Roasted Fennel Bruschetta

Roasted Fennel Bruschetta

Roasted Fennel Bruscetta

This bruschetta was two years in the making. I say that, because it’s been two whole years of not eating tomatoes. Two whole years of avoiding one of my favorite foods because it gave me miserable migraines, cold sores, and jaw pain to name a few.

And then, I was told I could eat anything I wanted again. That whatever had been causing the food sensitivities to appear had disappeared!

Roasted Fennel Bruschetta

And while it was the best news ever (seriously, it was), I didn’t quite believe the day had finally come. I was hesitant to try the foods again.

I think it took me three whole weeks to work up the courage to have a plate of pasta with tomato sauce. And another week after that to try it again. And another week to dig into white potatoes. And another week for bruschetta. And…

Now that I’m finally back to eating tomatoes, I realized how much I have missed them. And am excited to have them back on the menu.

Roasted Fennel Bruschetta Train

This bruschetta is like old meets new. Bruschetta was — pre-food intolerances — a favorite summer time treat for me, while the fennel is a new taste. The combination of the two is like an explosion in the mouth. Powerful flavors that play nicely together.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any fancy balsamic’s laying around. It’s just as delightful with a basic balsamic.

Roasted Fennel Bruschetta with Birds

Roasted Fennel Bruscetta
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Roasted Fennel Bruschetta

A fancy take on a summery treat.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com

Ingredients

  • 1 bulb fennel stalks cut off, bulbs halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise in 1-inch thick pieces
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar*
  • 6 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar*
  • 7-8 leaves fresh basil chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rub just enough olive oil over the fennel to coat; approximately 1 tbs.
  3. Sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar, also to coat; approximately 1/2 tbs.
  4. Arrange on baking sheet lined with foil.
  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the fennel is cooked through and beginning to caramelize.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool, then chop.
  7. Combine roasted fennel, diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
  8. Serve atop your favorite crusty bread {we love a roasted garlic french bread}.
  9. Delight in the flavor-flav.

Note: I decided to get all fancy when it came to the fennel and bruschetta and tried out a delicious fig infused white balsamic vinegar. It really added a subtle sweetness to the bruschetta. Feel free to experiment with different flavors and styles.

Allergen Information

Dairy free, wheat free*, gluten free*, corn free, soy free, and egg free.
*The bruschetta itself is wheat and gluten free. If you decide to put it on something, make sure it’s gluten free.

Sweet Potato Wontons with a Soy Garlic Dipping Sauce

Sweet Potato Wontons with a Soy Garlic Dipping Sauce

Apparently I was tired of making the same old thing, because last week was chock-full of new recipes.

Including this one for sweet potato wontons.

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at wontons for a long time. I just couldn’t seem to find a vegetarian version that I wanted to try. {The wrappers were sitting in our fridge for a good two months.}

Until I came across one in the reFresh cookbook for sweet potato wontons. These bad boys were kind of incredible. And super fun (and satisfying) to make.

I know the recipe looks intimidating, but give it a go. After the first one or two, you’ll be a wonton making pro. And if not, here’s a video on how to fold a wonton that will show you just how easy it is.

Be warned: they are super addictive. And you’ll want to make them on a fairly regular basis. With a bazillion different fillings. Which, by the way, I want to know what your favorite combos are. Because I’m totally addicted to making them.

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Sweet Potato Wontons with a Soy Garlic Dipping Sauce

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com

Ingredients

For the wontons:

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbs nightshade free curry
  • 2 tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp raw sugar
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed (or shredded)
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash peeled and cubed (or shredded)
  • 1 tbs grated coconut
  • 2-3 scallions chopped
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 1 cup safflower oil for frying*

For the Soy Garlic Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar

Instructions

To make the wontons:

  1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, about 3-5 minutes
  2. Add curry paste, and saute for another minute.
  3. In small bowl, mix soy sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add to the saucepan and stir.
  4. Add sweet potato and squash and saute for 3-5 minutes, until soft.
  5. Add coconut and scallions, stir to incorporate.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Combine flour and water in a small bowl to form a paste.
  8. Take one wonton wrapper at a time, place it on a damp paper towel so it looks like a diamond, and fill with 1 tsp of sweet potato mixture.
  9. With finger, cover two sides of the wonton wrapper with flour paste, and fold into a triangle. Make sure ends are sealed. Take wonton by two bottom points {with one point at top like a triangle}, and gently fold until they touch each other. Secure with another dab of paste. Place on a baking sheet.
  10. Continue to fold wontons until all wrappers are gone.
  11. *If frying, heat safflower oil in deep dish sauce pan. Carefully drop wontons in {one at a time} and cook until golden brown. About 1-2 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
  12. *If steaming, place in steamer or bamboo basket and steam for 7-10 minutes, or until soft.
  13. Serve with Soy Garlic Dipping Sauce (see below).

Soy Garlic Dipping Sauce:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce thickens and becomes syrupy.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving with wontons.

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, and corn free.

