BLACK BEAN TACOS

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, very finely diced
1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and minced (optional)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
6 oz. cream cheese
2 cups cooked black beans
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Whole grain tortillas

 


Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, carrot, bell pepper and jalapeno. Sauté until the vegetables appear wilted and softer, 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook 1 minute.
 
Add the cream cheese and stir to combine with the other ingredients. Cook for 2 minutes or until soft and well incorporated with the other ingredients.
 
Mix the beans into the cream cheese mixture. Cook over low heat until the beans are heated through, 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
 
Heat the tortillas on the stove over an open gas flame until warm and slightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip the tortillas and toast the other side, 1 to 2 minutes.
 
Assemble the tacos. Enjoy right away.
 
Serves 4

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE PUDDING

2 small ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut milk or half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 


Process all of the ingredients in a food processor until creamy and shiny.

Chill before serving. It tastes better after it’s been refrigerated a couple of hours.

 

Serves 2

avocado chocolate pudding

CHERMOULA MARINADE RECIPE

Even though traditionally used to marinate fish, charmoula is delightful in dishes of all sorts. If lacking time to marinate, you may rub vegetables with charmoula and cook them right away. The flavors are strong enough that your dish will still taste amazing.

 

1 teaspoon paprika powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 taspoon sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

 


Place all the ingrdients in a bowl. Stir to mix. Alternatively, process all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Coat vegetables with the chermoula. Marinate for at least 1 to 2 hours before cooking.

 

Makes marinade for about 1 pound of produce.

CURRIED SWEET POTATOES ON A STICK

2 medium sweet potatoes, boiled and cut into wedges
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

 


In a large bowl, whisk the curry powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and olive oil. Add the sweet potatoes and toss to coat.

Pierce the sweet potato wedges onto skewers and grill 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with yogurt sauce.

Serves 4

Adapted from On a Stick! by Matt Armendariz.

 

PEPPERCORN MUSHROOM PASTA

Pappardelle works beautifully for this recipe but any kind of pasta will do.

 

10 ounces pasta, preferably multi-grain
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons sliced scallions
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (any kind)
Salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
Chopped fresh tarragon, for garnish (optional)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

In the meantime, crack the peppercorns using a mortar and pestle. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until they start sizzling. Add the scallions, mushrooms and peppercorns. Season with salt, and cook for 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Taste and add some salt if necessary. Add the cooked pasta and Parmesan, and cook for a couple extra minutes, tossing to combine the pasta with the sauce.

Plate the pasta and top with extra cheese. Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs.

4 servings

GLUTEN-FREE LEMON LAYER CAKE

This recipe makes a small rectangular layer cake made from a single cake cut into thirds.

For the gluten-free génoise cake
¼ cup agave syrup
5 eggs, yolks and whites separated
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup millet flour (or all-purpose flour)

For the filling

8 ounces mascarpone
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus some extra for garnish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons agave syrup

For the syrup
4 tablespoons agave syrup
Juice of ½ lemon
1/3 cup water

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 8×9 pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the agave syrup with the egg yolks and vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl until frothy. Gently whisk in the flour. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and fold them into the egg yolk, agave and flour mixture. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 13 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the mascarpone, grated lemon zest, lemon juice and agave together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

When the cake is cooked, unmold it onto a large cutting board or dry surface, gently peel off the parchment paper and cut the cake into three rectangles of the same size. Let it cool.

Make the syrup by combining the agave syrup, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Cook the syrup over low heat for about 5 minutes.

Brush the first cake rectangle lightly with the syrup, spread a third of the mascarpone on the cake. Top it with the second cake rectangle, brush it with syrup and spread it with mascarpone. Repeat with the remaining cake rectangle and top it with a thin layer of mascarpone. Garnish with lemon zest, if you wish.

Serves 6

PEANUT TRUFFLES

1 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts
1 cup corn flakes
1/4 cup honey
2-3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

 


 

Grind the peanuts and corn flakes into almost a powder using a food processor.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate.

Melt the chocolate over gentle stove heat or in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Shape the peanut mixture into 1-inch balls. Dip the peanut balls in melted chocolate and allow to harden on wax paper 30 minutes or so before serving.

Makes about 12

BLACKBERRY ALMOND TORTE

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup honey or agave syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
3 eggs
1 ½ cups almond meal
1 tablespoon coconut flour or 2 tablespoons millet flour (or 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup blackberries
 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch springform tart pan or individual tartlet pans.

In a large bowl, whisk the butter, honey or agave syrup, vanilla extract and almond extract until creamy. Whisk in the eggs. Combine the almond meal with coconut or millet flour and salt, and add to the wet mixture. Stir well to combine. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and scatter the blackberries on top, pressing them lightly in the batter. Bake until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
 
Serves 8

CREAM CHEESE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, preferably at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brewed coffee (or liqueur of choice), optional
10 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or finely shredded coconut, for coating

 


In a large bowl, stir the cream cheese well until fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract and coffee or liqueur. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and slowly add it to the cream cheese while stirring. Continue stirring until the white from the cheese is no longer visible and the mixture is uniformly brown.

Refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Using a teaspoon, scoop out the chocolate and shape it into 1-inch balls.

Place the cocoa powder or shredded coconut in a shallow dish and roll the truffles in the coating.

Refrigerate leftovers. Allow them to warm up and soften a bit at room temperature before serving them.

Makes 16

SPICED & HERBED GOAT CHEESE

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

5 ounces fresh goat cheese

Crackers or bread

 


 
Place the black pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ground cloves, cayenne pepper, and thyme on a large plate. Stir with a spoon until well mixed. Spread into a thin layer.

Shape the goat cheese into a log. Roll the log in the spice-herb mix until the cheese is completely covered.

Wrap the goat cheese tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with crackers or bread and fresh fruit. The cheese is also delicious drizzled with a little honey.
 
Serves 4 to 6

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