Table of Contents 
 Click on any of the titles to take you to the appropriate piece 

Features
Italian Greens 12
By Jill Nussinow, MS, RD 
 

Columns  
What’s Cooking?  3
 

Greens are a huge part, if often  overlooked part, of Italian cuisine.   Jill shows us a few ways to make  use these gems at the Italian  table.   

Find out what’s up with the Vegan  Culinary Experience this month.   

Edible Landscapes 28 
By Liz Lonetti 
 

Thinking Outside the Pasta  Box 15 
By Marty Davey, MS, RD 
 

This month, Liz shows us how easy  it is to grow your own sprouts!   

Tips for Healthy Eating  31 
By Dr. Leslie Van Romer 
 

Marty takes us past the standard  pasta dishes and into the realms  of grains and beans.   

The Bountiful Italian 19 
By Chef Philip Gelb 
 

Dr. Van Romer shares seven of her  strategies to kill those deadly  cravings and keep you looking nice  and trim.    

Marketplace  8 
 

Chef Phil shares with us ten of his  superb vegan Italian recipes and a  bit of culinary history.   

Get connected and find out about  vegan friendly businesses and  organizations. 
 

Easy Italian  25 
By Chef Mayra 

Recipe Index  52 & 53 
 

  Chef Mayra talks about a few  simple pasta dishes, some pesto  variations, and gives us some  background on each of the main  ingredients. 
 

A listing of all the recipes found in  this issue, compiled with links. 
 

  see the following page for  interviews and reviews… 

                
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Table of Contents 2  Interviews
Interview with Chef Brian  “BeLive” Lucas 34 
 

Reviews 
Restaurant Review:  Pizza Fusion  46 
By Jason Wyrick 
 

Brian “BeLive” Lucas is a talented  and versatile raw chef based out  of Southern California.  Discover  Brian’s secrets to maintaining a  healthy, fun raw lifestyle.   

Pizza Fusion is one of those  restaurants that calls out for a  return visit, again and again.   
 

Interview with Athletics  Trainer Barry Lovelace 40 
 

Product Review:  Golden  Bean Raw Chocolates 48 
By Jason Wyrick 
 

Barry is one of those rare  treasures.  A vegan and a fitness  coach!  Find out how Barry got  started where he is today.   

Golden Bean is the quintessential  pure food.  Healthy, organic,  incredibly delicious, and  completely decadent. 
 

Book Review:  The Saucy  Interview with The Traveling  Vegetarian 50  Vegetarian, Yvonne Smith  By Eleanor Sampson  43   
 

Yvonne, also known as The  Traveling Vegetarian, has a  wonderful internet/television  show that you absolutely should  not miss.   

The Saucy Vegetarian is full of, you  guessed it, sauce recipes.  Perfect  for the inexperienced and  experienced cook alike. 
 

 

  Click on any of the titles to take you to  the appropriate piece 

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The Vegan Culinary Experience
             A Tour of Italy       February 2009   
                          Publisher    Jason Wyrick                                   Editor     Eleanor Sampson             Nutrition Analyst     Eleanor Sampson                         Web Design    Randall Willis & Jason Wyrick                            Graphics     Alex Searcy & Jason Wyrick             Video Production    Kristen Mozafarri        Contributing Authors    Jason Wyrick                                                 Jill Nussinow                                                 Marty Davey                                                 Zel Allen                                                 Mayra “Dr. Flavor”                                                 Liz Lonetti                                                 Richard Barnett                                                 Sharon Valencik                                                 Philip Gelb 

What’s Cooking?
There is a good reason why Italian  cuisine is loved the world over.  Its rich  flavor, its heavy use of earthy herbs,  the smooth blend of ingredients, and,  of course, its amazing variety.  Count  me amongst one of its fans!  Yet, it’s  not so much the modern Italian  kitchen that I adore, but the rustic  kitchen of a hundred years ago.  Why?  Because that kitchen is  filled with whole, mostly unprocessed foods.  It makes use of the  natural harvest of the land.  And, many of the recipes from that era  are either vegan or easy to convert to vegan, which is not what is  commonly associated with the modern Italian kitchen.  Discovering  that was a pleasant surprise.  Of course, not all the recipes in this  issue are traditional Italian recipes made vegan.  Many of them are  simply inspired by this fascinating cuisine and I hope you feel  inspired by it, as well.    Look for some upcoming announcements and exciting additions to  the Vegan Culinary Experience and keep spreading the word!  It is  truly a joy to share this magazine with all of you.    Eat healthy, eat compassionately, and eat well!         

 
                Photography Credits  

 
                Recipe Images     Jason Wyrick                                                 Zel Allen                                                 Milan Valencik    Cuppa Tea Photos,             Jason Wyrick  Green Tea, Black Tea,  Yin Yang Tea    Sprout Photos                     Liz Lonetti    Italian Greens Photos        Judy Witts‐Francini    Semolina, Fava Beans,      GNU Free Documentation  Lentils, Chickpeas               License    Cannellini Beans                Creative Commons    Farro                                     Public Domain    Interview Pictures             Provided by interviewees    Golden Bean Pictures       Provided by Chris Peck 
 

                 
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Contributors
Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, The Veggie Queen ‐ Jill is a Registered Dietitian and has a Masters  Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University. After graduating, she  migrated to California and began a private nutrition practice providing individual consultations  and workshops, specializing in nutrition for pregnancy, new mothers, and children.  You can  find out more about The Veggie Queen at www.theveggiequeen.com.  

Zel Allen ‐ When a focus on healthy eating opened a new door, the vegan journey led Chef Zel  and her husband, Reuben, to publish Vegetarians in Paradise, an online vegetarian magazine.  Together, they write and edit articles that provide a wide range of resources for the vegetarian  community. Zel quells her curiosity about food history and nutrition by researching and writing  food features for the magazine. The publication spotlights her humorous illustrations and her  innovative recipes. Visit Chef Zel Allen at www.vegparadise.com.           Jason Wyrick ‐ Chef Jason Wyrick is the Executive Chef of Devil Spice, Arizona's vegan catering  company, and the publisher of The Vegan Culinary Experience. Chef Wyrick has been regularly  featured on major television networks and in the press.  He has done demos with several  doctors, including Dr. Neal Barnard of the PCRM, Dr. John McDougall, and Dr. Gabriel  Cousens.  Chef Wyrick was also a guest instructor in the Le Cordon Bleu program.  He has  catered for PETA, Farm Sanctuary, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Google. Visit Chef Jason Wyrick at  www.devilspice.com and www.veganculinaryexperience.com.  

Mayra “Dr. Flavor” - Chef Mayra has been in the “healthy eating and cooking” industry for  over 11 years and has certifications in sports nutrition, macrobiotic cooking, vegan and  vegetarian, holistic, and feng shui cuisine. She started her career as a cook by learning and  experimenting with French, Caribbean, Southern, Cajun, and West African cuisine.   Chef Mayra is a chef instructor and conducts a variety of classes and demonstrations geared  towards vegan athletes, personal trainers, and anyone who would like to live a healthier life.  “Dr. Flavor” can make healthy cooking easier by becoming your personal chef!    Visit Chef Mayra at www.mychefmayra.com or call her at 702‐372‐4709.   

