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Sarah Lawrence

Mac & Cheese

I've been hearing from a lot of you lately that you need some tasty, dairy and gluten free recipes for kids.  This one has been a GodSend in our home for years.  We use gluten free pasta, but if you're not gluten free you can use whatever you like!  The cheese sauce is also yummy served over rice with broccoli, drizzled over burritos or your favorite Mexican dish.  Thin it out as needed. Cut back on the Daiya if it's too thick for your taste.  Easy. Yummy. Comforting for the little ones who are just looking for the taste of something familiar. Freedom Mac and Cheese 4 servings, 15-30 minutes from start to finish.
  • 8 ounces pasta, any shape and gluten free if necessary
  • 1 package Daiya cheddar style Shreds (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance
  • 2 cups unsweetened milk product of your choice (rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, but definitely helps cheesy flavor and boosts B12)
If you are baking the mac and cheese, here is a topper/crust idea:
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or melted Earth Balance (to moisten and bind)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ tsp ground pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs, optional
If you’re going to be baking the mac and cheese, preheat oven to 350°F. Get your water boiling and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. While pasta is cooking: Prepare the cheese sauce by warming the alternative milk, Earth Balance and Daiya.  Over medium low heat, stir or whisk until cheese melts, then add the nutritional yeast and whisk to combine. If sauce is too thick for your liking just stream in a bit more of your milk choice and whisk to loosen the sauce.  My kids like a thicker, creamier sauce… but we’ve gone up to 3 cups of liquid and gotten a nice, thinner consistency that is more like Kraft mac and cheese from the box mixes. Toss the cooked pasta with the creamy sauce and either transfer it to serving bowls or to a casserole dish (if you’re baking it). For baked mac and cheese:  Top with the bread crumbs and paprika. Bake for 15 minutes uncovered, or until the cheese is bubbling and top is starting to brown.

Sarah Lawrence

Roasted Cauliflower Risotto

Farm stand produce is such a beautiful inspiration this time of year. I found an amazing head of cauliflower that could have been an earthy pizza crust or doughy fritters, but I read this snippet in Food & Wine magazine recently about an epic Roasted Cauliflower Risotto. And so, it began... cauliflower risotto Assemble: 1 head of cauliflower, broken in florets then scattered on a baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 400 for 15 minutes or until so fragrant and sweet that you can't stand it any longer. Let the cauliflower cool a bit and then chop it into smallish pieces. Set the tray aside. You will add this to the rice in a little while. 2 cloves of garlic + 1 sweet white onion, minced and softened in a large skillet in about 1 Tbsp olive oil or veg stock; you're looking for translucent, not browned, so low heat for about 10 minutes. 1 quart of great tasting vegetable stock - homemade or carton. 1 cup dry white wine or a crisp hard cider (optional, but adds lots of flavor) 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice -- add this to the softened onions and stir it really well to combine and coat the grains. Let the rice toast for a minute, then add wine or cider (if you're using) and let everything simmer for a few minutes until you can smell that the alcohol has cooked off. Then add 1/2 cup of veg stock and stir. You'll be doing this every 5-8 minutes as the stock is absorbed, so you need to stay near the pot. When you're down to about 1 cup of liquid left to add, stir in the cauliflower. Keep adding the stock until you've topped it off, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Because we're dairy free I don't add regular parmesan. When I made this dish though, I found a heavenly nugget of cashew parm that I made a few months back. Perfect, honestly, for this kind of dish, because I just chopped it and sprinkled it in for that cheesy, earthy yum factor. If you don't have any cashew cheese or if you're nut sensitive, consider adding a little tofu sour cream or even toasted hemp seeds and a sprinkle of finishing salt. More often than not, if you add a sprinkle of good salt to a dish that calls for parm you will be satisfied. Serve with a big salad and your tummy will be happy. **Reader's Response time: Do you like cauliflower? What is your favorite way to eat it? ~ one of my favorites is cauliflower poppers (roast florets and sprinkle with seasoning of choice).

Sarah Lawrence

Lemon Goji Smoothie


Kids developed this smoothie this morning and it was quite a neon shade of orange but tasted of lemon all the way!  A keeper!  They called it "lemon-neon"...

Lemon-neon smoothie
3 carrots
3 small oranges, skin removed
1 organic lemon, skin removed from half
1/2 cup Goji berries
3 Brazil nuts
2 cups water

Place all ingredients in vitamix.  Blend until smooth.  Taste.  Sweeten with a few drops of liquid stevia if needed.

It was a perfect foil for our omega 3 liquid supplement as well as a hefty dose of probiotics! 

P.s this is my first mobile upload... a bit of a test.  Figure I need to post when its convenient or I may not have time to post!  Fun android phone!


