Vegan Creamy Artichoke Dip

VegenSpinachDip3Today I had the pleasure of cooking with the wonderful Stephanie Hoban from Ripe Cuisine. We had such an awesome time sharing stories and bonding over cooking together. She shared her super delicious vegan & gluten free dip with me which is perfect for any party. Since the holidays are so close, it’s a perfect starter or even meal (I pretty much ate the whole thing when she left). There’s hardly any fat so it’s completely guilt-free.

During this time of year, it’s hard to find a healthy crowd pleasing dish. My friends, this is it. Move over queso and hello healthy dip! My husband, who is such a meat and potatoes kind of guy admitted that it’s great! Trust me, it’s creamy, decadent and filling, what’s not to like?

Those of you who don’t know Stephanie, she’s so impressive! She took my dream path. (If only I had known at a younger age nutrition and food was my thing.) She’s a Houston native who studied nutrition at NYU then went off to culinary school. After, she moved back to Houston, had a few jobs then opened her own vegan food truck, Ripe Cuisine. Everything on her truck is homemade, even the ketchup! If you’re in the Houston area, trying her food is a must!

VegenSpinachDip6

 

VegenSpinachDip5
Print Recipe
Vegan Creamy Artichoke Dip
Creamy Artichoke Dip with Spinach, Basil and Pinenuts by Stephanie Hoban, Ripe Cuisine
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 F
  2. Peel zucchini and dice. Add to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade along with drained and rinsed white beans, Vegenaise, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, salt, red chili flake, and black pepper. Process until very smooth.
  3. In a large sauté pan heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in spinach and sauté on low until wilted. Strain spinach, pressing out as much water as possible, and set aside. In the same pan, sauté roughly chopped artichokes with lemon juice in the pan juices until soft and edges brown. Add back spinach and sauté 1 minute longer.
  4. With the motor of the food processor running, add in potato flour 1 teaspoon at a time. {The mixture should thicken considerably]. Add the pureed zucchini and beans to the pan with artichokes and spinach. Remove from heat and stir in chopped basil.
  5. Transfer dip to an oven safe casserole pan, drizzle with garlic oil, if using, and sprinkle on pinenuts. Bake for 20 minutes, and broil for 1 – 2 minutes to achieve a golden top. Allow to sit and firm up for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

Ripe Tip: By substituting the canned beans and zucchini in place of cheese you save a load of calories, fat and cholesterol in favor of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Serve with your favorite crackers, corn chips, or pita.

 

The Best Latkes

TheFoodieChefLatke3

I always look forward to this time of year. The weather is cold (sometimes in Houston) and we get to eat yummy fried potato cakes, latkes. My whole family gets together and we throw a Hanukkah party with presents, gelt (chocolate coins), dreidels and best of all, latkes!

I have a confession: I’ve never made them before yesterday. My mom was always the chef and man does she make good latkes. This year, per my job, it’s my turn to make them. I had a minor freak out in trying a recipe but I was able to add a few things to make it better. Combining recipes in the thick of things usually works for me. Thankfully, it all worked out and I came up with the best recipe. They’re crunchy on the outside and hashbrown like in the middle. All they need are some applesauce and sour cream!

It is important to follow the recipe step by step because they really are a labor of love. If you miss a step, they aren’t going to turn out right.

TheFoodieChefLatke1

I have 2 major tips that will make a world of a difference:

  1. Squeeze out the shredded potato onion mixture 2 times in a towel.
  2. After scooping the mixture and dropping it into the oil, gently flatten with a spatula.

