What is a Jerusalem Artichoke? | Recipe

Today we explore an elusive root vegetable: the Jerusalem Artichoke! Learn what it is, how it tastes, and how to cook it with this quick and easy recipe.

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What is a Jerusalem Artichoke?

A Jerusalem Artichoke, also called a sunchoke, is the root of a species of Sunflower. It’s an ingredient I’ve seen used in resturants and on cooking shows, all the while thinking, “Where do I even buy that?” Turns out, at a local farm stand. When I saw them for sale at Rutiz Farms, I knew I had to seize the opportunity.

What does a Jerusalem Artichoke taste like?

Though a root vegetable related to the sunflower, the Jerusalem Artichoke tastes like its name – an artichoke! With a mild flavor, the sunchoke tastes how I imagine a cross between a potato and an artichoke would taste. Hearty and starchy with a hint of artichoke heart.

the inside of a sunchoke.
The inside of a sunchoke.

How do I cook Jerusalem Artichoke?

Bake it, boil it, stick it in a stew! But really, I’d suggest roasting Jerusalem Artichokes in the oven, like you would any other vegetable. It’d be great as chips, but true to form I chose to make them into fries, complete with a nice garlic aioli.

Another option is making these Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Brown Butter and Balsamic Vinegar from Bon Apetit. The splash of balsamic acts to balance out the heavy fat of the brown butter, and throwing whole sprigs of Rosemary in the butter as it browns makes for a delicious fried edible garnish.

We found that, in cooking the sunchoke or eating it, our brains kept trying to tell us it was a potato. If you’re tempted to cook it as long as you would a potato, watch out. Taste test along the way to monitor progress and make adjustments as needed.

Baked Jerusalem Artichoke Fries (Sunchoke Fries)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound Jerusalem Artichokes (sunchokes)
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt (more to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Scrub the Jerusalem Artichokes clean. You can peel if you prefer, but scrubbing the dirt off will work just fine.
  • Slice the Jerusalem Artichokes into matchsticks.
  • In a clean bowl, toss the Jerusalem Artichokes with olive oil and seasonings. Adjust the seasonings to your preference or taste. Remember you can always add more after baking.
  • Spread parchment on a baking sheet. Lay out the Jerusalem Artichokes in a single layer, making them overlap as little as possible.
  • Bake in a 350° oven for 40-45 minutes until tender.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
  • Serve warm with a side of garlic aioli or your favorite fry dipping sauce!

Creamed Spinach | Recipe – Vegan

Yes, this is a no cream Creamed Spinach recipe! One of my favorite vegetable dishes, creamed spinach is something I dearly missed being dairy free.

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This recipe uses a common method of cashew cream. Soak the cashews, add some select seasonings and blend away!

Really, you could make the cashew garlic cream sauce and use it on anything you’d like — as a pasta sauce; stirred in with some sautéed mushrooms; or even ladled over sliced potatoes for a vegan potatoes au gratin!

How to Soak the Cashews

For soaking the cashews, you have two options:

  1. Measure cashews and put in a glass jar or container. Cover with hot water and let soak, refrigerated, overnight.
  2. Measure cashews and cover with boiling water. Let stand for at least four hours.

Either option works, the important thing is to make sure they are well-soaked and softened so they will blend smoothly into a creamy sauce.

I prefer using the overnight method, as it really ensures the cashews are soft enough to blend smoothly into a sauce.

When draining the cashews, you can save the liquid they soaked in to use as the 1 cup of water in the recipe. (It’s not a necessity, but its always worked well for me.)

Sauté for extra flavor

For best flavor, sauté the onion and garlic and let cool before adding to blender to make the sauce. The alternative is to leave them whole and add them into the sauce after its blended, but I found its best when smooth and blended all together.

