Carrot Rice

1 tsp vegetable oil
2-inch piece cinnamon
5 pods green cardamom
5 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
2 tbsp raw cashew pieces (optional)
2 cups carrots (grated. Approx 2 carrots)
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water (or vegetable stock)
Salt to taste

Heat the oil. Add the whole spices–cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf–and stir for a minute until fragrant.

Add the onions and cashews, if using, and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent but not brown.

Stir in the carrots and saute for another couple of minutes until they start to cook. Stir in the rice along with salt to taste and mix well. As soon as the rice starts to turn opaque, add the water and salt. Give everything a good stir and let it come to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook the rice 10 minutes. At the 10-minute point, open, give the rice a good stir, and cover and cook another 10 minutes.

Let the rice stand another 10 minutes before opening. Serve hot with any basic coconut curry.

TIPS FOR MAKING CARROT RICE:

Use the largest holes on your hand grater or food processor to grate the carrots. You want the carrots and the rice to be approximately the same size when they cook. Keep in mind the carrots will shrink as they express their juices, and the rice will expand as it absorbs them.
For the same reasons, slice the onions really thin. If the onion you use is big, cut the slices in half.

You don’t need to soak the rice for this recipe, which makes it come together even more quickly, since there’s no prep ahead of time.

Usually, when I share a rice recipe with you, I ask you not to stir the rice as it cooks. I will make an exception in this case. About halfway through the 20-minute mark when the rice is covered and cooked, give the rice a stir. This will help the carrots and rice mix better and cook more evenly.
I like adding a few cashew pieces to this recipe, but they are completely optional if you want it to be nut-free.

Quinoa Pilaf with Lemons, Shallots, and Herbs

1–2 shallots ( or 1/4 of an onion) – very thinly sliced – see notes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed, drained ( rinsing removes bitterness)
2 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or use 1–2 minced garlic cloves with the shallot)
1 teaspoon dried oregano ( or italian seasoning, or herbs de Provence, or similar)

Garnish:

lemon zest from one small lemon,
sprinkling of fresh herbs ( italian parsley, dill, basil, cilantro)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds ( optional- other nuts & seeds are ok, or just leave off)
sautéed shallot ( see notes) or crispy shallots
drizzle of good olive oil– optional but good.

In a medium pot, over medium heat, sauté the shallot in the oil, until golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. If you want, set half aside for the garnish. Add rinsed/drained quinoa, water, salt, cumin, granulated garlic and dried herbs, and give a good stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover well, and cook for 15 minutes. Check to see that quinoa has soaked up all the water. If not, continue cooking 2-5 more minutes. If it has, turn heat off and let it sit covered 5-10 more minutes.

Fluff with a fork, place in a serving bowl and toss gently with lemon zest, sprinkle with fresh herbs and, sauted shallots and optional nuts. Don’t over mix.

For extra richness a drizzle of good quality olive oil is really nice touch.

notes

When serving this as a side dish all on its own, I like to use two sautéed shallots, half for cooking with the quinoa, and the other half for sprinkling over the top as a garnish. If batch cooking for the week, you may not need the garnish.
Rinsing the quinoa is imperative. It really does help remove the bitterness.
If making a smaller batch or bigger batch, my general ratio of water to quinoa = 1 cup quinoa to 1.5 cups water.

Play around with this and embellish it as you please.

A easy way to turn this quinoa into a meal….is to serve it with simple roasted veggies and tahini sauce. Or these roasted parsnips! Add this make-ahead kale salad if you like. It really doesn’t have to be complicated! Simple real food -the best kinds of meals!

Perfect for meal prepping and batch cooking!

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin

ingredients

2 medium cauliflower heads (about 10 cups, 20 ounces florets)
2 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
——–
2 Tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 onion, diced or sub 2 fat shallots)
6–8 garlic cloves, rough chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage (or 2 teaspoons dry sage, or sub rosemary or thyme)
Bechamel Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gf flour)
2 cups milk, hot
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh grated is nice)
¼ cup grated gruyere cheese- (or mozzarella -plus 3 Tablespoons for the top)
¼ cup grated Parmesan or pecorino
Optional Additions:

