Lemon Poppyseed Quinoa Cereal

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 cup quinoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 T honey, or to taste
1/3 c sliced almonds

In medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk and water to a boil. Add quinoa and salt, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 15 min. Add extra liquid if necessary.

Stir in poppy seeds, lemon zest, and honey. Serve hot, topped with nuts and additional milk.

Adapted from Super Natural Every Day, where it is made with bulgur wheat. 

Edited to say that I think in future I would use more coconut milk or less quinoa, since it turned out pretty dry and not very cereal-like.


Spiced Coconut Brown Rice and Tamari-Roasted Kale

This is the best brown rice ever. You can do it soaked or unsoaked (soaking just makes it a little fluffier), with or without the coconut oil, and it’s always good. I usually make it with my basic stir-fry, which I’ll put in a separate post.

Make the whole amount so you have leftovers. Today for lunch, I had leftover rice with tamari-roasted kale and coconut, and it was fantastic. You can’t beat brown rice, greens, and good fats for a vegan power-lunch. 🙂 

Spiced Coconut Brown Rice
Adapted slightly from the Gluten-Free Girl.

2 cups brown rice
1/2 can (7 ounces) coconut milk
juice of 1 medium-sized lime
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Soak the rice in cool water for at least 1 hour (optional). Drain and rinse.

Combine all ingredients in a pot with 3 1/4 c water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45-60 minutes.

Tamari-Roasted Kale
Adapted from Heidi Swanson, Super Natural Every Day (a lovely vegetarian cookbook)

1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 T tamari
3 T olive oil

1 medium bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 cup large-flake unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the oils and tamari in a small bowl. Toss the chopped kale and coconut with the dressing. (I just do this right on the rimmed baking sheet to save a dish.) Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes, tossing once mid-way through. Keep an eye on it, since it can over-cook very quickly. You want the coconut a little brown and the kale just wilted and crispy around the edges.

If you can’t find the large flake coconut, use half or a third the amount of the shredded kind.

I’m sure this would be lovely with quinoa, as well.

Hot Apple Quinoa

1/4 cup dried quinoa
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
Dash of cinnamon
1/4 cup apple, chopped
1/2 cup water
Handful chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans
1 Tbsp maple syrup
milk of your choice (unsweeted soy milk is my favorite with this, but use almond or cows if preferred)

Boil water in pot with dash of salt. Mix quinoa, ground flaxseed, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add dry mixture to water when boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into serving bowl. Top with a handful of nuts, a tablespoon of maple syrup, and stir. Top with milk and enjoy! – Sara

Mulligatawny from Gluten-Free Goddess

This is Karina’s recipe over at Gluten-Free Goddess (she actually has two versions, which I combined just slightly. The other version also has 2 cups of shredded cabbage and more liquid.). She adds jasmine rice and garbanzo beans and diced red onion to her soup. I’m going to ladle it over brown rice with chicken one night and garbanzo beans the next. One commenter on her blog said she subbed butternut squash for the cauliflower, which I think is a nice twist. Or perhaps you could use both?

1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen Green or Red Curry Paste, or GF curry powder, to taste
1 medium red onion, peeled, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 quart light vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk
Juice from 1 or 2 medium limes, as needed
1 teaspoon raw organic agave nectar or organic raw sugar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 14-oz. can chick peas, rinsed and drained
Finely diced red onion, apple, or chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

You’ll also need:
1 pot of cooked jasmine rice

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a medium size soup pot. Add the curry paste and stir briefly to season the oil. Add in the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, apples and sweet potato; stir and cook until softened, about 7 minutes.
Stir in the vegetable broth. Bring to a high simmer and then cover the pot; reduce the heat and simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, a squeeze of lime juice and a touch of agave or raw sugar. Stir with love. Taste for seasoning adjustments. Could it use more lime to tart it up a bit? A little salt and pepper?
Adjust the seasonings to your liking. Heat through gently; don’t boil.
Puree the soup with a handheld immersion blender (you could also puree in small batches, covered tightly, in a blender or a food processor; hold the lid on, though as hot soup sputters and expands when it is blended). Return the puree to the soup pot.
Stir in the drained chick peas. Heat through on low heat until serving.
Note: If you prefer a little more texture, you can also puree only half the soup- or mash it lightly with a potato masher until you have the consistency you desire. Then add the chick peas and warm through.
Serve the mulligatawny with a garnish of diced red onion, apple or cilantro. Offer a side of hot cooked jasmine rice.
Add a spoonful of rice to the soup as you eat it. Delicious!
Serves 4.

