties are less dense with curly, textured leaves that are perfect for stir-frying. You’ll find that the cabbage melts down in this recipe but also becomes gorgeously charred if you use a heavy-bottomed pan or wok that can radiate the appropriate about of heat.
My version, as always, is gluten-free and it can also be adapted to be low FODMAP by reducing the cabbage quantity slightly and omitting the alliums. Being vegetarian AND low FODMAP is always a challenge, so this would be a perfect dish to add to your arsenal that has a good ratio of veggies to rice and isn’t too carb-heavy.
I originally developed this dish for Food & Wine Magazine as a year-round vegetarian fried rice, since cabbage is always in season, even in the depths of winter. It’s always amazing to read over old …
One of the fun things about teaching is that it often reintroduces me to my own long-forgotten creations. And if it hadn’t been for my class at the Institute of Culinary Education last year, the inspiration for this Thai pumpkin curry recipe would have never meandered into my stomach.
A few years ago I had the OMG honor of meeting Gretchen Rubin, one of my personal wellness heroes and the original gangster of happiness who inspired my project. I recently paged back through her book about finding better ways to arm wrestle our habits into submission.
One of the dichotomies that caught my eye was that some of us are naturally creatures of familiarity, and others are slaves to novelty. If you’re a familiarity lover, you might be prone to re-reading the same book or, say, re-making the same recipe over and over again. Novelty lovers on the other hand are driven by an inner compulsion to never do the same thing in the same, boring way. (You can read more in this blog post).
Though my takeout orders may be the only thing that doesn’t reflect this (thanks to my old friend, Mr. chicken pad Thai), I am a tried and true novelty gal. On the surface, my career as a blogger is fueled by this impulse; I get to constantly be coming up with new, creative ideas to feed you wonderful folks on this site. But on the flip side of that food coin, is all the development that sometimes goes into certain recipes, which can mean testing the same dish over and over, and then subsequently eating that same damn dish for weeks.
When these recipe relay periods are over and done with, I often go into a novelty overdrive that can last months. …
Ever since our Southern New Year’s Eve party five years ago, I’ve been having fun directing my healthifying powers below the Mason Dixon line. One recipe that’s been on my agenda for a while is sweet corn pudding. It’s one of those dishes that seems unnecessarily artery clogging, when it can potentially come together with just a few ingredients.
Corn pudding is weirdly something I’m used to eating around the holidays, despite my culture leading more towards latkes than puddings. My friend’s mom used to serve it at her Christmas party, and in the days before I was gluten-free, I used to inhale platefuls of it.
The time of year might perhaps explain why so many sweet corn pudding recipes add a ton of butter, milk and flour (other than the fact that they’re most likely written by Southerners). The end result can feel more like a gooey cornbread, which distracts from the fact that the corn being used is lackluster canned kernels.
I’m a huge fan of certain frozen vegetables and corn is always one I have on hand for the winter months.
To make the pudding dairy-free, I used almond milk and coconut oil instead of butter, and then made the batter gluten-free by using a combination of organic cornmeal and cornstarch. I’m not sure if it would matter what you use if the corn is sweet and delicious–so invest your money there.
If you’re looking for a lighter gluten-free corn pudding recipe for your holiday table, this casserole dish will knock your stocking off.
With health and hedonism,
Healthy Sweet Corn Pudding with Scallions
This easy sweet corn pudding recipe is a great quick dinner casserole. With almond milk and gluten free flour it’s also healthy and dairy free.
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey
These gluten-free vegan IKEA meatballs are brought to you in partnership with my friends Little Northern Bakehouse. As always opinions are 100 percent my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site and my Swedish meatball cravings possible!
When I think of IKEA, my most familiar association is not a trembling, near-collapse bureau drawer, nor the panic attack involved in building it. It’s not even the blue bags that were responsible for single handedly moving Charlie and I from our old apartment to our current home. Rather, when I think of Ikea, I think of Swedish meatballs. And then I think of my dad’s old assistant Darren.
Darren loved Ikea meatballs and used to brave the swollen throngs of college-bound cheap bookshelf seekers just to get his fix. This should not surprise me, since Darren also used to brave other horrors of dorm set-up without any promise of a creamy gravy sauce as compensation.
I used to call him “big brother Darren” because his responsibilities as my dad’s minion included moving me in and out of multiple dorm rooms, and chauffeuring me, my duffel bags, and mini fridge the 3-hour drive to and from. Needless to say, even though he never assembled furniture, Darren was an angel. And I only wish I had my cooking prowess back then to make him imitation Swedish IKEA meatballs as a thank you for all the schlepping.
My memories of what these meatballs actually taste like is a little fuzzy, but my hunch is that even if they weren’t packed with gluten, I wouldn’t be crazy about the mystery meat concoction today. For the die-hard fans amongst us though (and big brother Darren, I know you’re out there somewhere), I thought it would be fun to craft a plant-based, gluten-free version …