TheFoodieChefLatke4

 

Print Recipe
The Best Latkes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, blend the garlic, shallots and onion.
  2. Change the blade attachment to the shredder. Peel, wash and shred the potatoes. After, empty the mixture into a kitchen towel and squeeze out all of the liquid. Open the towel, fluff the mixture and squeeze 1 more time. You may have to do this in 2 segments, as there will be a lot of the potato mixture.
  3. Empty the drained potato mixture into a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, flour, eggs, and baking powder and mix by hand.
  4. In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil ¼” from the bottom. Heat to medium and test with a small piece of potato- the mixture should sizzle.
  5. Using a 1 ½ Tablespoon scoop, scoop and drop the mixture into the oil. Flatten them out with a spatula to ensure an even distribution. Cook on each side about 4 minutes depending on the heat level. The bottom should be a nice golden brown color.
  6. Once the latke is done cooking, transfer to a cookie sheet lined with foil and 2 paper towels on top. Sprinkle a little salt on top while it’s still hot. Serve immediately.
  7. You can keep them warm in a 300 degree oven until you serve them.
  8. Freezer friendly: put the latkes in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 weeks. Place them on a cookie sheet and into a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes to re-crisp.
Recipe Notes

I have 2 major tips that will make a world of a difference:

  1. Squeeze out the shredded potato onion mixture 2 times in a towel.
  2. After scooping the mixture and dropping it into the oil, gently flatten with a spatula.

Sriracha Caramel Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts Fish Caramel 5

There’s a restaurant in Houston and Austin (Texas) called Uchi and they make the best brussel sprouts I have ever had. Back when these babies were all the rage, yes, I’m a little late, many restaurants tried to duplicate this recipe. Some were successful and some put a slight spin on them. Those of you who haven’t tried this dish, now is your chance. The best way I can describe it is crunchy, soft, salty, sweet and spicy. There’s really a lot going on.

I found a few recipes but then adapted it to suite my taste buds. Most of the recipes used a deep fryer, which makes the outside nice and crispy but the inside tender. The best way to achieve this is baking at a high temperate and making sure the sprouts are even in size. My recipe is NOT fried and healthier than their version! Though there is sugar, 3 tablespoons to be exact. But a little sugar doesn’t hurt anyone. 🙂

This Sriracha Caramel Fish Sauce Brussel Sprout recipe is the perfect addition to your holiday table. Your friends and family will love you, I promise. You can find the recipe here on Monica’s blog, Classy & Fabulous.

Brussel Sprouts Fish Caramel 4
Print Recipe
Sriracha Caramel Brussel Sprouts
Sriracha Caramel Brussel Sprouts also found on www.classandfab.com.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. While the oven is heating, wash and trim brussel sprout ends. If the sprouts are really large, cut them in half.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet lined with foil. Spray generously with non-stick cooking spray. Toss sprouts with oil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy.
  3. While the sprouts are cooking, place the sugar in a saucepan. Cook stirring with a high heat spatula until amber. Slowly pour in lemon juice, fish sauce, sriracha, garlic, and ½ c hot water. The sugar syrup may clump but keep cooking it until it melts and reduces. Add black pepper, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Put sprouts in a serving dish and generously pour the sauce over them. Serve immediately.

Summer Salad

Summer Salad 1

Everyone needs a go-to refreshing summer salad recipe when it gets hot out. This is mine that’s sure to wow a crowd. It’s sweet and slightly bitter which compliments any dish that comes as the main course.

When I was coming up with recipe I was trying to find a veggie that pops. I really wanted a watermelon radish but they were no where to be found in my city :(. I seriously looked everywhere and tried to special order them, it was a no go. I stumbled upon these gorgeous chioggia beets, luckily! They really make the salad with their tie-dye pretty look.

Normally, I make salads with arugula, romaine or spinach but sunflower sprouts bring something different to the table. Not only is their texture slightly crunchy but it delivers a lemony nutty flavor. This is a perfect compliment to the sweet, sour and bitter flavors from the cherries, orange and beets. The best part is that this recipe is versatile for all diets: vegan, vegetarian, carnivores, gluten free, kosher and the list goes on.

Beets

 

Summer Salad 2

 

Summer Salad 2

 

Summer Salad 2
Print Recipe
Summer Salad
Servings
Ingredients
Salad Ingredients
Dressing Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Salad Ingredients
Dressing Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in blender. Blend and set aside.
  2. Toss sunflower sprouts in the dressing then pile them on the plate. After, add the sectioned orange, cherries, beets and optional items. Serve immediately

Truffled Asparagus Tart

Asparagus Tart 1:The Foodie ChefI’ve been wanting to make this beautifully simple gruyere asparagus tart recipe for a while now. Houston Tidbits asked to do collaboration with me and Whole Foods and I just couldn’t pass it up. This was the perfect time to tweak this recipe to be even better than it is. If you’re looking for a perfectly pretty appetizer or a nice partner to a green salad, this recipe is the way to go! I used the best organic ingredients from Whole Foods’ 365 organic brand. It’s quality stuff and I just love their products.