Vegan Creamed Spinach

Easy to make, this cashew cream-based spinach is sure to impress!
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds spinach, de-stemmed (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup whole raw cashews
  • ½ yellow onion, diced.
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or sliced depending on preference.
  • 1 cup water.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Boil some water. In a heat-safe glass bowl or jar, add cashews. Soak cashews. If soaking overnight, allow to come to room temperature before covering and placing in refrigerator. Soak at minimum 4 hours.
  • If using fresh spinach – Remove spinach stems and roughly chop the leaves. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with pinch of salt. Add the spinach. Cook for two minutes. If using frozen spinach – cook an additional two minutes to allow for defrosting.
  • Using a colander, drain the spinach. Rinse with cool water in the sink. Gently squeeze all excess water from the spinach. Make sure the spinach has as little water in it as possible, or it will cook in the sauce and make it watery.
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a fry pan. Add onions and garlic. Sauté for five minutes, until soft and remove from heat.
  • Drain cashews. Add cashews, water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, garlic powder and nutmeg to blender. Add cooled garlic and onions. Blend until smooth.
  • In the pan, add drained spinach and pour sauce over the top. Warm until heated through. Serve!

Notes

adapted from detoxinista.com
Keyword cashew cream, creamed spinach, dairy free cream, spinach recipe, vegan cream, vegan creamed spinach, vegan recipe

Chia Pudding And Granola Parfait | Meal Prep Recipe – Vegan

Sized for meal prep, this made-ahead breakfast is easy to put together for a sweet, nutrient packed breakfast.

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Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

What is Chia Pudding?

The name may be misleading, as chia pudding consists of gelled chia seeds that expand about 2-3x their normal size after absorbing liquids. The seeds remain whole but do soften. They also have a particularly fascinating ability to attract one another and tend to bead together on the back of a spoon, say, a bit like water droplets. You’ll see what I mean when you make this.

No dairy is involved in this pudding. Of course, unless you chose to add it. If you replace the non-dairy milk with dairy milk, I’d recommend omitting leaving the pudding on the counter for an hour to set. Give it a good whisk and stick it straight in the fridge. During the first hour of setting time, pull it out intermittently, stirring to discourage clumping and adding more milk if liquid is needed, about a tablespoon or two at a time.

Breakfast sans Sugar Rush

Store-bought granola typically contains high amounts of sugar — be it high fructose corn syrup, pure cane, or molasses. Being sensitive to processed sugar (it’s a migraine trigger for me hooray) I’ve begun to pay particularly close attention to what I eat first thing in the morning. This may be personal, but I believe what I eat for breakfast stays with me all day. It can affect my mood, energy levels and how I feel physically.

That being said, this granola gains its sweetness from small amounts of honey, fruit jam and dried berries (such as cranberry or raisin). Customization is always encouraged, but for the cleanest breakfast, I’d recommend following the recipe as written. Together with some fresh fruit, this Chia Pudding & Granola Parfait becomes an enjoyably sweet breakfast without inviting a massive carb-loaded sugar crash mid-morning.

As always, feel free to add your own twist and enjoy!

Chia Pudding and Granola Parfait

Make this recipe on a Sunday evening and enjoy throughout the week as a delicious, low sugar breakfast!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients
  

Chia Pudding

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 4 cups non-dairy milk
  • cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TB agave or jam

Easy Granola

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 TB coconut oil melted
  • ½ cup crushed nuts pecans, almonds, walnuts or peanuts
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 TB agave or brown sugar
  • 2 TB jam of choice
  • ¼ cup dried berries cranberry, raisin or blueberry

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Whisk coconut milk, non-dairy milk, ginger, vanilla and sweetener of choice in a large bowl. Once smooth, add in chia seeds and mix well.
  • Let chia pudding sit on counter for about an hour, whisking intermittently and adding liquid as needed. This helps the chia seeds to expand without clumping together. While chia pudding sets, prepare the granola.
  • Mix all granola ingredients in a large bowl. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper and press granola into pan.
  • Bake granola for 20 minutes, until crisp.
  • Let granola cool on the counter. Once cool, store in an airtight jar on the counter.
  • Store chia pudding in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • To serve, spoon chia pudding into a bowl. Add chopped fruit, peanut butter or preserves and top with granola. Enjoy!
Keyword chia pudding, chia seed, granola, meal prep breakfast, parfait

Have you ever tried chia pudding? Made this recipe? Let me know in the comments below!

Blueberry Nice Cream | Recipe – Vegan

Nice Cream! Its a no lactose, no sugar, no animal product ice cream you can make in about 5 minutes. It’s virtually fool proof and all over the internet right now.