Lentil Sloppy Joes v.2

Lentil Sloppy Joes
Simplified and modified from version 1, but just as yummy!  Because I am in love with the new bottle of pomegranate molasses on my shelf, I had to incorporate it in this recipe.  It makes perfect sense because the flavor is both sharp and sweet.  Start to finish about an hour.  Try this if you want a warm, richly layered and flavorful, spice laden meal.  Serves 6-8.  Using you food processor or mad knife skills, mince the following: 1 large onion, minced 4 cloves garlic, minced 8 oz Portobello mushrooms, minced 1 large green pepper, minced (organic if possible)
Add the minced veggies to a large stockpot in which you’ve warmed a tsp of olive oil.  Stir the veg while they brown and soften, about 10 minutes.  They will become super fragrant. [caption id="attachment_354" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="minced veg for sloppy joes"]minced veg for sloppy joes[/caption] Blend: 4 medool dates, pitted 1 can diced fire roasted tomato 1/2 cup Annies Organic Tomato Ketchup Blend these ingredients in the food processor until smooth.  Add the mixture into the pot and stir to combine. Add: 1 cup brown lentils (+ 1/2 cup if you don't use the red lentils below) 1/2 cup red lentils (optional, but they thicken the sauce in a way that the brown lentils don't) 3 cups water 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses 1 tsp chipotle chili powder 2 Tbsp smoked paprika 2 Tbsp cumin 1 Tbsp cinnamon 1 Tbsp cocoa powder Stir the pot and simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are till tender and the liquid is absorbed.  [caption id="attachment_353" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Lentil Sloppy Joes v2"]Lentil Sloppy Joes v2[/caption] If you're going old school, split the roll of your choice and toast both sides in a dry skillet.  Then slather some vegan mayo on the toasty pieces, top with a scoop of lentils and a piece of rice cheese or daiya shreds.  You can forego the bun and serve your sloppy lentil ragout on a plate with a side of steamed broccoli and a few big handfuls of fresh greens.  You can also pair a scoop of this goodness with a bowl of nutty brown rice or fluffy herbed quinoa or as a topper for polenta.  I can easily see stretching leftovers with the addition of some smoky black beans and corn on the cob.  Whatever you do, do it with love and enjoy every bite knowing that you are fueling your body well!  Make the meal even better --- don't forget your greens!


Citrus Salad with Beet, Blackberries and Avocado (Raw Gluten Free Vegan)

Dinner tonight was inspired by a recipe that Annmarie Gianni prepared on the Renegade Health Show earlier this month.  I modified it to suit the ingredients I had on hand (some luscious blackberries and a ton of mixed greens) and also to meet my Father in Law’s dietary restriction; he can’t have grapefruit.  So unlike the Renegade recipe which features grapefruit, I went with citrus that my Father in Law can have… the amazing orange!  I tried the dressing per the Renegade recipe and while it has a super fresh zing that I loved... but I know that my kids prefer a creamy dressing.  So, I played around a bit and incorporated some avocado and a date to cut the tang of the lime juice vinagrette from the original.  I am SO pleased with the results and all 5 of us sharing dinner tonight enjoyed this salad.  I had a dinner portion and the guys had side salads with their meal. Let me know if you try this one.  The raw beets might surprise you with their sweetness.  So, so good.  Also, I can easily see the dressing as a dip for raw veggies of almost any variety.  It's a little tart and a little sweet, but the creamy factor is what makes it special. [caption id="attachment_320" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Citrus Salad with Blackberries, Beet and Avocado"]Citrus Salad with Blackberries, Beet and Avocado[/caption]   Citrus Salad with Beet, Blackberries and Avocado (makes 2 dinner salad portions or 4-6 side salads) Salad 1 ½ ripe avocados (you need 2 total for this recipe; the other half is used in the dressing) 3 organic oranges (you need 5 total for this recipe) 1 organic grapefruit (optional) 4 raw beets 1 pint organic blackberries 4 cups spinach 4 cups romaine 2 cups arugula
 6 fresh mint leaves 
 Dressing 2 organic oranges, peeled 1 medool date, pit removed 2 organic limes, juiced dash of sea salt a few grinds of pepper ½ avocado, pit removed 2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil (optional) 
 To prepare the salad: Wash all of the greens and spin them dry in your salad spinner or lay them on a clean kitchen cloth for a few minutes to dry. Fold the mint leaves in half lengthwise and use your knife to make thin strips (julienne).  Alternatively, you can minced the leaves or tear them into very small pieces.  Just be sure not to leave big pieces of leaf because it can be a strong flavor! Zest your citrus fruits with a zester and reserve the peelings.  Next, remove the citrus peels and cut the fruit into bite size pieces.  How you do it is up to you.  I usually quarter the fruit and then slice each quarter into 4 pieces.  If you’re peeling the fruit by hand you can just add the segments… whatever works! Give the raw beets a quick wash under cool water to remove any sand or dirt.  Slice off the greens and then peel the beets.  This is a messy task that will stain your fingers (and anything else) reddish purple for a while.  Consider this your red badge of courage.  You’re trying a new salad and it is making you commit!  Once the beets are peeled you have a few options.  You can grate them using a hand grater (uber messy!) You can cut them into small pieces with your chef’s knife (also uber messy). Or you can employ your food processor and either grate, slice or chop finely depending on the nifty blade attachments that you have.  I chopped the beets into a fairly tiny shred using my food processor and we all loved them.  Do what works for you. Let’s deal with the avocados.  Slice each one in half lengthwise and twist to get the pit to release from one side.  To get the pit out you can either scoop it out gently with a spoon or, if you’re confident with your knife, you can tap the knife blade into the pit (it will stick in there) and twist the handle until the pit pops out.  You really need to be confident to do the knife tap, so please don’t try it if you’re nervous.  I don’t want you to get hurt!  I’m going to go with the notion that you’re able to get the pit out and all.  Time to score the avocado flesh in lines lengthwise and then again width wise so you end up with a grid pattern on each piece of avocado.  Take a soup spoon now and work it in between the skin and the flesh as you scoop out as much avocado as possible.  As you do this, the cute little pieces will pop right out!  Fun. [caption id="attachment_321" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Avocado Citrus Dressing"]Avocado Citrus Dressing[/caption] To prepare the dressing: Put everything into you blender and whiz until smooth.  It took me about 30 seconds of blending in the Vitamix to achieve a smooth and creamy texture. To assemble: Toss the mixed greens into a large bowl or lay them out on a platter.  Sprinkle with the minced or julienned mint.  Spoon some dressing over the greens.  Use the amount that makes you comfortable.  For my dinner portion, I used 1 Tbsp of dressing.  Next, top with shredded beets, orange pieces, grapefruit pieces and berries.  Serve!