I opted to purchase the puff pastry since it’s such a time consuming item to make. I remember making it in pastry school using a sheeter, which makes it so easy. The machine simply thins the dough out to your liking. I remember one time my group and I decided to make it by hand without the sheeter. (bad idea) We had to quickly roll out butter into thin sheets while folding it like a book into the dough, then repeating this process several times. You can really get some great arm muscles from this process. Get my drift? Trust me, just buy frozen puff pastry, it’s a great ready-made product.

The secret ingredient, truffle oil, was a generous gift from a sweet friend who visited France recently. It adds the perfect woodsy component to the rich buttery pastry and salty yet sweet Gruyere and asparagus. It’s a serious umami thing going on, you must try it.Asparagus Tart 6:The Foodie Chef

Asparagus Tart 7:The Foodie Chef Asparagus Tart 8:The Foodie Chef Asparagus Tart 5:The Foodie Chef Asparagus Tart 4:The Foodie Chef Asparagus Tart 2:The Foodie Chef

 

Asparagus Tart 3:The Foodie Chef
Print Recipe
Truffled Asparagus Tart
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; toss in olive oil then arrange in a single layer over Gruyere. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. After, lightly drizzle with good quality truffle oil.

Easy Tostadas

Tostadas

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! In honor of this fab holiday, I’m sharing one of my super quick go to meals. My tostadas are kind of like one big nacho.

This healthy recipe is easily Gluten Free, Kosher, Vegan and Vegetarian (I have no cheese on it but it can be added 🙂 ) Check out my super cool gif below. It’s my first time making one so don’t judge 😛

Tostada Gif
Print Recipe
Easy Tostadas
This healthy recipe is easily Gluten Free, Kosher, Vegan and Vegetarian.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray each side of the corn tortillas with cooking spray then sprinkle chili powder on them. Lay them flat on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes until hard. Once finished, spread in this order: black beans, black olives, guacamole, and pico. They're ready to eat!

 

Baked Stuffed Artichokes

Artichokes 2

I have to admit, I have been a little intimidated by the cook time of artichokes. I like quick and easy cooking but this was a nice little challenge. Growing up my mom would steam them for an hour or so. I just remember it taking so long and then there wasn’t much to eat after that long cook time. I never thought to bake them until now. So I searched for a recipe and adapted it to the one below. (they’re super easy)

The first thing I did was slice a quarter of an inch off the top exposing the inside leaves (first picture). In the second picture, you can see I separated the leaves leaving room to fill them with delicious cheesy goodness and garlic.

artichokes 1

Next, I filled them with the parmesan mixture, stuffing it in every crevice possible.

artichokes 3

Then fill the baking pan with hot water, cover with foil and bake.

artichokes 4
Print Recipe
Baked Stuffed Artichokes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour and 15 minutes
Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour and 15 minutes
Servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Wash artichokes thoroughly then slice the bottom stem off letting it stand evenly.
  3. Slice 1/4 inch off the top leaves leaving them exposed. Then stretch open the leaves making room for the stuffing.
  4. Combine all ingredients except the lemon then stuff in between each leaf. After you're done stuffing, squeeze a spritz of lemon on top to preserve the color (oops I forgot to do that). Then drizzle olive oil on top of each.
  5. Place the artichokes in a baking dish and fill 1/4 of the way up with boiling water. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

 

Black Bean & Chickpea Chili

Bean chili 1

When I’m making menu’s for my customers I like to think outside of the box. What can my customers only get from me and not take out? This is the challenge that I struggle with weekly when I make my menu’s. Not to mention following all of their likes and dislikes. On an occasion, I like to throw in a vegetarian dish. Well, almost vegetarian since I love my good ol’ chicken stock. A friend of mine who is a dietician helps me out on occasion when I’m suffering from menu block. She’s obsessed with vegetarian recipes so she’s the inspiration for this one 🙂

When I first tasted this recipe after making it, I ate it for lunch and dinner 3 days straight. Seriously. It has the perfect amount of spice and the beans are so filling. It’s really a healthy comfort food and highly recommend making it. My customers loved it too!