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Contributors
Eleanor Sampson – Eleanor is the editor for The Vegan Culinary Experience, author, and an  expert vegan baker with a specialty in delicious vegan sweets (particularly cinnamon rolls!)   You can reach Eleanor at Eleanor@veganculinaryexperience.com.               Marty Davey ‐ Marty Davey is a Registered Dietitian and has a Masters degree in Food and  Nutrition from Marywood University. She became a vegetarian in 1980 when she discovered  that the chemicals in American meat made them unsellable to Europeans. She and her  husband have raised their son as a vegan. She teaches nutrition and has a private practice  specializing in assisting clients transitioning to a plant‐based regime step by step. Her  website is www.martydavey.com.       Liz Lonetti ‐ As a professional urban designer, Liz Lonetti is passionate about building  community, both physically and socially.  She graduated from the U of MN with a BA in  Architecture in 1998. She also serves as the Executive Director for the Phoenix Permaculture  Guild, a non‐profit organization whose mission is to inspire sustainable living through  education, community building and creative cooperation (www.phoenixpermaculture.org).   A long time advocate for building greener and more inter‐connected communities, Liz  volunteers her time and talent for other local green causes.  In her spare time, Liz enjoys  cooking with the veggies from her gardens, sharing great food with friends and neighbors,  learning from and teaching others.  To contact Liz, please visit her blog site  www.phoenixpermaculture.org/profile/Liz.      Sharon Valencik ‐ Sharon Valencik is the author of Sweet Utopia: Simply Stunning Vegan  Desserts. She is raising two vibrant young vegan sons and rescued animals, currently a rabbit  and a dog. She comes from a lineage of artistic chef matriarchs and has been baking since  age five. She is working on her next book, World Utopia: Delicious and Healthy  International Vegan Cuisine. Please visit www.sweetutopia.com for more information, to ask  questions, or to provide feedback.             

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Contributors
Chef Philip Gelb ‐ Philip Gelb was born and raised in Brooklyn NY. He ended up in Florida  where he received a BA in cultural anthropology and did graduate studies in  ethnomusicology.  For the last decade he has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area where he  works as a professional musician and music teacher as well as a vegan chef. As a musician he  has performed all over the United States and in Japan, Europe and Canada.  5 years ago he  started In the Mood for Food, a vegetarian personal chef and catering company.  He has  been vegetarian since 17 and after becoming vegan 4 years ago, he changed his business to  strictly vegan cuisine. Although totally self taught as a chef, he is a very popular vegan  cooking teacher, hosting monthly classes.  His other interests include hiking, travelling, and  he is an avid film buff. Of course, he loves cooking, especially for friends as well as professionally. Visit Phil at  www.myspace.com/InTheMoodforFood.          Dr. Leslie Van Romer ‐ Dr. Leslie Van Romer is the author of weight‐loss, body‐best book,  "Getting Into Your Pants," chiropractor, weight loss cheerleader, and feel‐good‐about‐you  motivational health speaker.  For more information contact her: 360‐683‐8844 or 888‐375‐ 3754 or visit: www.gettingintoyourpants.com.     

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About the VCE
The Vegan Culinary Experience is an educational vegan culinary  magazine designed by professional vegan chefs to help make  vegan cuisine more accessible.  Published by Chef Jason Wyrick,  the magazine utilizes the electronic format of the web to go  beyond the traditional content of a print magazine to offer  classes, podcasts, an interactive learning community, and links to  articles, recipes, and sites embedded throughout the magazine to  make retrieving information more convenient for the reader.     The VCE is also designed to bring vegan chefs, instructors,  medical professionals, authors, and businesses together with the  growing number of people interested in vegan cuisine.    Eat healthy, eat compassionately, and eat well. 

Become a Subscriber
Subscribing to the VCE is FREE!  Subscribers have access to our Learning Community, back issues, recipe  database, and extra educational materials.    Visit http://veganculinaryexperience.com/VCESubscribe.htm to subscribe.   
*PRIVACY POLICY ‐ Contact information is never, ever given or sold to another individual or company 

 

Not Just a Magazine
Meal Service 
The Vegan Culinary Experience also provides weekly meals that coincide with the recipes from the magazine.   Shipping is available across the United States.  Raw, gluten‐free, and low‐fat diabetic friendly options are  available.  Visit http://veganculinaryexperience.com/VCEMealService.htm for more information.   

Culinary Instruction 
Chef Jason Wyrick and many of the contributors to the magazine are available for private culinary instruction,  seminars, interviews, and other educational based activities.  For information and pricing, contact us at  http://veganculinaryexperience.com/VCEContact.htm.  
 

An Educational and Inspirational Journey of Taste, Health, and Compassion 
A Tour of Italy February 2009|7

Marketplace
Welcome to the Marketplace, our new spot for  finding vegetarian friendly companies, chefs, authors,  bloggers, cookbooks, products, and more!  One of the  goals of The Vegan Culinary Experience is to connect  our readers with organizations that provide relevant  products and services for vegans, so we hope you  enjoy this new feature!      Click on the Ads – Each ad is linked to the appropriate  organization’s website.  All you need to do is click on  the ad to take you there.    Become a Marketplace Member – Become connected  by joining the Vegan Culinary Experience  Marketplace.  Membership is available to those who  financially support the magazine, to those who  promote the magazine, and to those who contribute  to the magazine.  Contact Chef Jason Wyrick at  chefjason@veganculinaryexperience.com for details!   

Current Members 
  Holistic Holiday at Sea Vegetarian Cruise  (www.atasteofhealth.org)   GoDairyFree.org and My Sweet Vegan  (www.godairyfree.org)   Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, The Veggie Queen  (www.theveggiequeen.com)  Marty Davey, MS, RD  (www.martydavey.com)  Chef Mayra “Dr. Flavor”  (www.mychefmayra.com)   Gettinginto Your Pants  (www.gettingintoyourpants.com)   Sweet Utopia  (www.sweetutopia.com)   In The Mood for Food  (www.myspace.com/inthemoodforfood)       

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February 2009|8

HOLISTIC HOL
OW KN T BOOR BES D FO S AN Y. E T RAT LABILI AI AV

Chosen by National Geographic Traveler as “One of the 100 best worldwide vacations to enrich your life.”

VegetarianCruise
I DAY AT
MARCH 1-8, 2009

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Special Guest: Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a Brooklyn native who began her vegan cooking journey almost twenty years ago at the age of sixteen. She's inspired by New York City's cuisine from all over the world, as well as her own Jewish heritage, and she loves to fuse the two. Isa is the author of Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World and an upcoming Vegan Brunch Book.

