Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category



Love is smoothie happiness in the Baskett household! In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing a smoothie that’s yummy with some color. When I’m making a new smoothie, I love for it to be a bright, fun color. This one is a pretty purple, which is one of my favorite colors, and it is great because it’s high in iron (from the cabbage).

I think I’m going to surprise Hank with this for a smoothie breakfast in bed! You can steal my idea if you want, wink wink.

My Purple V-Day Smoothie:

  • 2 cups of chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cups blueberries
  • 2 bananas
  • Handful of strawberries
  • Ice and water (add ice enough for thickness)

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Vegan Nutella Recipe


It’s a sad moment for many to learn that Nutella isn’t vegan. Luckily, this addictive, chocolaty hazelnut spread can be veganized! This recipe for homemade Nutella is from Christie Matheson’s book Cake Simple.

This could be great for V-day breakfast, gifted in a hand-labeled mason jar, or even used as a frosting for a cake or cupcakes. I haven’t tried it but it looks like it could be good…enjoy!

Vegan Nutella


  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 12 oz vegan milk chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4ths teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they’ve browned, about 12 minutes. When they’ve slightly cooled, peel off the skin by rubbing them with a kitchen towel – it’s ok if some of the skin remains.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a medium saucepan over simmering water or in the microwave, stirring until smooth. Allow the chocolate to cool completely.
  4. Take your toasted hazelnuts and, using a food processor (like a Cuisinart), grind the hazelnuts into a paste. Once you have your paste, add the oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt and continue to blend until smooth (or as smooth as possible).
  5. Add the melted chocolate and continue to blend well.
  6. Strain the mixture to remove any remaining solids. The outcome will be a fairly thin mixture, but it will thicken as it cools. The Nutella will stay for 2 weeks in a jar.

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Kind Lifer Diana submitted this yummy looking recipe from the Culinary Institute of America. It originally calls for fish sauce, but you can veganize it by using Mam Nem Chay – Vietnamese vegetarian fish sauce – instead. If you can’t find any at your local grocer, you can improvise with a mix of light soy sauce, a splash of pineapple juice, a bit of agave and a splash of chili sauce. I haven’t tried this, but I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes | Servings: 4


For Quinoa

  • 2 cups of Cooked red quinoa, about 1.5 cups raw
  • 2-3 slices of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of sliced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon of torn mint leaves
  • 1/4 cups of winter squash, diced into small pieces

For nuoccham sauce

  • 3 tablespoons of vegan fish sauce
  • 1/4 cups of lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of vegan brown sugar or 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 Thai chili, paper thin sliced (use whole chili for some spice)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss squash with with a bit of olive oil and pinch of curry powder and roast until just done.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil. Add a pinch of salt, ginger slices and quinoa, and cover. Simmer until done, about 15 min.
  4. Make nuoc cham sauce by mixing fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, thai chili & water.
  5. Toss quinoa, cooked squash, scallions, cilantro, and mint with nuoc cham sauce.
  6. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Good luck, healthy girl!

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Give your cooking the gourmet treatment with this exquisite salad. Spicy, flavorful quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes complement cool slices of avocado, and pan-friend tortilla strips add the perfect crunch.

Serves 4

What You Need:

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked in vegetable stock and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced and divided
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola Oil
  • 2 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 tomatillos in olive oil, skins removed
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon light agave nectar
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • Microgreens

What You Do:

  1. In a medium bowl place quinoa, jalapeño, 1 tablespoon cilantro, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss to combine.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until soft in the middle and lightly browned; be careful not to let the sweet potatoes burn.
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, toss the tomatillos with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, add the vinegar, 1/4 cup cilantro, and agave nectar, and pulse to combine. With the motor running, pour in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a thin stream. Continue blending until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a small, heavy pot and heat until the oil shimmers. Add the tortilla strips and fry until crisp and browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning.
  5. Place a 3-inch ring mold in the center of one of 4 salad plates. Fill with 1/4 of the quinoa mixture and press down with a spoon to pack the mold, smoothing the top. Place 1/4 of the sweet potato pieces on top of the quinoa and press down gently. Top with 1/4 of the avocado and press down gently. Carefully remove the mold. Repeat on the remaining salad plates.
  6. Carefully place 2 tortilla strips parallel to each other about 1 inch apart on top of each timbale. Place 2 more tortilla strips perpendicular on top of those. Top the timbales with the microgreens and drizzle the dressing around the timbales.

Good luck, healthy girl!

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Use lentil or sunflower sprouts, which have a peppery flavor, in this well-textured salad. These sprouts are available in many farmers’ markets but very easy to make yourself (see below). I prefer black or red quinoa in this dish because I like the texture, but regular quinoa works as well.

3/4 cup cooked quinoa, preferably the red or black variety

1 cup sprouted lentils or sunflower seeds

3 ounces wild arugula or baby arugula (4 cups tightly packed)

1/4 red bell pepper, sliced thin

1/4 cup broken walnuts (3/4 ounce)

1/4 cup crumbled feta (1 ounce) (optional)

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, like dill, tarragon, chives and parsley

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 small garlic clove, puréed with a pinch of salt

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or use half olive oil and half grapeseed oil

1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper, mustard and garlic. Whisk in the oil. Toss with the salad, and serve.

To make sprouts: Place 2 to 3 tablespoons lentils or sunflower seeds in a wide-mouthed jar and cover with water. Soak overnight. Place a piece of cheesecloth over the top of the jar, and secure with a rubber band. Drain the lentils and shake them so that they are not in a big pile, but some are adhering to the sides of the jar. Place the jar in a dark place, like underneath the kitchen sink. Water and drain twice a day for two to three days until the lentils have sprouts about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. Leave in a sunny place for an hour or two, then refrigerate.