Read more: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2010/01/mulligatawny-soup-with-jasmine-rice.html#ixzz1BQ0c7oXD

Pumpkin Polenta with Tomatilla-Avocado Salsa

I put tilapia with this, as well. Grilled or fried or whatever. Tilapia is my go-to protein when I don’t want something to interfere too much with another flavor. I think a rotisserie chicken (or grilled or roasted chicken) would work well, also. Mostly I’m just enamored of putting pumpkin (which I adore) into polenta (which I also adore, especially with a small pat of Earth Balance butter on top). Major kudos to Karina, a Gluten Free Goddess, from whom this recipe springs.

3 cups fresh water
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Polenta
1 14-oz. can organic pumpkin puree
2/3 cup coconut milk
2-3 tablespoons vegan butter

1 tablespoon raw organic agave nectar or pure maple syrup
Pinch of nutmeg

Heat the water in a deep saucepan until boiling and add a pinch of sea salt, to taste. Pour the polenta into the simmering water, stirring with a whisk as you pour. Continue to whisk for a minute or two as the polenta cooks and adjust the heat to medium-low heat, so that the mixture gently simmers but does not cook too quickly- you don’t want to scorch it. Keep an eye on it and stir frequently to keep it from sticking. When the polenta has absorbed most of the water, add in the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine. Add in the coconut milk, vegan butter, agave and a pinch of nutmeg, and stir again. The polenta should be ready in roughly 20 to 30 minutes. It should be tender to the bite, not gritty. If it isn’t soft enough for you, add more coconut milk and cook it a little longer.

Serve in soft mounds with a topping of salsa fresca (recipe follows) or more vegan butter and maple syrup.

Sprinkle with roasted shelled pumpkin seeds.

Makes four main dish servings, or six side dish servings.

Tomatilla-Avocado Salsa

Salsa fresca is so easy. Chop up your favorite fresh salsa ingredients as the polenta is cooking. Cover and chill. Let the flavors mingle and get happy. If you’re using avocado (so good with pumpkin!) add it in just before serving, to keep it from turning dark.

3 tomatillos
1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper
1 Anaheim chile pepper
1 fresh lime
A dash of extra virgin olive oil
A drizzle of raw organic agave nectar
Sea salt, to taste
A handful of fresh chopped cilantro
1 small avocado

Remove the papery skins from the tomatillos and wash the stickiness off with produce soap and water. Roughly chop. Toss into a bowl.

Wash and halve the bell pepper; seed and chop one half. Add to the bowl.

Stem and clean the chile pepper; dice. Add it in.

Drizzle the mix with fresh squeezed lime juice, olive oil and agave nectar. Season with sea salt, to taste. Add in fresh chopped cilantro and stir to combine.

Cover and chill till serving.

Just before serving, peel and pit the avocado, dice it and add the avocado to the salsa.

Makes four servings.

Karina’s Notes:

If you enjoy cheese, this polenta would be delicious served with grated vegan cheese or fresh crumbled goat cheese.

Add protein to the plate with cooked black beans. Or add black beans to the salsa recipe below.

To make polenta ahead of time: cook till done and spread the warm polenta into a cake pan and cool. Cover and chill. Slice cooled polenta into wedges. Broil wedges brushed with olive oil till sizzling. Top with salsa or grated vegan cheese.

Bacon Spinach Risotto

In a word – OMG. My only word of advice is to use thin bacon, instead of the thick strips that I had on hand that didn’t get as crispy as I would have liked. This is so decadent and totally egg, dairy, and gluten free (if you use olive oil and leave out the parm at the end)! AND, I also happened upon a bottle of Woop Woop shiraz and it was great. Especially as an everyday wine.