Cruise for 7 nights aboard the stunning Costa Fortuna to quaint Key West, exotic Roatán (Honduras), and beautiful Grand Cayman and Cozumel from friendly Ft. Lauderdale, March 1-8, 2009 and enjoy a relaxing holistic vacation. • Discover why 3,200 people have sailed with us over the last 5 cruises. • Bask in warm, gracious, Italian hospitality and service all while enjoying spirited lectures and vegetarian/vegan natural foods and beverages prepared by our own chefs and bakers. Regular cruise menu is optional. • Over 30 teachers and 120 holistic lectures, workshops and 12 cooking classes. Special Yoga Nidra and Integrative Relaxation workshops. • Private consultations and treatments† available. • Daily Yoga, Meditation, Pilates, Do-In, Run/Walk Stretch and AB Workouts. • Award-winning, environmentally-friendly ship.

$

1,195*

Lectures and Workshops Featuring World-renowned Teachers and Healers
T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.
Research scientist and Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D is author of the best selling book, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long Term Health.

Dr. Sherry Rogers
Sherry Rogers, M.D., treats emotional illness and chronic disease with diet,nutritional biochemistry,detoxification, and other lifestyle changes. One of this country's prominent environmental medicine practitioners, she has published 16 books, including Detoxify or Die.

Dr. Neal Barnard
Neal Barnard, M.D. is an internationally known integrative medicine researcher, founder of Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine and author of the vegetarian classic Food for Life.

• Swim, snorkel and dive in the crystal waters of the Caribbean. • Continuing Education Credits available. • Dancing, fun socials and singles events; vegan pizza and ice cream parties; cancer support group and recovery panel. • Also scheduled to appear: Dr. Christine Horner M.D., Dr. Will Tuttle Ph.D., Dr. Ronald Peters M.D., Chef Mark Hanna, Ohashi, Jessica Porter, Denny Waxman, Warren Kramer, Bob Carr, Robert Pirello, Lino Stanchich and Norio Kushi.

Christina Pirello
Christina is a nationally known vegetarian/ vegan chef, Emmy Award-winning TV celebrity hosting her own show, “Christina Cooks,” and author of several best-selling cookbooks such as Cooking the Whole Foods Way and Glow.

Yogi Amrit Desai
Renowned Yoga master and authority on holistic living. One of the earliest pioneers to bring Yoga to the West. Founder of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.

Dirk Benedict
Dirk is the author of Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy, which documents his life’s journey towards holistic health and recovery from prostate cancer. He is a world-renowned actor (The A Team, Battlestar Galactica, etc.). Benedict made his directing debut with his original screenplay CAHOOTS, starring Keith Carradine.

1-828-749-9537 For reservations in the U.S. call 1-800-496-0989 For reservations from outside the U.S. call 1-828-749-1959
For program information call For more details visit

www.atasteofhealth.org

*Rate is in US dollars, per person, based on double occupancy, minimum category. Includes holistic program. Government taxes, gratuities and fuel surcharges additional. Certain restrictions apply. †Additional charges apply. Ship’s Registry: Italy. 6025

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February 2009|9

Marketplace

                                       

 

www.mychefmayra.com chef@mychefmayra.com Call 702.372.4709
Eating vegan doesn't have to be boring. In fact, it is the most exciting way to eat! Fresh and  organically grown plant‐based foods are among nature's most healthful and delicious gifts. 

Private Chef Mayra provides**Baby Food Classes** plus these healthy services. ☺"A Seduction of the Senses" ☺ A flavor fusion to seduce your palate ☺ Private & Public Cooking Classes ☺ Sport Nutrition information-cooking tips. ☺ How to prepare foods as a Vegan or Vegetarian ☺Vegan Desserts & Meal delivery ☺ Guidance and coaching for healthy eating for you and your family Hire Chef Mayra Mention this ad and Save 25% on your next Private Service

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Marketplace
     

 

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Italian Greens and Reds
By Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, The Veggie Queen™ 
When you think of Italian food,  the first thing that comes to  mind is often pasta. For me,  though, it’s greens. That’s  probably because local farms  grow a lot of Italian greens,  including puntarelle, radicchio  and escarole.     I believe that many people  avoid Italian greens, some of which,  radicchio included, are actually red,  because they are bitter. Most Americans  don’t like bitter foods (think about arugula  for a flavor comparison).  I actually crave  bitter greens, especially in the spring when  my liver needs a good cleaning and most  tender greens, such as dandelion, start  emerging from the ground.     But, back to the greens. One of my Italian  sources, Judy Witts‐Francini of Divina  Cucina http://www.divinacucina.com/,  shared some information with me on  traditional Italian greens that I will pass on.     We started out with a  discussion of my favorite  green, which here in the  U.S. is called Dinosaur or  Lacinato kale. In Italy is  called cavalo nero or  black Tuscan kale. The  dark green, ruffled leaves  have a dense texture and earthy flavor,  even after they are cooked. This kale’s  narrow leaves add zip to soups, pasta  sauces and stews. It also works well in side  dishes, such as my  recipe for  Mediterranean  Greens.    There is debate  about whether it is  best to blanch  greens before  cooking or not. I  have prepared them both ways and often  now braise, rather than blanch, them. It’s  simpler and yields the same results. I find  that stripping the greens from the stems  makes them more palatable in either case.    Most Italian greens  taste great with garlic.  Witts‐Francini says,  “puntarelle (a relative  to endive and  escarole) is always  eaten raw in Rome,  sold at the markets  already cleaned and sliced into thin threads,  only needing to be “dressed” with the  typical anchovy, oil dressing with lemon.”  My suggestion for veganizing the dressing is  substituting a bit of miso for the anchovy. If  you want fat‐free, just drizzle the puntarelle  with fresh lemon juice.     Braising puntarelle or escarole seems to  take the bitterness out. The best way to do  this is by sautéing in a bit of oil, or dry  sautéing, and then adding a small amount  of vegetable stock for cooking, until the  greens are to your liking. I often add onions  and/or garlic in this process. 