¼ cup crispy bacon bits, or crispy pancetta
¼ cup vegan “bacon bits”
bread crumb topping (see notes)
instructions
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Roast the Cauliflower: Cut cauliflower into bite size pieces, toss with olive oil (just enough to lightly coat) salt and pepper and place on one (or two) parchment-lined sheet pans ( in a single layer) and bake until tender and golden, about 20-25 minutes.
Saute the onions: In an extra large skillet saute the onion over med- high heat in olive oil until tender and fragrant, stirring often, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sage and lower heat to medium and sauté 3-4 minutes, until fragrant, season with salt and pepper. Take your time here and make sure onion and garlic are golden and tender. Set aside.
Make the Bechamel Sauce: In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir until butter just begins to become golden and becomes nutty and fragrant. Add flour. Stir and cook flour for at least 1 minute. Whisk in ½ C hot milk making sure to whisk all the flour from the corners and sides of the pot. Add another ½ C milk, whisking well. Add the final cup of milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper and whisk constantly until mixture thickens and just comes to a simmer. Turn heat to low and whisk in cheese and set aside.
Assemble: Use a greased, oven-proof 10 inch cast iron skillet, 8×11 inch baking dish or greased individual ramekins. Toss the roasted cauliflower with the Bechamel sauce and onions/garlic/ sage mixture. Taste for salt and pepper, adjusting to your liking.
Top with optional bread crumbs (see notes), optional crispy bacon or pancetta (or vegan bacon bits) a few sage leaves or a little more cheese. You could refrigerate this overnight at this point if making ahead (perhaps not in the cast iron). If refrigerating, be sure to bring to room temp before baking.
Lower heat to 375 F and bake uncovered in the oven, until golden and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.

Mexican Pinto Beans

1 lb dry pinto beans (2 1/2 cups dry), soaked 6-12 hours, then drained
1 teaspoon salt
——-
1–2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1 dry Mexican Guajillo Chile (optional, see notes), seeds removed, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves (optional)
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)

Place pinto beans in a med bowl, and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and let soak overnight – or for a minimum of 6 hours. Drain.

After soaking: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until tender and fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Add the dried chili, cinnamon stick and all the spices. Saute one minute to toast the spices. Add the water, tomato paste and DRAINED beans. Stir in the 1/2 salt and bring to a rapid boil.

Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer (on low or medium low) and simmer uncovered for 45-60 minutes, until beans are tender.

Stir in the tablespoon of Chipotle Adobo Sauce and the vinegar.

Taste, adjusting salt if needed.

Notes:
Feel free to substite 1-2 canned chipotle peppers (chopped) instead of the dried Mexican chili. Or leave out both for a milder version. Or experiment with other dried Mexican chilies taking not of heat level. One Guajillo chili makes this MEDIUM SPICY.

Using the The Adobo sauce from the Canned Chipotle Peppers really elevates and adds a lovely smokiness to the whole dish. Freeze the leftover chipotle chilies (individually) for later use!
You could also use a little smoked paprika for the smoky flavor without the spiciness.

INSTANT POT: Cook according to above, using the saute function for sauteeing. Reduce water to 4 cups. Pressure cook the soaked pinto beans on high for 25 minutes, naturally release. If you’d like to reduce liquid further, cook on saute function for a few minutes until it thickens up.

HAM HOCK: Feel free to add a smoked ham hock to the top of the simmering beans. After it’s tender, shred the meat and stir into the beans.

Basic Roasted Vegetables

2 large carrots, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved into half-moons
2 parsnips, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved
1/2 – 1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks, or wedges
1 sweet potato cut into ¾ inch cubes
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
generous, 5 finger pinch of salt and pepper
optional additions: other veggies of course, fresh herbs -thyme, rosemary, sage

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Cut veggies and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. If your sheet pans are small, use 2 pans.
Cut veggies and place them in rows.

drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and using tongs give a light toss.
Place in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes, rotate, toss again, and continue cooking until fork tender, another 10-15 minutes.

Place in a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Tips:

Choose veggies that take roughly the same amount of time to roast. Root veggies (vegetables that grow underground) like carrots, parsnips, beets, and potatoes, are relatively dense compared to other veggies and take the longest to roast, 30-50 minutes, depending on what size you cut them. Winter squash are medium-dense so take less time, when peeled and diced.

If someone were to ask me which veggies are best to roast? I would say, hands-down, root vegetables! Their natural sweetness and earthiness both get enhanced and elevated through roasting.
Cut veggies so they are the same thickness. This ensures they roast quickly and uniformly. I try to keep root veggies at ½ inch thick.

Roast vegetables on a parchment-lined sheet pan – and use an extra-large one! Or use two! They like space.