Yield: Serves four to six.

Advance preparation: Cooked quinoa will keep for four days in the refrigerator. The dressing can be made several hours ahead of serving.

Nutritional information per serving (four servings): 307 calories; 4 grams saturated fat; 5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 16 grams monounsaturated fat; 6 milligrams cholesterol; 14 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 102 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 6 grams protein

Nutritional information per serving (six servings): 205 calories; 3 grams saturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 10 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 10 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 68 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 4 grams protein

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BY Lindsay Reinsmith, Founder and CEO of Kaeng Raeng

One of the things I enjoy least is going to a restaurant the night of Valentine’s Day.  What a nightmare.  Mediocre food.  High prices.  Elbow to elbow with other patrons.  AWFUL service.  Yet everyone flocks to the nearest restaurant slightly more expensive than they’re used to and stuffs their faces with prix fixe menus only to go home and fall into a food coma.

Not us!  My boyfriend, Jason, and I have never made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day (since we love each other the other 364 days of the year…), but we do like to stay in and cook together to honor the occasion.  In past years, I’ve made a mostly vegan meal with a meat entree for him.  But this year, as part of his (and mine) dedication to staying healthy, we did a total vegan dinner.  What did he think of it?  Drum roll….

He loved it!  As a runner (and generally busy guy), Jason needs wholesome, filling meals and often gets hungry about an hour after eating an all-veggie salad.  So I had to get creative to make him a great vegan meal that wasn’t a bunch of carbs. He was full before we even got to the entree!

Here was the menu (I apologize for the grainy photos – I took these pictures with my phone in low light and the quality isn’t great)


Organic asparagus, sauteed in a pan with a small amount of organic extra virgin olive oil, lemon pepper, and sea salt.

This is a super easy dish to make – just pick up asparagus at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, throw it in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil on medium heat.  After you’ve cooked them for a little while, just drizzle some lemon pepper (or lemon juice plus pepper), and lightly salt to taste.  You can also have it raw – just don’t heat above 118 degrees.


This is my go-to dish when I’m dining alone, but it also makes a great starter.  Salads can be ruined by 1. not enough awesome ingredients, and 2. too much dressing.  Our salad had spinach, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, walnuts, and organic avocado.  I added 1 tbsp of light balsamic dressing (Newmans) to the ENTIRE bowl of salad (not just my serving).  The key to dressing is to always always always measure it out.  Don’t just pour it all over the salad.  You only need a light taste!  Not salad soup!


Stuffed peppers!  You can see the original recipe for this dish, but I usually just wing it. I made 4 of these so we could have two as left overs but one pepper serves one person just fine.  The original recipe has many more ingredients – it’s totally up to you!

You’ll need:
-4 red peppers (or however many people you’re serving)

-1 orange pepper

-1 yellow pepper


-squash or zucchini


-“butter” (I use earth balance)

-olive oil

-sea salt



-tomato sauce

-brown rice


-sauce pan

-baking pan (bread size)

-large mixing bowl

Cook 1 cup of organic brown rice (a great whole grain!) with 2 cups of water, 1 tbsp of Earth Balance “butter,” and some sea salt in the sauce pan. This can take up to 45 minutes to cook, so start this early!

Cut out the tops of the red peppers, wash them, set them in a cooking pan (a bread sized pan is fine).  Set your oven to 350 degrees (this dish cannot be served raw).

In a wok, saute the olive oil, onions, squash (finely cut), mushrooms (finely cut), peppers (finely cut), garlic, and drizzle on salt and pepper for taste.

Pour the sauteed veggie mix in a bowl with the brown rice and stir.  Using a spoon, scoop the mixture into the stuffed peppers.  Cover with tomato sauce.

Heat in the oven for 35-45 minutes (this is really for heat preference, all of the ingredients are already cooked or can be eaten raw).

While the peppers are heating, enjoy your appetizer and salad!


I try to stay away from sugar (fruit) after noon, but I like to make an exception for holidays. I cut up organic strawberries, put tooth picks in them, and had them for dipping in Whole Foods vegan chocolate pudding.  The pudding is pretty cocoa forward (I’m sure you can make your own but I got lazy) but it was delicious!

Overall a very successful vegan dinner – boyfriend approved!

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This dish is inspired by several tsimmes recipes in Joan Nathan’s “Jewish Cooking in America.” Tsimmes, a Yiddish word that means “fuss,” doesn’t have to be fussy at all. Sometimes the dish contains meat (and is fussier than this one), but sometimes it’s just fruit and vegetables. Warning: You may find yourself eating this for breakfast.

6 medium carrots (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut in 3/4-inch dice

3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut in 3/4-inch dice

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut in medium dice

1/4 pound pitted prunes, cut in half

1/4 pound pitted apricots, quartered

2 tablespoons mild honey, like clover

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (for vegan, use Earth Balance vegan butter)

Note: Sweet potatoes may be labeled as yams. Look for dark orange flesh.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter or oil a 3-quart baking dish.

2. Place the carrots and sweet potatoes in a steamer set above 1 inch of boiling water, and steam for five to 10 minutes, until just tender. Drain and toss with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Combine well, and scrape into the prepared baking dish. Place in the oven, and bake 40 to 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes and carrots are thoroughly tender. Dot the top with butter, and bake another 10 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the heat, and serve hot or warm.

Yield: Serves eight.

Advance preparation: You can assemble this dish several hours before baking. You can bake it a day or two ahead of serving; reheat it in a medium oven.

Nutritional information per serving: 245 calories; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 57 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams dietary fiber; 259 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 4 grams protein

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