A Tour of Italy

February 2009|12

  Witts‐Francini also  described a wonderful  salad called radicchio e  fagioli (or radicio e fasioli)  which is made from a  beautiful radicchio from  Castelfranco, that is  served shredded and dressed with oil and  vinegar and topped with a warm pinto  beans, some of which are pureed and  others left whole, to create a soup.  Personally, I’d prefer cannellini rather than  pinto beans, because they are creamier.    Witts‐Francini described being in Naples  and having broccoli rabe sautéed and  served as a side dish. It is often served  alongside sausage. Sounds like a good time  to serve up some Field Roast or Tofurky  sausages, if  you like.     The red  chunks in a  salad or  salad mix  are  radicchio.  Witts‐Francini’s favorite radicchio looks like  a pale green and red‐flecked flower (see  photo). She says that the leaves are more  delicate than the standard red type, and it’s  just slightly bitter. She remarks that  radicchio generally is eaten raw but can also  be grilled. Seems a shame to ruin the  delicate nature of the flowery‐type  radicchio with grilling but perhaps the  standard heading type or the other red one  (see photo) would work well. Again, cooking  mellows the flavor.    I recently made pesto using arugula, along  with basil, which was quite tasty. You can 

also cook arugula to mellow its flavor,  which is something not often done here  in the U.S.    If you are wary of  eating greens  because you think  that they taste  bitter, then cooking is  in order. My  Mediterranean Greens,  which I usually make  with Dinosaur kale,  collards, and purple,  Red Russian or other kale, combines a  variety of flavors to produce a sweet and  sour dish (agro dolce in Italian) that works  well as a side dish or combined with pasta,  served over farro, barley or polenta. I hope  that you like it.     Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, The  Veggie Queen ‐ Jill is a  Registered Dietitian and has  a Masters Degree in  Dietetics and Nutrition from  Florida International  University. After  graduating, she migrated to California and  began a private nutrition practice providing  individual consultations and workshops,  specializing in nutrition for pregnancy, new  mothers, and children.  You can find out  more about The Veggie Queen at  www.theveggiequeen.com.  
 

See Next Page for Jill’s Mediterranean  Greens Recipe 
 

A Tour of Italy

February 2009|13

Mediterranean Greens
I just love greens, especially in the winter when they taste the best. Here they are paired with  tangy, sweet and salty: a splash of balsamic vinegar, raisins or currants and olives. ‐ Jill 

Ingredients  1 tbsp. of olive oil (optional)  ½ cup of finely minced onion  2 pounds of greens, washed but not dried and center ribs removed, cut finely  ¼ cup of golden raisins or currants  Water or broth as needed  ¼ cup of finely chopped kalamata olives  1‐2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar  1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil (optional)  Freshly ground black pepper    Directions  Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté for 3‐4 minutes, until it turns translucent.  Add the greens and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the raisins or currants and cook until the greens turn bright green.  Stir in the olives.  If the greens get dry while cooking, add broth or water 1 tbsp. at a time being careful not  to let the mixture get to liquid.  Remove from the heat and let cool a bit.  Add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more vinegar, oil, or pepper as necessary.  Serve on crostini (Italian toasts) or with pasta.  Note:  It is easy to McDougallize this recipe by leaving out the oil.  It is still quite delicious.   
From The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment by Jill Nussinow, MS, RD 

 

A Tour of Italy

February 2009|14

Italian Cuisine thinking outside the pasta box
By Marty Davey, RD, MS 
 
What could a girl from a meat and potatoes, Irish  background know about Italian cuisine?   Um…tomatoes and pizza?  Putting my curiosity to  the test, I researched for some “real” cuisine and  found an abundance of ingredients.  Besides the  traditional red sauce spaghetti bowl, true Italian  dishes consist of eggplant, zucchini, summer  squash, fennel, grains, legumes.  Grains and  legumes?    Yes, much of Italian cooking is not merely  substituting rice cheese for its cow‐derived  alternative.  Here is a sample of the grains and  legumes used in Italian cooking.  Some are well‐ known food staples such as semolina, and others I  hadn’t known or thought of for years.  Since Chef  Jason has so many incredible vegetable dishes,  hopefully these will entice you to try the more the  protein‐dense ingredients of Italian gastronomy.  Farro – This grain,  also known as  Emmer  Wheat, was  what the  Roman legions  fed their  troops oh‐ so‐ many years  ago.  It was one of the early domesticated  plants in the Mideast.1  The grain almost  went out of existence or would have been  relegated to a tiny, local crop except that  the French introduced it into the high‐end  restaurant trade.  They found it worked well  with hardy soups and sauces.  While farro resembles spelt, the two are  extremely different with regards to cooking  methods.  Spelt can be cooked directly,  while farro needs to be soaked.  Farro also  has a strong texture and spelt can become  mushy.  Historically, farro was ground into a  paste and cooked.2  I found recipes for farro in soups from the  Emilia‐Romagna, Tuscany, and Garfagnana  areas.  They used all types of vegetables  including kale and other greens.  It is also  used as a cold dish with vegetables and  spices from many other areas of Italy.   Since spelt is a virtual twin, read any  packages closely to make sure you are  getting the real thing.  Semolina – Semolina is  not a grain itself,  rather a course  remnant of  durum wheat  particles  separated from the bran.  This is the heart  of the durum kernel or semolina.  There is a  soft semolina called “farina”, generally used  as a breakfast cereal. It is the hard and  coarse, ground semolina or “durum flour”  which is used to make pasta, couscous and  many bread products.3  The high gluten and  protein content allows the flour to be  shaped into the many pasta derivatives.4   

A Tour of Italy

February 2009|15

Polenta – When corn meal met Italian cooking  expertise, polenta was invented.  Originally  combined with farro or chestnut flour,  polenta can be milled fine or coarse to  create a mush or firm meal component such  as polenta cakes.  Polenta is found in  northern Italy and can be cooked with  mushrooms, rapini or other vegetables to  create a truly Italian dish.    In traditional cooking, polenta takes at least  an hour and required constant stirring.5   However, there are methods using a  microwave that take about 12 minutes.6   Polenta can also be used as a coating or  batter for baked vegetables or even made  into a simple cake for dessert and topped  with fruit compote.7   

Carnaroli is more popular on the other side  of the Atlantic.  What I found interesting is that Arborio is  cooked so differently than its Asian  counterpart.  Asian rices are added to  boiling water, lidded and boiled for a time.   Risotto is heated with oil, stirred until it  absorbs the oil, and then a stock is added.   We are all told not to lift the lid on Asian  rice; risotto is constantly stirred and made  in small batches.  Unlike rice which is fluffed  with a fork at the end of cooking time,  risotto should, in the words of Wisegeek,  “ooze on to the plate much like a lava flow.”   Could risotto be a tip of the hat to Pompeii?  Borlotti Beans – These beautiful beans come in red  and white streaked pods.  When the pods  are opened the beans have red and white  streaks in the opposite direction.  They may  not seem like a bean you can get in North  America, but according to the United States  Department of Agriculture, they are exactly  like cranberry beans found in many natural  foods stores throughout the US.10   Most  recipes researched simply had the beans  cooked until tender, not soft, and added a  few spices with olive oil.  They have a nutty  taste.  Though bold in color when raw, they  turn brown during the cooking process.   That’s something to keep in mind, if color is  key to your meal presentation.  Cannellini – These are  the ones used in  most Italian  soups, although  their origin is  Argentina.11   In  Tuscany, the  cannellini bean became a principal crop.  In  fact, Tuscans are known for their bean  consumption and are called, mangiafagioli,  translated to Bean Eaters.  Many beans  species were eaten throughout Italy;  however, since Cannellinis were from the  New World, they really didn’t take on  nationally until the 17th century.12  White  and delicate in flavor, the cooked beans 
February 2009|16