5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock (out of homemade stock, I used Pacific organic chicken stock)
1/4 cup of butter
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced (honestly, I used three or four, but I’m a garlic girl)
1 1/2 cups of bacon, shredded (I don’t get the cup measurement. I used about six pieces)
2 cups of arborio rice
large pinch of nutmeg
2 tomatoes, chopped (I used heirloom tomatoes from the farmers’ market)
6 ounce of spinach (I used an entire bunch, because I love spinach)
1/2 cup of freshly grated Romano cheese

1. Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat until the stock is gently simmering.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in large skillet and gently fry the onion, garlic, and bacon for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion has softened but not browned and the bacon is sealed. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring all the while, for two minutes until the rice is well cooked and starting to toast.
3. Add a ladleful of the stock to the pan and cook gently until the stock is absorbed. STIR CONTINUOUSLY. Continue to add the stock in small quantities until half of it has been used and the rice is creamy. Season well and add the nutmeg and tomatoes.
4. Continue to add the stock until the risotto becomes thick but not sticky. This should be about 25 minutes.
5. Stir the spinach into the risotto for two to three minutes, then add the cheese at the last moment. Serve and eat immediately.


° Do not wash the rice before you cook it. This eliminates half the starch, and thus half the creaminess.
° Choose a wide-mouthed, large pan to cook the risotto. Don’t make the mistake of using a pan just slightly larger than the recipe, or else you’re going to have rice stuck to your stove and your pants.
° Find an even heat and keep it there the entire time you are cooking. I cooked mine on medium high, and it turned out beautifully. But you know your stove better than any cookbook (or blog author) could. Go by your instinct.
° Stir and stir and stir some more. Slowly. Don’t leave. Don’t wish for it to be over. Don’t complain that your biceps are aching. Throw yourself into it fully. You never know—you just might reach enlightenment by stirring.
° Enjoy with some lovely red wine. Try Woop Woop, for the pure pleasure of the name alone.

Coconut Rice

From Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Shauna says she makes this as an everyday meal with either a fried egg on top, or sauted greens, or, as I’ve been doing it, with grilled chicken and avocado. It’s totally delicious. This week I had leftovers and brought it to work for lunch, with some black beans tossed in. It really does make a difference to soak the rice for an hour before – in fact, it tasted so much less “healthy” that I ate it like it was white rice and sort of waddled around for the rest of the evening – it’s really filling! I also use twice the amount of curry that Shauna calls for below – 1 tsp instead of 1/2 tsp.

I even went out and got a new rice cooker for this recipe (old one broke awhile back). Now I’m inspired to throw all sorts of things in there as the rice cooks – plain brown rice is SO last season.

My brother and I used to tease my father that he had a lifetime subscription to Somewhere Magazine. Whenever we asked him where he had read a statistic that proved his point, or a story that seemed too far-fetched to be true, he always said, “Oh, somewhere.”

Karma’s coming back. I cannot for the life of me remember where I read the tip recently that soaking brown rice for at least an hour makes it far more fluffy and less “good-for-you” tasting. Somewhere. Still, you should do this too. Somewhere Magazine was right.

The directions here are for a rice cooker. That’s how we cook our rice now. I haven’t made a pot of rice on the stove in at least 3 years. If you would like to make this on the stove, then use whatever method you traditionally use.

Or buy a rice cooker.

2 cups brown basmati rice
1/2 can (7 ounces) coconut milk
juice of 1 medium-sized lime
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Soaking the rice. Soak the rice in 4 cups of cool, fresh water. Let it sit for at least 1 hour, preferably longer, if you can. This helps to remove some of the starchiness from the rice. Pour the rice into a large strainer, draining out all the water.

Cooking the rice. Pour the rice into the rice cooker. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, coconut oil, curry powder, ginger, salt, and pepper. Stir it all well. Add 3 1/2 cups cool, fresh water. Stir it all up. Close the lid. Turn the rice cooker to the brown rice setting, then turn it on.