Here is a quick step-by-step of a Blueberry nice cream I threw together after our blueberry picking adventure. I had some bananas sliced and frozen in the freezer already, but if you don’t never fear! Next time you have brown bananas ready to turn, peel, slice and stick them in the freezer. They’ll be ready to turn into nice cream when the craving strikes!

I use a food processor to make my nice cream, simply because it’s easier than using the nutribullet. If you have a high powered blender that can handle pureeing frozen fruit, feel free to use it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sliced frozen bananas.
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries.
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • Pinch salt.

DIRECTIONS

1. Blend frozen bananas, blueberries and coconut cream in food processor or high-powered blender until smooth.

2. Add vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Process until combined.

3. Taste. Add more blueberries or a dash of coconut cream if desired, and blend to combine.

4. Pour into freezer-safe pan or container. Top with more fresh blueberries and coconut flakes if desired. Freeze overnight. (I used parchment in my pan only because this is also my garlic roasting pan and I wanted to ensure there was no transfer of flavor. It also makes it very easy to lift the nice cream out of the pan for serving, but it is totally optional!)

Serving Suggestion: About two hours before consuming nice cream, move from freezer to refrigerator. This allows the nice cream to slowly soften without melting.

Enjoy!

Garlic, Lemon, Parsley, Tahini Salad Dressing | Recipe

This creamy, tart salad dressing is packed with three key ingredients for maximum flavor and for improving your health:

1. Fresh parsley.

2. Fresh lemon.

3. Raw garlic.

Parsley is rich in Vitamins A, C and K. Parsley is one of my favorite herbs because it is affordable, accessible, has a long shelf life, provides essential nutrients and enhances the flavor of anything you add it to. To read more about parsley, click here.

Lemon is a citrus fruit, and as a citrus, contains notable amounts of Vitamin C. Additionally, it is cleansing to your gut and supports digestion. In this recipe I use whole lemon, mostly skinned but including some peel. The peel and white part of the lemon (called the pith) contains the highest concentration of nutrients, therefore I make an effort to include it wherever possible!

Raw garlic boosts the immune system, and with regular consumption can prove helpful to improving cholesterol. For a full report on the benefits of raw garlic, click here.

Tahini is sesame seed paste. Though it may be unfamiliar in its natural form, tahini is the key ingredient in hummus. It is tart in nature, but when combined with the right ingredients, it transforms into pure deliciousness, providing the right creamy texture to fool your taste buds into thinking you are eating dairy, when in fact, you are not!

As a lactose-intolerant foodie, I am always looking for ways to integrate alternative creamy textures and cheesy flavors into my meals. This recipe is my take on tahini dressing. It makes enough for two people to eat salad for five days, or about 20 ounces. We use this dressing for our meal prep salads!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup fresh parsley, packed with stems removed.
  • 8 cloves fresh garlic, whole.
  • 3 tablespoons tahini.
  • 2 tablespoons mustard.
  • 1/3 cup sunflower or avocado oil.
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin olive oil.
  • 2/3 cup cold water.
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (peach white balsamic from We Olive is recommended!).
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  • 1 whole lemon skinned (some peel is okay!).

DIRECTIONS

1. Stir tahini well. It is common for it to become separated in the jar, the oil settling on top and the solids on the bottom. Be sure to stir it well before measuring. Store in the refrigerator until next use!

2. Add all ingredients to a blender or large food processor. To make dressing without a blender, mince parsley, garlic and lemon. Add with all ingredients to a large mason jar and shake well until combined.

3. Taste and adjust seasoning. If it’s too bitter, add more olive oil or a pinch of sugar or drizzle of honey. If the dressing is too thick for your taste, add more water to thin. If you prefer thicker dressing, use less water.

Drizzle over your favorite salad and enjoy!

Pasta with Kale and Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) | Recipe

Light and refreshing, Chickpea & Kale Pasta contains no dairy OR tomato sauce (only a dab or two of tomato paste). Olive oil and seasonings allow the pan-fried chickpeas and kale to shine in this dish.