Risotto – When is rice, not rice, and when is pasta,  not pasta?  When it is risotto.  I have to  confess I had no idea they actually grew rice  in Italy.  In fact, Italy is the largest rice  producer in Europe, especially northern  Italy.  During the Middle Ages, rice was  considered medicinal and was used only in  seed form.  Then some nameless brain‐child  got the idea to plant it in the Po valley, and,  VOILA! the Italian rice market was born.   There is a natural water flow which floods  rice fields in the Piedmont and Lombardy  regions.  The hot summers also add to  necessary climate conditions for  cultivation.8  It was a small industry until  1839 when an unnamed friar ripped off  some seeds from the Philippines, planted  them and began experimenting to  germinate a disease resistant strain.  An  irrigation system was put together and in  the early 1900’s the Experimental Rice  Centre was established.    Risotto is made from one of three types of  rice grown in Europe: Arborio, Carnaroli or  Vialone nano.9  Many people confuse the  pasta Orzo with Arborio rice.  Orzo stays in  separate pieces while Arborio creams  together.  Arborio is the most popular rice  for risotto in the United States, whereas 
A Tour of Italy

stay in tact.  This makes them very versatile  as the base of a bean and veggie salad, hot  meals including zucchini and summer  squashes, antipasto spread with pickled  onions or as a lettuce salad topper.    Chick Peas – Is there  a cuisine  which doesn’t  use chick  peas  somewhere?   The origin of chick peas is not clear.  What is  clear is that Italian cooking includes the Ceci  peas [chick peas] for salads, soups, and  spreads.  There are a number of recipes  which call for cecis to be soaked for eight  hours or more.13  I haven’t found this  necessary.  I will soak them in hot water for  20 minutes before cooking, but not much  more is really needed.  Italians serve them  just cooked with oil and a few spices or as  part of more elaborate dishes.  With a  blender or food processor you can create  chick pea flour which is used to make a type  of polenta called panissa.  It is mixed with  onions and greens to make a one dish meal.   Sounds like lunch to me.14  Fava Beans ‐ Once  used as  currency, fava  beans are  traditionally  planted  November 2 or  All Souls Day, a holy day in the Catholic  religion.  Supposedly there are small cakes  made to resemble fava beans eaten that  day called, fave dei morti, or Beans of the  Dead.  Having a fava bean in your pocket is  considered good luck since you carry with  you the essentials of life.15  Fava beans are also known as broad beans  and are only available fresh a few weeks a  year.  They are labor intensive when used  fresh because you must first boil them to  open the skins.  Then, boil again.  However,  the flavor is worthy of some of the work.  
A Tour of Italy

Other than use in soups, fava beans are in  side dishes with artichokes, eggplant and a  host of vegetables and broths, including  one recipe with a mélange of root  vegetables.  One of the easiest and tastiest  is with onions, garlic and beet greens in a  fava bean puree.16  However, you use them;  they’ll increase your nutritional currency  exponentially.  Lentils – Back when I was  young, during the  Paleolithic and  Mesolithic ages  [13,000 – 9,000  B.C.], I used to  park my dinosaur at the Franchthi Cave in  Greece, and chow down on lentils.  They  didn’t serve lentils with coriander chutney  then, just a little salt.  And I have to confess  that I just couldn’t talk Esau, the guy from  the old Jewish and bible story, out of giving  up his birthright for a plate of them.17  That  was either one hungry dude or one great  plate of lentils.      Lentils didn’t hit it big in Italy until the  Bronze Age. [And Italians think they are so  cutting edge!  My people had already built  Stonehenge.]  After that it became a core  component of Italian cooking.  The obelisk  in St. Peter’s Square dates back to 37 A.D.  and was shipped from Egypt to Italy packed  in a crate of lentils.18  [I wondered where  the idea of packing peanuts came from.]  Two types of lentils are grown in Italy,  mainly in the south.  Neither strain was  stated as used more than another. Of  course, lentils are used in soups, but also  side dishes such as lentil fritters, and  appetizers.  On New Year’s Day, lentils are a  must.  They symbolize coins and bringing  financial success in the new year.19    Again, I found many recipes suggesting  soaking them for hours before use,  something I have not found necessary  especially if you are pressure cooking them. 

February 2009|17

I can’t end this section on beans without  referencing Maccu di San 'Gnuseppi, or Legume  soup for St. Joseph.  The story goes that one year  all of the crops failed in Sicily except for beans.  The  beans kept everyone from starvation.  The grateful  population gave thanks to St. Joseph for this food  crop.  The commemorative soup uses all of the  aforementioned dried seeds in a broth flavored  with a native herb, borragine, which can be  substituted with greens.20  Made at the spring  equinox, this dish incorporates the old winter  staples the housewife clears from her pantry  making room for the fresh yield of the coming  seasons.  So, beans and grains are used throughout Italy with  greens, onions, root vegetables, squash, fresh  herbs, and artichokes.  Oh yeah, they also have  some dishes that use . . . tomatoes. 
The Author  Marty Davey is a Registered  Dietitian and has a Masters  degree in Food and Nutrition  from Marywood University.  She became a vegetarian in  1980 when she discovered  that the chemicals in  American meat made them  unsellable to Europeans. She and her husband have  raised their son as a vegan. She teaches nutrition and  has a private practice specializing in assisting clients  transitioning to a plant‐based regime step by step. Her  website is www.martydavey.com.   

                                                                                                        
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 Wisegeek.  What is Farro? Retrieved from  http://www.wisegeek.com/what‐is‐farro.htm on January 26,  2009.  2  Phillips K. [nd]. Farro: Grain of the Legions. About.com.  Retrieved from  http://italianfood.about.com/library/rec/blr0002.htm on  January 26, 2009.  3  Semolina, Wikipedia.  Retrieved from  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semolina on January 26, 2009.  4  Conent, P. [nd] Grain products basics – semolina and  couscous. Epicurean Table. Retrieved from  http://www.epicureantable.com/articles/agrainsemolina.htm  on January 26, 2009. 
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 Wikipedia. [nd] Polenta. Retrieved from  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polenta on January 26, 2009.  6  Cooks.com. [nd] Microwave polenta. Retrieved from  http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1629,148162‐ 224203,00.html on January 26, 2009.  7  Mele D. [2008] Olive Oil Polenta Cake With Poached Pears.  Italian Food Forever! Retrieved from  http://www.italianfoodforever.com/ on January 26, 2009.  8  Italian Institute for Trade. Five centuries of Italian Rice.  Retrieved from  http://www.italtrade.com/showroom/riso.htm on January  27, 2009.  9  Wisegeek. [nd] Is Risotto Rice or Pasta? Wisegeek.   Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/is‐risotto‐rice‐or‐ pasta.htm on January 27, 2009. 10  Ehler JT. [nd] Borlotti Beans. Foodreference.com. Retrieved  from  http://www.foodreference.com/html/fborlottibeans.html on  January 27, 2009.  11  Ehler JK. [nd] Cannellini Beans. Food Reference. Retrieved  from  http://www.foodreference.com/html/fcannellinibeans.html  on January 27, 2009.  12  Belanger L. [2006] Cannellini Beans. HighBeam research.  Retrieved from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2‐ 7946313.html on January 27, 2009.  13  Phillips K. [nd] Ceci! Chick peas or garbanzos. About.com.  Retrieved from  http://italianfood.about.com/od/aboutingredients/a/aa0211 00.htm on January 27, 2009.  14  Phillips K. [nd] Panissa. About.com. Retrieved from  http://italianfood.about.com/od/primivari/r/blr0687.htm on  January 27, 2009.  15  Wikipedia. [2009] Vicia faba. Wikipedia.  Retrieved from  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicia_faba on January 27, 2009.  16  Phillips K. [nd] Fava Beans and Beet Greens. About.com.  Retrieved from  http://italianfood.about.com/od/legumesandpasta/r/blr0615 .htm on January 27, 2009.  17  Wright C. [nd] A short history of lentils. Clifford A  Wright.com. Retrieved from  http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/food/entries/display.ph p/id/61/ on January 27, 2009.  18  Barrett J. 2004. Fagioli. Pennsylvania. Rodale.  19  Phillips K. [nd] Lenticchie, That’s Lentils! About.com.  Retrieved from  http://italianfood.about.com/od/aboutingredients/a/aa0122 00.htm on January 27, 2009.  20  Phillips K. [nd] Legume Soup for Saint Joseph's ‐ ‐ Maccu di  San 'Gnuseppi. About.com. Retrieved from  http://italianfood.about.com/od/legumesandpasta/r/blr0689 .htm on January 27, 2009.  . 