Group different veggies separately on the sheet pan (instead of mixing them all together) just in case you need to remove some and not others.

Keep it simple, with a light drizzle of olive oil, sprinkling of salt and pepper. This allows the flavors of the veggies to really shine.

Use a hot, 425 F oven, middle rack.

Check at 15 minutes, rotate pan and give a quick toss, continue cooking 5-15 minutes or until fork tender.

I always like to include an onion and bell pepper for flavor. (Just a personal preference)
Of course you can add a herb – thyme, rosemary, sage- all work well.

Basic Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Variations

1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
2–3 garlic cloves ( optional, or sub 1–2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder)
1 shallot, finely chopped ( optional)
pinch salt and pepper
zest from one small lemon
1/8 cup fresh chopped parsley (or thyme, cilantro or basil, or sub other herbs, see below)

Trim the leaves and stem off the cauliflower and cut into smaller pieces. (If using a box grater, cut into quarters and see notes)

Working in 2 batches, place 1/2 the cauliflower pieces into a food processor and pulse until it is uniformly and coursely ground. Place in a large bowl, lined with paper towels. Repeat with the second half.

Pat the top with paper towels, squeezing out any excess water.

To cook, either roast or saute.

To roast, preheat oven to 425 F. Remove the paper towels and place the cauliflower on a parchment lined sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, chopped shallot, finely minced garlic and the zest of one lemon. Toss and spread out. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden, giving it good toss halfway though. Garnish with fresh parsley.

To saute on the stove top, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until golden and fragrant. Add cauliflower, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for a few minutes until you begin to smell the garlic. Turn heat down to low, cover and let this steam a bit until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Uncover, continue stirring, and add lemon zest. Cook until it starts to get golden. Sprinkle with herbs right before serving.

Feel free to make other variations to go with your meals:

Mexican – lime zest, cilantro, chili powder, cumin or coriander
Spanish – add smoked paprika
French – fresh thyme
Italian – garlic and basil
Indian – add curry powder
Asian – garlic and ginger, a small splash of soy and srircha at the end ( or Szechuan Sauce)

Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata

1 large cauliflower-Sliced into ¾ inch slices
1 bunch Italian parsley- finely chopped- 1 Cup (or use part mint or cilantro)
2–3 garlic cloves- finely minced
1/3 C olive oil
Zest of one large lemon (1 ½ Tablespoon) finely chopped
1/8 C fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
3/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Remove cauliflower leaves and trim sides of the stem, leaving the length. Slice Cauliflower into ½ inch to 3/4 inch thick slices. ( See photo). Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and a little pepper. Roast in the oven, uncovered until golden and tender, about 30 minutes (check at 25 minutes). The thicker the slices the longer you will have to roast.

While cauliflower steaks are roasting, make the gremolata.

Chop Italian parsley ( some stems are ok) finely, to make roughly one cup, and place in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

When Cauliflower is tender, arrange on a platter, and drizzle gremolata over top.

Black Rice Pilaf

2 tablespoons olive oil ( or butter)
1 shallot – chopped
1 1/2 cups forbidden black rice
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme ( or 1 teaspoon dry)
2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon broth or stock ( veggie or chicken)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 bay leaf
pinch salt and pepper
1/3 cup slivered almonds ( save 2 tablespoons for garnish)
Garnish: 1-2 tablespoons Italian parsley

Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat and add the shallots, stirring until golden and fragrant, about 4 -5 minutes.

Add rice and thyme and saute 3-4 minutes.

Add stock, garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper and 1/2 the almonds. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Cover, turn heat to low and cook 25-30 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated and rice is tender.
Garnish with remaining almonds and parsley.

Israeli Salad

2 extra large tomatoes, finely diced
1 English cucumber, finely diced
1 cup red onion, finely chopped (1/2 of a medium red onion)
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup fresh herbs (Italian parsley, mint or cilantro, or a mix of all three)
zest of one lemon
Lemon juice (start with ½ a lemon, add more to taste)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Chop the first 6 ingredients into a very small fine dice. The smaller, the better. Take your time with this and a sharp knife really makes this easier!

Place in a large bowl and toss with the lemon zest, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper.

Taste and adjust lemon and salt to your liking.

Cilantro-Lime Rice

3 tablespoons olive oil
one small white onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
2 cups white basmati rice (see notes for brown basmati rice)
4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1–2 limes- zest and juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, leaves and tender stems
3 scallions, sliced

Over medium heat, using a lidded saute pan or wide pot, saute onion and garlic in oil until fragrant and tender, 4-5 minutes. Add rice, saute 1-2 more minute, coating each grain, then add coriander, 1 tablespoon of the lime zest (save rest for garnish) and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Give a stir and add the water. Bring to a rapid boil. Cover, lower heat to low (gently simmering).

