Author’s favorite recipes: Pho (serves 4 )
- 6 cups water
- 2 shallots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 4 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 1 bunch cilantro, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 8-ounce package rice noodles
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 16 basil leaves
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 baby bok choy, chopped
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- To make the broth: In a large pot, combine the water, shallots, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, carrots, ginger, peppercorns, cloves, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and 1/2 bunch cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Keep the broth simmering until ready to use.
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions.
- Divide the noodles between 4 bowls. Top with the scallions, basil, mushrooms, carrots, and baby bok choy.
- Pour the hot broth over each bowl. Serve with lime wedges, remaining cilantro, and extra soy sauce.
Lavender and Vanilla Bean Scones
- 1.5 cups cashews (I used roasted, unsalted), ground into a meal/flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons lavender buds
- 2 vanilla beans, cut lengthwise with a sharp knife, all seeds removed
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1/4 cup almond oil (or other oil such as coconut oil or butter or lard)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoons butter (optional)
- 1–2 tablespoons coconut crystals
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Run the cashews through your food processor until it becomes a slightly coarse meal/flour.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cashew meal, baking powder, salt, lavender buds, and vanilla bean seeds.
- Then mix in your egg, almond oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and combine.
- Lastly, mix in your arrowroot flour to help thicken.
- Add the dough into a ball onto a parchment-lined baking sheet then press down to help flatten out evenly.
- Place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool slightly.
- While the scones are cooling, mix together honey and butter (heating the two up together) and top scones with the mixtures and some coconut crystals.
Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded, reduced-fat Italian cheese blend
- Your favorite pizza sauce, warmed, for dipping
- Finely chopped pizza toppings of your choice (remember – pile on lots of great veggies!) (see note). Here are some ideas:
- green, red, and yellow peppers
- banana or jalapeño peppers
- black or green olives
- turkey pepperoni or cooked and crumbled Italian turkey sausage
- Preheat the oven to 475ºF.
- Cut each potato into 12 long, thin slices by first cutting each potato in half lengthwise, and then cutting each half lengthwise again to yield four quarters. Cut each quarter into three slices.
- In a medium bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil to thoroughly coat, and then add oregano, basil, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper, tossing again to distribute spices evenly.
- Place potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading them out and making sure they don’t touch or overlap (see note).
- Bake potatoes for about 10-12 minutes, then stir and spread them out again. Bake for about 8-12 minutes more. The exact baking times may vary depending on how your potatoes are shaped and how thick the slices are. Check them periodically: you’re looking for a warm, browned, toasty bit of color on both sides of your fries, and a roasted exterior with a fluffy interior. You want a good roasted color but you don’t want them to burn.
- Push your fries into a pile in the center of the baking sheet, layering them as you do so with cheese and your other toppings. Return the fries to the oven for about 5 more minutes, to allow the toppings to warm and the cheese to melt.
- Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.
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