February 2009|18

The Bountiful Italian
By Chef Philip Gelb 
Growing up in Brooklyn, I became enamored by  Italian food at an early age.  Although my approach  to food has dramatically changed since childhood, I  still retain a love of Italian food and the delightful  pastas and breads, incredible red sauces, rich olive  oils, all sorts of green vegetables and of course  a  rich array of frozen and other desserts.  Italy is a  huge food culture with a variety of very diverse  regions and approaches offering incredible culinary  treasures for everyone thus for obvious reasons,  Italian food is enjoyed by people from all over the  world and one can find Italian chefs in all major  cities around the world. In addition, one can find in  many parts of the planet great chefs who have  gone to Italy to learn one of the world great  culinary traditions.  Northern California shares a  similar climate to the Mediterranean thus we can  grow most of the ingredients found in Italian  cuisine and of course both regions are known for  wine and olives. And of course, we can use our  incredibly rich, 12 month a year harvest along with  Italian techniques to create some delightful  fusions.    All Mediterranean cuisines have a very large  proportion of vegetarian dishes found in most  every day meals.   And it is relatively easy to  change some of the meat dishes into tofu or seitan  dishes. However, dairy tends to play a major  portion in the diet of Italy.  In recent years, more  packaged, vegan cheezes are appearing on the  market. Unfortunately these tend to be highly  processed and when they melt, appear more like  melted plastic than mozzarella.  To quote Alton  Brown, that is not exactly “good eats”. In my  kitchen, we prefer to keep ingredients closer to  their natural states and we make non melting  cheez out of nuts or the very ancient and diverse  ingredient from China and Japan, tofu.       
A Tour of Italy

The Recipes 
Sautéd Rapini and Capers  Wild Mushroom Risotto  Blood Orange and Fennel Salad   Lasagna (dough, almond ricotta, cashew parm, red  sauce)  Vegan Frittata  Chocolate Ice Cream  Pizza with Pesto and Tofu “Ricotta”  Polenta with Pistachios  Stuffed Squash Blossoms  Griddled Radicchio   

sautéed rapini with olives and capers 
serves 4 

 
There are so many varieties of green vegetables in  the brassica family. Italian chefs frequently employ  many of these slightly bitter or mustardy kinds of  greens in a variety of soups, stews and simple side  dishes. A significant part of our diet comes from  this family of vegetable, providing incredible flavors  and delightful textures as well as a fine source of  nutrients and fiber. Throughout the planet we find  many traditional ways to prepare greens of all  types. This is a simple and very quick way to  prepare rapini, one of the many tasty Italian  greens.    1 pound bunch rapini, washed and cut in 2 inch  pieces  4 cloves garlic sliced  1 shallot, sliced thinly  5 green olives, chopped  1 tsp. capers  2 tbsp. olive oil  ¼ cup wine (zinfandel works nicely; marsala works  great but do not use it if you are already using it in  the risotto or other dish on the same course)  Black pepper 
February 2009|19

Preheat frying pan over medium ‐high heat with oil  and sauté garlic and shallot for a 30 seconds and  then add rapini, stirring well to coat and sauté for 2  minutes or till vegetable starts to slightly wilt.  Add  olives, capers and wine, immediately cover for 30  seconds. Remove from heat, add black pepper and  serve immediately    options  almost any green vegetable can be substituted  such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, broccoli rabe,  etc.  use black olives  add toasted pine nuts   

wild mushroom risotto 
serves 6 

deglaze the pot with marsala wine, cooking till it is  evaporated. Add one cup of stock at a time, stirring  frequently. When it is absorbed add another and  keep this process going till the rice is cooked,  usually takes about 20 minutes.  Add the cooked  mushrooms, chopped parsley and black pepper,  stir well and serve immediately    options  top the risotto with roasted butternut squash as a  garnish for color and flavor  garnish with toasted pine nuts  substitute some of the parsley with fresh basil  in summertime, add fresh peas in the last few  minutes of cooking   

blood orange fennel salad 
6 servings 

 
Risotto is one of my favorite dishes! When I first  saw my roommate and old friend, Phil Ballman  preparing risotto while I was in graduate school, I  laughed.  I knew the “Asian” method of cooking rice  and that was close the lid and do not touch it till it  is done! And here my crazy roommate is sitting over  a hot stove and stirring constantly. However, I  stopped laughing when I tasted the results. Risotto  is an immensely popular dish that is not difficult to  prepare and certainly worth the effort.     1 cup Arborio rice  1 onion chopped  1 leek chopped  1 pound wild mushrooms, cleaned thoroughly and  chopped  5 cloves garlic minced  1 1/2 tsp sea salt  1/2 cup marsala wine  6 cups seaweed/mushroom stock  1/4 cup chopped parsley  freshly cracked black pepper  4 tbsp olive oil    Keep the stock at simmer.  In a preheated frying  pan, sauté mushrooms with garlic and 1 tbsp. of  olive oil for 5 minutes or till well cooked. Set aside.   Warm up a stainless steel pot and add 3 tbsp. olive  oil and sea salt, leek and onion and sauté for 3  minutes.  Add rice and sauté for a minute, then 
A Tour of Italy