Cook 20-22 minutes or until all the water evaporates.

Fluff with fork, squeeze with lime juice (3-5 tablespoons) and right before serving, toss in the chopped cilantro and scallions.

Fluff again, taste and adjust salt and lime to taste.

Enjoy!

notes

If making ahead, add cilantro and scallions right before serving!

If using Brown Basmati Rice, plan on almost double the cooking time… 35-40 minutes (unless you soak the rice beforhand). Make sure to read package directions adjusting the liquid if need be.

Kohlrabi Slaw with Cilantro, Jalapeño, and Lime

6 cups kohlrabi -cut into matchsticks or grated in a food processor -about three x 4 inch bulbs (or you could substitute sliced fennel, apple, jicama, cucumber, or cabbage for part of the kohlrabi for more diversity)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro ( one small bunch)
half of a jalapeno -minced
1/4 cup chopped scallion
orange zest from one orange, and juice
lime zest from one lime, and juice

Citrus Dressing :

1/4 Cup olive oil
¼ Cup fresh orange juice ( juice form one orange)
1/8 Cup lime juice plus 1 T ( juice from one large lime), more to taste
1/4 Cup honey ( or agave syrup)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Trim and peel kohlrabi. ( I normally have to peel twice to get thru the thick skin). Cut off two ends. Cut in half from top to bottom. Thinly slice, rotate and slice again, making 1/4 inch matchsticks.

Place in large bowl with chopped cilantro, scallions, finly chopped jalapeño ( 1/2), lime zest and orange zest.

Whisk dressing together in a small bowl. Toss with salad. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with zest and cilantro. This tastes goo the next day too.

Cabbage Mango Slaw

3 cups shredded cabbage (½ of small purple cabbage)
1 large mango (ripe but firm, not soft)
1/2 cup cilantro chopped, thin stems ok
1/4 C finely diced or thinly sliced red onion
1/2 to 1 jalapeno- finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 orange (zest and juice)
1 lime
1/2 tsp salt

Slice or shred cabbage very thinly- Add to large bowl.

Peel mango with a vegetable peeler, then slice into thin strips, or cut into cubes and place in the bowl.

Add onion, cilantro, jalapeno.

Zest one orange and add the zest to the bowl. Add the juice of half the orange, and half the lime
Add oil and salt and mix gently to combine.

Taste and adjust salt, heat and citrus. Often I will squeeze in the other half of the orange.
Refrigerate until ready to serve!

notes

This will keep up to 2 days in the fridge. If using a soft mango, serve right away. Firmer mangos will last longer.

Jicama Mango Slaw

1 large jicama – 2 pounds
1 extra large very firm or green mango
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion ( or sub 4 scallions, sliced)
1/2 a jalapeno- finely chopped ( optional, and more to taste)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime- juice and zest ( about ? cup)
1/2 an orange juice ( about ? cup)
1–2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and grate jicama in a cuisinart with grater attachment or use a box grater.

Peel and grate mango, same as above.

Place all ingredients in a bowl, toss, adjust seasonings.

If using a very green mango, consider adding a little sugar, to balance lime.

Mexican Slaw with Cilantro and Lime

1 pound thinly sliced or shredded cabbage ( purple is pretty, or green or use a mix)
1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion, more to taste ( or sub 1/2 cup green onion)
1/2-1 cup chopped cilantro ( packed), ½ of a large bunch
1/2 of a jalapeño, finely chopped, more to taste
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, more to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2-teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
pepper to taste

Shred the cabbage by very thinly slicing or use a mandolin. If making an extra-large batch using your food processor with grater attachment is a good option.

Add the cilantro, onion (see note), jalapeno, lime zest and lime juice, olive oil, salt, cumin, coriander and pepper.

Toss well. Taste and adjust salt and lime. Add extra jalapeno if you like.

Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Crunchy Asian Slaw

1 lb shredded veggies (your choice of cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, snow peas, broccoli slaw, brussel sprouts, etc) roughly 6-7 cups.
3 scallions, sliced
1 cup cilantro ( or Italian parsley or mint) chopped

Asian Slaw Dressing:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons brown rice syrup, agave or honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or GF alternative like Braggs or Coconut Aminos)
1 garlic clove, finely minced ( use a garlic press)
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
1/2-teaspoon salt
1/2-teaspoon chili flakes or chili paste ( optional)

Optional toppings:

Toasted sesame seeds
roasted, crushed peanuts or cashews

Toss slaw ingredients together in a large bowl. Add cilantro and scallions.