Raw Lemon Bars

 The cooked lemon bars I made the other day are truly lovely.  They were great with tea and made a nice light dessert.  8 thumbs up from my household... says a lot!  Anyway, I try to keep a good part of my diet raw, so making raw lemon bars helps to keep me in line (as if that's possible!)  These bars are based on my go to recipe for date nut treats.  I play with this recipe a lot by changing the variety of nuts and adding flavors and spices.  It's hard to mess up dates, nut and a flavor.  So it's no surprise to me that lemon and lemon zest make a zippy bar that is bound for my recipe file!  Hope you get a chance to try this one.  Let me know if you do! [caption id="attachment_288" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Lemon Bars, the raw, gluten free, vegan way!"]Lemon Bars, the raw, gluten free, vegan way![/caption] Raw Lemon Bars 1/2 cup raw almonds 1/2 cup raw cashews 1/2 cup shredded dried coconut + 1/2 cup more for edging when they are cut zest of 1 organic lemon 1 cup pitted dates ~ 10-12 fresh medjool dates 1/3 cup lemon juice 1 tsp vanilla powder or fresh vanilla bean from a piece about 1" long Pour the lemon juice over the raw almonds and let them soak for an hour or more. [caption id="attachment_290" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Ingredients for the Raw Lemon Bars"]Ingredients for the Raw Lemon Bars[/caption] In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until the mixture comes together.  The dough will look like crumbs at first and then a ball will form… possibly a paste if you continue to process.  Go as far as you like.  If you prefer a bar with some texture to it, then pulse for about 30 seconds.  If you prefer something smooth, pulse until the mixture is sticky and smooth. Press the dough into a 8" x 6" bar pan. I use a stoneware pan from the Pampered Chef.  Refrigerate for an hour or until firm (this will depend on the level of moisture in your mixture and how smooth you made your dough).  [caption id="attachment_289" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="slicing the bars"]slicing the bars[/caption] When firm, cut into bars.  If you want “Larabar” type bars score your pan down the middle and then into 1.5 inch strips for that classic bar shape.  This size batch makes thin bars, but they are good!  Snack sized bites are also yummy.  My kids like little squares and balls of this mixture (search back for my chai yummies recipe for another example).  If you love coconut as I do you'll want to press the bottom and sides of your sliced bars into more shredded coconut before serving.  It makes the bars really pretty and adds that extra coconutty yum to every bite! If your mixture gets stuck in the pan or you have an issue with the texture, all is not lost!  Scrape out spoonfuls of your mixture and roll it in coconut for something that easy to handle and great to snack on.  You can always pop your dough back into your food processor and add more coconut or nuts to firm things up if you need to! Variations:  use different nuts (whatever you have on hand); try orange juice and orange zest instead of lemon; soften the nuts in an alternative milk and add 1 – 2 Tbsp cocoa or cacao for a chocolaty treat; macerate a few raspberries instead of the lemon juice and use that as your liquid component for a berry bar; coconut milk and hazelnuts are a divine combination.  The possibilities are endless!  Play with your food and find something that you love --- then post it and share your ideas with me! Share