Sophisticated Hummus

Sophisticated Hummus

Apparently The Hubster’s birthday party created an opportunity for me to play in the kitchen.

Not that I’m complaining, or anything. I had a grand old time getting everything together. Including this new take on an old favorite. The Hubster’s favorite, that is.

It’s got a bit of a sophisticated bite to it, with the addition of white balsamic vinegar. And a bit of character with the peanut butter. Yeah…I ran out of tahini. A happy accident, so to speak.

No matter. This is a double batch of awesome, perfect for holiday parties or book clubs.

It’s also perfect for Tempeh Sandwiches. And to dip carrots and cucumbers in. And to throw caution to the wind, and top your favorite salad with it.

So. Many. Options.

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Sophisticated Hummus

Hummus with a sophisticated twist: balsamic vinegar!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 15-oz. cans chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbs tahini
  • 1 tbs natural peanut butter
  • 4 tbs lemon juice approximately 1 lemon
  • 1/2 medium red onion chopped
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp dried parsley 2 tbs fresh

Instructions

  1. Place chickpeas into blender and pulse for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add olive oil and pulse until mostly mixed in and smooth.
  3. Add in minced garlic, tahini, peanut butter and lemon juice. Pulse until mixed thoroughly.
  4. Add red onion, vinegars, salt, and pepper. Pulse again until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add chopped parsley and pulse again until parsley is mixed throughout.
  6. Serve with your favorite pita chip, veggie, or other dip-able item.
  7. Consider making a double batch so that you won’t have to hide any!

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, corn free, soy free, and egg free.

Homemade Pita Chips

Homemade Pita Chips

You might be impressed at the fact that I made my own pita chips for The Hubster’s birthday party. You would probably be less impressed if you knew just how easy it was.

Because, really. It was ridiculously easy.

So easy, that I’m running out of things to tell you about them.

I could go all health coach on you and tell you that making your own pita chips is healthier. That most pita chips sold in the store are laden with enriched flour (read: stripped of the good stuff so they had to add it back in), sodium, and a host of other unpronounceable.

But I won’t.

I could go all foodie on you and tell you that you could add a litany of herbs and spices. That you could make up any combination you like and it would be equally amazing.

But I won’t.

Because I could just give you the recipe, so you can see for yourself.

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Homemade Pita Chips

A super satisfying and totally dress-up-able snack that everyone will enjoy.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bag favorite pita we used the Small Multi-Grain Pita from Aladdin's Baking Co.
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbs olive oil or olive oil cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice pita rounds into strips or quarters. They're your chips. Do what you want!
  3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle (or spray) with olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  6. Place in oven for 10 minutes. Flip. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or until edges start to brown and turn crispy.
  7. Let cool.

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, corn free, soy free, and egg free.

Sweet Potato Balls

Sweet Potato Balls

Why is it that the very mention of the word balls sends me into a giggle fit reserved for tween girls? And makes me want to find every single inappropriate pun imaginable to use in this post. I could do it, really.

But, I’m trying to show some restraint.

Mostly because these are seriously nom-worthy. And will make your mouth very very happy. And because they filled with sweet potato goodness. And wrapped in flaxed awesomeness.

But also because you get to say you had a mouthful of balls for dinner.

Yeah. Restraint is for the weak.

But seriously. The Hubster definitely enjoyed these rotund creations. And popped more than a few (ahem, 8) on his plate, and in his mouth over the course of the meal.

I can’t really blame him. There is an off-chance that I could have possibly done something similar.

Many thanks to the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook for the divine inspiration.

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Sweet Potato Balls

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 -6

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potato peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbs almond milk or rice, soy, or hemp milk
  • 1 tbs Earth Balance or other vegan buttery spread
  • 1/2 yellow onion minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dried or 1 tbs fresh parsley
  • 4 tbs unbleached all-purpose flour quinoa flour, almond flour, coconut flour
  • 2 tbs chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • copious amounts of flax meal

Instructions

  1. Place chunks of sweet potato into a pot of boiling water, and cook until tender.
  2. Drain water, transfer sweet potatoes to large bowl and mash with a masher or fork.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Combine next 9 ingredients (almond milk through pepper) with the mashed sweet potatoes, and mix to combine.
  5. Fill a small bowl or condiment cup with flax meal about 1/4 way up (see picture above) and drop sweet potato mixture in (approximately 1 tbs at a time).
  6. Roll sweet potato around in flax meal until fully coated. Reshape if needed into a ball. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Continue until batter is gone, or you have as many balls as you want.
  8. Place baking sheet into oven, and bake for about 25-30 minutes. (Note: Exterior of sweet potato balls will get crispy, though look almost identical to the pre-baked balls.)
  9. Transfer to serving plate, dinner plate, or mouth. Your choice.

Allergen Information

Nightshade Free, Dairy Free, Wheat Free*, Gluten Free*, Soy Free, Egg Free, and Corn Free.
*Please note that the gluten- and wheat-free status of this recipe is dependent upon flour choices. Make sure to use a gluten-free all-purpose mix, or a flour like quinoa, coconut, almond, or chickpea.