Whisk Asian Slaw Dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Pour dressing into slaw and toss well.

Garnish with sesame seeds and/ or nuts.

notes

Salad will keep up to 3-4 days in the fridge.

Sheet Pan Warm Winter Salad

1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2–3 large carrots (or parsnips), peeled and cut into 1 inch thick pieces
1 fennel bulb, cored and cut in 1/3 inch thick wedges
1 red onion, sliced ito 1/2 inch wedges
14-ounce can chickpeas ( rinsed, drained and patted dry) about 1 1 /2 cups cooked chickpeas
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or use 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons sumac (optional, but tasty)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
zest from one lemon
Couple handfuls baby spinach
Everyday Tahini Sauce (thin out with a little water, to make it more like a dressing)
3–4 tablespoons Dukkah (or a 2 tablespoons Zaatar)
3–4 tablespoons fresh dill
squeeze of lemon juice
Aleppo chili flakes ( or reguluar)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Place the cauliflower florets, carrots, fennel, onion and chickpeas in a EXTRA large bowl. Toss with the olive oil, minced garlic, coriander, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Toss well.

Place in a single layer on one or two, parchement lined sheet pans. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss veggies and rotate pans, bake 10-15 minutes more until cauliflower is tender, and edges crispy.
Make the Everyday Tahini Sauce and the Dukkah.

If serving on the sheet pan, move all the veggies onto one pan. Spread around evenly. Top with the baby spinach, drizzle the tahini sauce over top (diagonally is nice) and sprinkle with the Dukkah. Squeeze with a little lemon.

Garnish with the fresh dill and Chili flakes.

Enjoy!

Noodle Bowl with Seared Ahi and Ponzu (with Tofu Variation)

4 ounces dry soba noodles ( or rice, rice noodles, GF noodles, or cooked zucchini noodles)
6 ounces ahi tuna or tofu ( see notes)
1–2 tablespoons coconut or high temp cooking oil
2 radishes ( watermelon radishes are pretty)
1 Turkish cucumber, sliced ( or carrot, shredded)
1/2 avocado, sliced
garnish- scallions, chives, chive blossoms
handful sprouts- sunflower or daikon are nice
other options: grated veggies like carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, beets, snow or snap peas, edamame, fresh peas, daikon, baby spinach or greens.
Sesame crust

2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion or garlic
1/4 teaspoon sugar ( optional, helps caramelize)
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

Ponzu Dressing:

1/4 cup orange juice ( juice from 1/2 an orange)
1/8 cup soy sauce or GF Liquid Aminos or coconut aminos. ( Smoked shoyu is nice too)
1/4 cup mirin ( or sub a mix of 2 teaspoons honey and 3 tablespoons water)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/8 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon hondashi granules ( optional- adds a nice smoky depth, but not vegan)
pinch salt and pepper

Cook noodles according to directions, drain and set aside.

While noodles are cooking, pat dry tuna. Mix the Sesame Crust ingredients together on a small plate and coat all sides of tuna, pressing it firmly into the flesh. See notes for tofu.

Make the dressing, set aside.

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet until smoking hot. You want the pan to be very hot- in order to create the golden crust, without cooking the ahi all the way through. Sear all sides of the tuna for 45-60 seconds on each side, or until the crust is golden. Remove from heat and place on paper towel. Let stand 5 minutes. With a sharp chefs knife, slice across grain into 6-8 thin pieces. The goal is to have the inside nice and rare and but the outside seared and crispy. The secret is the very hot pan.

Divide the noodles among two bowls. Divide the ahi, cucumber, radishes, avocado and sprouts among the two bowls. Sprinkle veggies and noodles with a little salt. Top with scallions or chives or chive blossoms.

Spoon a generous amount of Ponzu dressing over top and serve ( you most likely won’t need all the dressing)

notes

If keeping this vegan, serve it up with Sesame Ginger Baked Tofu or simple pan-seared tofu, seasoned with salt and pepper.