Bean chili 3
Print Recipe
Black Bean & Chickpea Chili
Recipe adapted from Love and Lemons
Servings
4 people
Ingredients
Ingredients
Servings
4 people
Ingredients
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, salt & pepper and stir. Cook until the onion is slightly translucent then add the garlic and peppers. Stir and cook until soft.
  2. Add the canned tomatoes and the chicken stock. Then add the black beans, chickpeas, adobo sauce, corn and seasonings. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 25 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings adding more salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with toppings of your choice. Chill the leftovers and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Recipe Notes

*To make vegetarian: swap the chicken stock for water or vegetable stock

Cantaloupe Gazpacho

Cantaloupe Gazpacho

In honor of summer and our new look 🙂 I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes and memories that I’ve held onto for a few years.  I learned to make this soup at my very first internship in a kitchen. When I tasted it, I never forgot the delicious sweet yet complex taste it had. Summer always deserves a delicious cold soup, especially when it’s 100+ degrees out.

Thinking back, I was helping the Chef de Cuisine prepare this soup for his appearance on the Deborah Duncan Show. We went back stage, he got a little make up and hair action and I waited patiently as his assistant. Once he was on, I anxiously waited backstage, watching on the small tv to see the hosts reaction. She loved it! I felt honored to be invited to be his assistant as I was just the novice intern in his tiny kitchen.

Anyone can make it, it’s really simple. This soup is indeed raw so watch out all of you special dieters. This is an extremely healthy soup chalk full of veggies!  If you want to add a protein, shredded chicken is the perfect match. You can see how I made it below!

Print Recipe
Cantaloupe Gazpacho
Inspired by Chef Jose Vela
Instructions
  1. Cut up all ingredients into small pieces, a rough chop
  2. Pulse all fruit and veggies in a food processor. I suppose a vitamix would work well too.
  3. While blending, slowly pour the olive oil and sherry until blended well.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Once finished, taste to double check the flavor. It may need a bit more sherry vinegar.
  6. Bon Appetit!
Recipe Notes

*Feel free to take out a veggie if you're sensitive to it. I tend to go light on the red pepper.

Cajun Seasoned Kale Chips

I’m always looking for a healthy snack and these kale chips are just it! They have a hint of spice and are good enough for the carnivorous fiance to approve of. These were all of the hype about a year ago but i’m bringing them back because they’re so delicious.  You can season them with so many different flavors: parm, salt & pepper, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle powder, taco seasoning, etc.

Did I mention how healthy they are for you? Kale is the richest source of carotenoids in the leafy-green vegetable family, making it a top cancer-fighter. Cancer fighter? I’m in!

photo 5 (1)

First start out by washing the kale and preheating the oven to 425 degrees.

Kale 1

I like dinosaur kale because of its texture but you can also use other varieties.

Tear the leaves off from the stem keeping them together.

Kale 2

Dry them with a paper towel then add grapeseed oil. Spread them evenly, be sure not to crowd them as they will steam and not crisp up. Sprinkle your chosen seasoning on top. Bake for about 7 minutes depending on your oven. Be sure not to over cook them- they will burn! (it happened to one of my batches, eek!)

Kale 3

They’re light and crispy like a chip and healthy! What more can you ask for?

kale 5

 

Print Recipe
Cajun Seasoned Kale Chips
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Servings
6
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Servings
6
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Clean the kale thoroughly then peel back the leaves from the stem leaving them in long pieces.
  3. Dry the leaves then toss them with grapeseed oil on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  4. After tossing them in oil, sprinkle the cajun seasoning on top.
  5. Bake for 7 minutes, or until crisp. Keep an eye on them! You don't want them to burn.
Recipe Notes

When spreading out the kale on a cookie sheet, make sure you don't put them too close together. They will steam instead of crisp up.