 
Organic blood oranges are easy to find in Northern  California in mid and late winter. One of the many,  truly unique and delightful members of the citrus  family frequently finds its way into salads and  desserts in my winter menus. Here it is paired with  a classic Italian vegetable and the dressing for my  very popular blood orange fennel salad shows some  of my Japanese influences.    dressing  Juice and zest of 2 blood oranges  5 tbsp. olive oil  1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil  4 tbsp. champagne vinegar  1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar  2 tsp. agave syrup  1 tbsp. shoyu  ½ tsp. sea salt    Blend all of the ingredients together.    salad  1 small bulb fennel, shaved thinly  3 blood oranges, peeled and sectioned  2 cups baby romaine leaves  12 pecan halves, toasted, chopped    Mix the ingredients and top with the dressing.   
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lasagna   
Who does not love lasagna? Layers of noodles with  vegetables and sauces.  There is no one recipe for  this classic dish; everyone has to find and discover  their own approach.  This dish takes time. Making  your own noodles is a lot of fun to do with your  family and friends.    noodles  The garbanzo bean flour adds protein to the dough  which helps to give a nice texture.  1 cup semolina flour  ½ cup garbanzo bean flour  2/3 cup white flour  ¾ tsp. sea salt  2/3 cup water    Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add flour,  knead by hand or in machine for 10 minutes, till  very smooth. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.  Divide the dough into 8 parts and then use your  pasta machine to roll out down to the second to  smallest setting. You will not need all this dough  for one lasagna.    red sauce  In summer and fall, I always use fresh, locally  grown organic tomatoes and in northern California,  we have access to a wide array of heirloom  varieties at farmers markets and some shops.  I  really dislike canned food but in the winter there is  one exception and those are tomatoes.    4 cloves garlic, minced  1 onion, fine diced  1 carrot, fine diced  1 red pepper, fine diced  1 stalk celery, fine diced  32 oz. can tomatoes or 15 roma tomatoes, diced  1 tsp. thyme  1 tsp. oregano  1 tsp. sea salt  1 tbsp. maple syrup or agave  ½ tsp. black pepper  ½ cup basil leaves, finely chopped  3 tbsp. olive oil  1 cup red wine 
A Tour of Italy

  In a preheated stainless steel pot (do not use cast  iron pots for tomato sauces), fry onions till  translucent in olive oil with sea salt. Add the rest of  the vegetables and cover for 5 minutes, add the  rest of the ingredients, cover, lower heat and cook  for one hour.     ricotta cheez  Ricotta is easy to imitate! This kind of cheese is  about the texture, not the flavor. We can easily do  this with nuts or with soft tofu.    ½ cup raw almonds  2 cups water  3 tbsp. lemon  3 tbsp. kudzu or arrowroot  ½ tsp. sea salt  1 tsp. agave   1 tbsp. olive oil    Bring water to boil and blanch almonds for 1  minute. Place almonds AND hot water in food  processor and process till very smooth. This will  take at least a minute. Add the rest of the  ingredients and process.  Place this into a small  saucepan, over low heat, stir until it thickens. Put  in bowl and refrigerate till set.    vegan I dare not call it parmesagn!   1 cup raw cashews  ½ cup nutritional yeast  1 tbsp. white miso (saikyo miso is best!)  ½ tsp. sea salt    Put all ingredients in food processor and process  till smooth.     vegetable options  option 1  sliced zucchini, roasted  sliced eggplant, roasted  sliced portabella, roasted  slice any combination of these vegetables in 1/3  inch slices, toss with a small amount of safflower  oil and ½ tsp. sea salt and roast at 425, covered for  30 minutes.     
February 2009|21

option 2  sauté ½ pound mushrooms in olive oil till slightly  cooked and releases its water.    assembling  Have everything ready to go before you start  rolling out the noodles! Roll the noodles out as you  place them in the pan.  Take a 13” by 9” baking pan  and oil the bottom and place a small amount of  sauce on the bottom to cover.  Place a layer of  noodle and spread some of the “ricotta” on that.   Add a layer of vegetable.  Alternate layers of  noodles, sauce, vegetables, and the 2 cheezes.   Bake in preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes. Let  cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving   

chocolate ice cream   
Ice cream is one of the supreme comfort foods for  many children and adults and perhaps the hardest  thing for me to become vegan was ice cream!  I  could not possibly imagine a life without this  special frozen dessert and my samplongs  of packaged vegan ice creams left me very  dissatisfied because of flavor, texture and  ingredients. So I had to set off on making my own.     After much research, I ended up with some  incredibly satisfying vegan ice cream flavors that  are loved by non vegans as well as vegans! For the  last two years, most of my deserts have included  some of my very popular ice creams and I have  developed dozens of flavors.     For soymilk, I always make my own and it has 2  ingredients, organic soybeans and filtered water.   Most packaged soy and other grain and nut milks  have a lot of additive, sweeteners, etc. If you use a  packaged one make sure the ingredients are only  soybeans and water. It is highly suggested to only  consume organic soybeans as non organic soy is  highly genetically modified.    You will need 2 special pieces of equipment to make  good ice cream; a high speed blender and an ice  cream maker. Ice cream makers come in many  styles, the best ones either have compressors built  in or the old fashioned styles with the ice buckets.  The ones where you freeze the bowl overnight do  not work well as they tend to defrost before your  ice cream has set.    3 cups soymilk (unsweetened)  ½ cup raw cashews  ½ cup maple syrup  1 tbsp. kudzu or arrowroot  2 tsp. vanilla extract  ¼ tsp. sea salt  ½ cup 100% cocoa powder    In a high speed blender place:  cashews, maple  syrup, kudzu, and 1 cup soymilk.   Process on high  till very smooth’ you want the cashews to be  “juiced” with no grit or powdery residual.   Place 
February 2009|22

vegan frittata   
a great breakfast or brunch or even a dinner treat.   We can easily replicate the texture of a frittata with  silken tofu colored with turmeric.  Use your imagination for fillings. Here is a basil  shitake one. Zuchini, artichoke, sun dried tomatoes  are all delightful additions or substitutes.    1 pound silken tofu  ½ tsp. turmeric  2 tsp. kudzu or arrowroot  1 shallot minced  3 cloves garlic, minced  1 tsp. sea salt  Freshly cracked black pepper  20 basil leaves, chiffonade  10 shitake, julienned  2 tbsp brandy or marsala  Smoked paprika    In food processor, place silken tofu, kudzu and  turmeric and process till very smooth.  Preheat  oven to 400.  Preheat frying pan, over medium  high heat add olive oil, shallots, garlic and salt and  sauté 1 minute over medum‐high heat. Add shitake  and basil and sauté 1 minute, add brandy, cover  and let steam‐sauté for 10 seconds. Add this to the  tofu mixture.  Ladle the tofu‐mushroom mixture  onto an oiled baking sheet, creating circles the size  of an adult palm.  Sprinkle with smoke paprika and  bake for 25 minutes. 
A Tour of Italy

this mixture into a stainless steel pot and over low  heat, whisking continuously, bring to simmer. You  must constantly whisk the mixture or it will stick  and burn. Continue till it is very thick, remove from  heat and pour back into blender.  Add the rest of  the ingredients and blend till smooth.  Place in ice  cream maker and follow the instructions for your  ice cream maker.    options  Add 1 of the following  ¾ tsp. cardamom  1 tsp. cinnamon  ¼ cup rum  ½ cup toasted, chopped pecans or almonds or  walnuts  ½ cup dark chocolate chips  ½ cup dried blueberries or cherries or raspberries  ¼ cup madeira   