Cauliflower Shawarma with Pomegranate and Pine Nuts

1?4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1?2 tbsp. minced cilantro
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground sumac
1 1?2 tsp. ground cumin
1?2 tsp. ground allspice
1?8 tsp. ground cardamom
1?8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1?2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
1 whole head of cauliflower, stem trimmed, leaves left intact
1?3 cup tahini
2 tbsp. pomegranate seeds
1 1?2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1?2 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1 tsp. dried rose petals, lightly crushed

Light a grill. In a small bowl, stir 1 1?2 tablespoons lemon juice with the butter, cilantro, cinnamon, sumac, cumin, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, and half the garlic.

In a large pan of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until the stem can be just pierced with a knife, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and transfer to a cutting board. Rub the cauliflower all over with the spiced butter and transfer to the grill. Cook, turning as needed, until charred and blackened all over, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a serving platter.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1?4 cup lemon juice and garlic with the 1 1?2 teaspoons salt, the tahini, and 3 tablespoons ice-cold water until smooth. Drizzle the tahini sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, parsley, and pine nuts. Drizzle with the pomegranate molasses and sprinkle with the rose petals before serving.

Whole-Roasted Broccoli With Herbed Yogurt, Dukkah & Chile

ROASTED BROCCOLI
2 broccoli heads
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

HERBED YOGURT
1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 garlic clove

SERVING
Extra-virgin olive oil
Dukkah (recipe below)
1 serrano pepper, very thinly sliced
1 lemon
Flaky sea salt

Dukkah:
1 cup raw hazelnuts or pistachios
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Gently lower in the broccoli and boil for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate or sheet pan lined with paper towels and let the broccoli air-dry.

Once the broccoli has stopped steaming, place it on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and generously sprinkle with the kosher salt. Roast until golden and lightly charred in some places, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is.

Make the herbed yogurt: In a blender, combine the yogurt, parsley, chives, tarragon, lemon juice, kosher salt, and garlic. Blend until smooth.

To serve: Place the roasted broccoli on a serving platter and drizzle over the yogurt and some olive oil. Sprinkle with the dukkah and serrano, add a squeeze of lemon juice and pinch of sea salt, and serve warm.

Dukkah

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Let the nuts cool just enough to handle. Wrap the nuts in a clean towel and use the towel to slough off the skins. Set aside.

Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add the cumin seeds and coriander seeds and toast briefly until fragrant and slightly golden, about 2 minutes. Set aside, separately from the nuts.
In the same pan, toast the sesame seeds until fragrant and slightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a blender, combine the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cardamom and blend briefly, until they just start to break down. Add the hazelnuts and blitz a few times more, making sure not to overblend. You want a chunky texture here, not nut butter.

Empty the mixture into a medium bowl and add the sesame seeds and salt. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Potatoes and Carrots

1 small to medium cauliflower

Marinade:
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1.5 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground sage
2.5 tbsp soy sauce, divided (use tamari if gluten-free), or coconut aminos
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1.5 tsp coriander (or a mix of coriander and cumin)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cardamom
additional optional flavor add ins: 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp celery seed, 1/4 tsp rosemary
sides, optional
6 to 8 small potatoes (sliced into halves)
18 to 10 small carrots
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 C).

Mix 2 tbsp soy sauce and the rest of the marinade ingredients together. Add 2-3 tbsp of water or chikn flavored broth and mix to combine the garlic and salt well.

Using a thin knife, make some small cuts on the top and the bottom of the cauliflower. Pour half of the marinade inside the overturned cauliflower and move it around to coat the indies well. Brush the cauliflower lightly and let it sit upside down to marinate for at least an hour (marination time is optional, but helps add more flavor).

Once the cauliflower has marinated for an hour, and brush more marinade on the cauliflower and place in a greased baking dish or cast iron skillet.

Mix the potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper and oil in a bowl and place on either side of the cauliflower. (You can bake these separately and add later to the serving dish with the cauliflower before serving)

Cover with foil or another baking dish to cover just about the cauliflower dish. It is not necessary to seal the dish completely. Roast at 425 degrees F for 30 -35 minutes(longer for larger head). Add 1-2 tbsp water and the 1/2 tbsp soy sauce to the remaining marinade. Uncover and baste liberally again.

There should be some moisture that leaks from the veggies and marinade into the pan because of covering and baking. If not, then drizzle a few tbsp water or broth around the cauliflower so the side veggies/marinade dont get scorched. Continue to bake uncovered for 20 to 30 mins. Use a knife to check if the cauliflower is cooked all the way through.

Remove when done and baste with any remaining marinade. Garnish with fresh herbs.