soda bread

Tips: The more seeds the better, both mixed in the dough and sprinkled on top before the loaf goes into the oven. Currants and raisins give the bread a lot of flavor and sweetness, but if you want a very savory bread for making sandwiches or something, I would omit the dried fruit. I think currants are perfectly sized for bread because you get their subtle tart sweetness dispersed throughout every bite, but raisins also work for more texture and larger bursts of flavor.

1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons maple syrup

3.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sunflower, pumpkin, and/or flax seeds
2 teaspoons caraway seeds, crushed (optional)

2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus more for greasing the loaf pan
3/4 cup currants and/or raisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan, then sprinkle with flour or cornmeal.

Whisk together the milk, vinegar, flax, and syrup with a fork, and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, salt, and seeds.

Bake 50-55 minutes, or until well browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.

walnut lentil pate

Inspired by a rich, complexly-flavored dish at Angelica's Kitchen in New York City. Use as a veggie dip, sandwich spread, or spread on slices of sourdough bread, broil for about one or two minutes, and serve warm. 

Time: 45 minutes
Makes 1.5-2 cups

1/2 c dried French (green) lentils, preferably soaked
bay leaves
1 cup walnuts (or substitute pecans)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbs coconut oil
1T mirim
1T umeboshi paste (salty and sour, so if you need to sub use pickled vegetables
1 T miso
1T dried basil or ½ cup fresh basil, mint, or cilantro

Place lentils in a saucepan with bay leaves and enough water to cover by 3 cm. Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Saute the onions and garlic in oil in a skillet over a medium heat, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.

Combine the walnuts, lentils, onion mixture, mirim, umeboshi, and miso in a food processor/blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add olive oil or non-dairy milk to thin down if needed. If using fresh herbs, add at the end and pulse until they are coarsely chopped but not fully homogenized.

You can serve immediately, but it improves upon chilling for several hours.



Ginger root has beige skin and hard, fibrous, pale-yellow flesh. Fresh ginger is sweet, aromatic, and pungent, whereas dried ginger powder has a completely different tastemuch more spicy. I use both often, but they are so different they cannot usually replace each other in recipes. Fresh ginger tends to have a superior taste and has more health benefits. It can be found year-round in the produce section of markets, but make sure it is firm and free of mold (I see this surprisingly often). The skin should be smooth and shiny rather than wrinkly. The tough skin of fresh ginger must be peeled, which can be done easily by scraping with the edge of a spoon. It is then usually sliced thinly crosswise to cut the stringy fibers as small as possible, and can then be further minced. I nearly always have a fresh ginger root handy, as they are very good in a number of both sweet and savory dishes (such as bashed neeps, pudla besan, and blueberry orange compote). If there's any leftover that might go bad, I chop it up and steep it in hot water to make fresh ginger tea. Tea made this way is delicious and very different than the ginger tea-bag type; it has a very sweet and almost fruity flavor, somehow reminiscent of lemon drops. Ginger stays good on the counter for about a week (depending on the freshness upon purchase), but can also last in the fridge for 2 or 3 weeks or in the freezer for 6 months.

blanched almonds

Blanch almonds have their skins removed. You can buy them pre-blanched from the store, usually in the form of slivered almonds, though these tend to be more expensive. Or you can blanch them yourself.

Total time: 15 minutes

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Put the almonds in the water and reduce the heat, boiling them for no longer than a minute, or they will get soft and soggy. Strain out the water then put the almonds in a bowl of cold water to arrest the cooking process. Once completely cooled, strain them again. To remove the skins, hold the almond between your thumb and forefinger and squeeze. Their skins should come of very easily, so if they are stubborn the almonds probably weren't cooked long enough or haven't cooled long enough. If this is the case, either start over or just use the almonds with the skins; its not worth trying to scrape off each skin. The almonds will probably shoot everywhere when you remove the skins, so I recommend doing this in a large bowl, pointing the almonds down so they will not end up all over your counter.


Thai red curry kabocha squash

Red curry kabocha is my all-time favorite Thai dish. Kabocha squashes don't tend to be cheap, but they are really irreplaceable for their creamy texture.

1.5 tbs red curry paste (I use Mae Sri)--these vary a lot so adjust to taste
1 tbs high heat oil

2 cups coconut milk
4-5 cups kabocha, peeled and ut into roughly 1/2"-1" chunks

1/2 cup water

1 cup (about 1/2 lb) of green beans, washed, trimmed, and cut to 1" long

2 green bell peppers, chopped into pieces no larger than 1/2"-3/4"
1" piece fresh ginger, grated

2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs agave or to taste
1/2 cup sweet Thai basil coarsely chopped (sub regular basil if necessary)
kaffir lime (if you have it)

Add curry paste, oil, and 2 tbs milk into a large saucepan and heat over medium-high. Stir a few minutes until very fragrant. Add kabocha, stir, then add rest of coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Add bell peppers, green beans, ginger, soy sauce, and agave. Cook until kabocha is almost creamy but the veggies aren't mush--about 10 minutes. Stir in basil and cook another minute or two. Serve hot over jasmine or basmati rice.


gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes

2/3 cup (1oog) brown rice flour
1/4 cup (30g) millet flour or garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup (40g) cocoa powder
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup (200g) maple syrup
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sunflower oil or melted coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line or grease 12 cupcake tins cups or 24 mini muffin tin cups. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and slowly stir in the dry ingredients until smooth. Divide the batter among the cups, and bake until tops are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the top comes out with just a few crumbs, about 15 minutes for the mini cupcakes and 20 minutes for the standard sized cupcakes. Let cool in the pans for a few minutes, then place on a wire rack to finish cooling.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more if the peanut butter isn't salted
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until homogenous. It will look weird and sticky like caramel sauce, but don't worry. Place in a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate or freeze until it solidifies. Remove from the refrigerator and with electric beaters whip several minutes, until light and fluffy. Frost the cupcakes immediately, spreading a generous amount on each cupcake with a knife, or store the frosting in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Don't frost the cupcakes very long before you serve them, or the cupcakes can get slightly soggy. The frosting needs to stay chilled until ready to serve.