The Bean with Two Names

a bag of chickpeas aka garbanzo beans

Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) contain a plethora of nutritional benefits. In one cup (200 grams) of chickpeas you’ll get:

  • Protein – 39 grams (78% Daily Value)
  • Dietary Fiber – 35 grams (140% Daily Value)
  • Magnesium – 57% Daily Value
  • Vitamin B-6 – 55% Daily Value
  • Iron – 69% Daily Value

Chickpeas are particularly desirable in that they contain carbohydrates, protein and fiber — which means they actually fill you up while giving your body a boost of nutrients.

Such an impressive, versatile bean seems worthy of two names. Garbanzo comes from the Spanish name for the bean; while chickpea has Latin roots in the word “cicer.”

More on chickpeas here.

Kale the Leafy Green Giant

Kale is often associated as being a “superfood,” simply meaning it contains a slew of nutrients and vitamins essential to our diets. One cup (67 grams) of chopped kale packs quite the punch:

A bundle of kale.
  • Vitamin A – 206% Daily Value
  • Vitamin C – 134% Daily Value
  • Vitamin K – 684% Daily Value
  • Magnese – 26% Daily Value

Previous iterations of kale blended in a smoothie or served as a salad may have deterred you from enjoying this leafy green powerhouse. Fortunately, this recipe serves the kale up sauteed in spices, which helps to break down its fibrous tough texture and allows it to absorb the flavors of the dish.

If this pasta recipe isn’t enough to convince you kale is not the enemy, read up on the full benefits of kale here.

Kale and Chickpea pasta in the pan

One Pot Pasta — The Right Way

This Chickpea & Kale pasta is nearly a one pot meal. Sauté the kale and chickpeas in a cast iron skillet (or stainless steel pan) to cultivate the flavors and begin the simple sauce. The pasta boils in a separate pot, and is added directly to the skillet with the vegetables.

The dish comes together easily and makes enough to serve 2 people as a main course. I recommend serving with a side of mixed greens for a complete meal!

Though dairy-free, this pasta does not lack flavor. Nutritional Yeast (parmesan cheese can be used as a dairy-ful substitute) lends its cheesy flavor and chickpeas their creamy texture balanced by the brightness of lemon zest and the fresh green of kale.

INGREDIENTS

Kale and Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Pasta

A delicious one-pan pasta that makes for a quick vegetarian weeknight meal packed with essential vitamins and nutrients.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small can (15 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • cups dried pasta shells, bowties or elbows
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed.
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast substitute ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups tightly packed kale, trimmed and de-ribbed
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 heaping teaspoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed.
  • Zest of one small lemon.

Instructions
 

  • Peel and chop the garlic. Wash and derib the kale and roughly chop. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Zest the lemon. Set aside all ingredients until ready to use.
  • Fill a pot with water for the paste. Add 2 tablespoons of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Have your pasta ready to add to the water once it boils. While waiting for the water to boil, proceed with the steps below. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron, but stainless steel also works) over medium heat coat with olive oil. Add rosemary. Sauté for 3 minutes, then add tomato paste and chopped garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add chickpeas to the pan, along with salt, pepper, kale, capers, optional hot sauce and ¼ cup water. Lower heat and cover, allowing to simmer for 10 minutes and stirring occassionally. The kale should wilt and get brighter in color.
  • Add pasta to the pan with kale and chickpeas. Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast, or parmesan cheese, depending on your preference. Add lemon zest. Drizzle with olive oil and mix until well-combined.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if desired.

Notes

*KALE: I used Kale for Cooking from Trader Joe’s. I like using this because it’s prechopped and prepackaged. It requires minimal effort, just some picking out of larger stems. However, you are welcome to use any kale you choose, just don’t forget to wash and derib before adding to recipe. 
*TOMATO PASTE: You definitely won’t use an entire can of tomato paste in this recipe. I recommend buying the tomato paste that comes in a tube, since it’s easier to store and use as needed. Or, use this simple hack: Empty out an ice cube tray. Scoop tomato paste into ice cube tray. Freeze overnight. Break tomato paste out of ice cube tray and store in a plastic bag in the freezer until ready to use. You’ll never waste your tomato paste again!
Keyword chickpeas, dairy free pasta, easy pasta recipe, easy weeknight dinner, garbanzo beans, kale, pasta recipe, vegetarian pasta