Pizza   
As I mentioned earlier, I grew up in Brooklyn. ‘Nuff  said, I LOVE pizza and need to consume it on a semi  regular basis. Making pizza at home has difficulties  as ideally we want to bake at incredibly high  temperatures, up to 800 degrees! Home ovens  usually stop at 475 and few of us have the fortune  to have our own wood fired ovens in our homes  where we can play with such high temperatures. A  pizza stone is very helpful for all pizza and bread  baking in home ovens and turn it up to the highest  possible temperature you have. For me, I prefer  simple when it comes to pizza, not a piled up  mound of toppings, but very sparingly topped is my  preference. Again, rather than go for a fake melting  highly processed cheez, I prefer to either go  cheeseless or the option of a tofu based ricotta.    dough  1 cup white unbleached flour  ¾ cup semolina flour  ½ tsp. yeast  ½ tsp. sea salt  ½ tsp. agave  1 ¼ cup water   

Place all the dry ingredients in a stand mixer. Add  water and let it knead for 25 minutes. This  produces a very wet dough.  Cover and let rise  about 6 hours or overnight    basil pesto sauce  3 cups basil  1 cup parsley  1/3 cup toasted pine nuts  3 cloves garlic  1 tsp. salt  1 tbsp. white miso (saikyo is best)  ½ cup olive oil    Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend  till it forms a paste.    tofu ricotta  1 pound medium or firm tofu  2 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped  3 tbsp. lemon juice   1 tbsp. olive oil  ¾ tsp. sea salt    Mash the tofu and blend the other ingredients in    assembling  Preheat oven to 475 with the stone in the oven.   Divide dough into 2 halves.  Toss dough into a  circle.  Spread pesto on the dough.  Add small  dollops of the tofu ricotta.  Place on stone and  bake 13‐15 minutes, till bottom is starting to  brown.   

polenta with pistachios and fennel   
1 cup polenta   3 cups stock  1 cup unsweetened soymilk  1 tsp. sea salt  1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped  2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped  2 tbsp. olive oil  ¼ cup tbsp. diced fennel  ¼ cup diced red pepper  1¼ cup red onion, diced  2 cloves garlic, minced  ¼ cup chardonnay or other fruity white wine 
February 2009|23

A Tour of Italy

3 tbsp. pistachios, toasted, chopped  Freshly cracked black pepper    Preheat frying pan, add oil, fennel, red pepper, red  onion, garlic and salt and sauté for 2 minutes or till  vegetables are soft. Add wine and herbs, cover,  simmer one minute, remove from heat and set  aside.  In saucepan, bring to simmer the soymilk  and stock and add polenta while stirring. Continue  cooking over low heat, stirring constantly for 30  minutes. Add the cooked vegetables to the  polenta. Press the polenta in a rectangular tray to  shape and set. Or you can shape them into small  cakes.   

The Author    Philip Gelb was born and raised in  Brooklyn NY. He ended up in  Florida where he received a BA in  cultural anthropology and did  graduate studies in  ethnomusicology.  For the last  decade he has lived in the San  Francisco Bay Area where he  works as a professional musician  and music teacher as well as a vegan chef. As a  musician he has performed all over the United  States and in Japan, Europe and Canada.  5 years  ago he started In the Mood for Food, a vegetarian  personal chef and catering company.  He has been  vegetarian since 17 and after becoming vegan 4  years ago, he changed his business to strictly vegan  cuisine. Although totally self taught as a chef, he is  a very popular vegan cooking teacher, hosting  monthly classes.  His other interests include hiking,  travelling, and he is an avid film buff. Of course, he  loves cooking, especially for friends as well as  professionally.  You can reach Chef Philip Gelb at  www.myspace.com/inthemoodforfood.        

stuffed squash blossoms 
serves 4    8 small zucchini or yellow squash with blossoms  intact  1 pound silken tofu  2 tbsp. raw cashews  2 tbsp. basil  1 tbsp. parsley  2 tbsp. lemon juice  1 tsp. sea salt  2 tbsp. pine nuts  Cornmeal to coat  ¼ cup soymilk  Olive oil for pan frying    In food processor, place silken tofu, cashews, salt,  and lemon juice and process till smooth.   Add  basil, parsley and pine nuts to this mixture.  Stuff  this mixture into squash blossoms.  Brush squash  and blossoms with soymilk, coat with cornmeal and  pan fry in olive oil, turning every 2 minutes or when  starting to brown.   

griddled radicchio 
  An incredibly simple and delightful side dish.    Cut radicchio in half and rub each half lightly with  sea salt.  Place face down on a very hot griddle and  cover. Cook 2 minutes or till very caramelized.  Add  3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, cover and let steam till  cooked through, about 30 seconds. 
A Tour of Italy February 2009|24

Easy Italian
quick and easy ideas for making delicious Italian meals vegan
By Chef Mayra
I can image being a Vegan in Italy. With an  emphasis on fresh local produce, olive oil instead  of butter, and pizza without cheese, eating vegan  in Italy is a breeze. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t  require a little effort, because meat is definitely on  all the menus, but once you know what to look for,  I am guessing you will  have no problem enjoying  local Italian cuisine as a joyful vegan.  So with that  in mind let’s have a tour of Italy, Dr. Flavor’s style.    Each region of Italy has a distinct cuisine and  traditional dish incorporating fresh ingredients and  local products. Links to Italian recipes and articles  on Italian food ‐ it's not just red sauce and pizza!  And learn about Italian wines and the history,  tradition, and culture of wine‐making in Italy.    Italy doesn't have a vegan tradition per se. In the  past, much of the population couldn't afford to eat  meat more than once a week and as a result eating  meat often was a status symbol.  This doesn't mean  there aren’t any vegetarian recipes, however.  Minestrone comes to mind, and there are many  other meatless dishes that will work very well as  the centerpiece of a vegan meal. Add to them  tossed salad and a wine (white, probably), and  you're in business!    Here are a couple of mixes for you to have an  Italian vacation in your kitchen:  (choose organic is possible)    word pestle), in reference to the sauce's crushed  herbs and garlic.    Instead of the parmesan I use brewer's yeast, or  soy/rice parmesan, or a mixture of both.   • 1 bunch fresh basil (a nice full handful)   • ¾ cup pine nuts  • 5 whole cloves garlic   • ½ tsp. salt  • several fresh grinds of black pepper, or ½  tsp. already ground   • 2 oz.  medium tofu   • ¼ cup yeast and/or soy parm   • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil       Combine all ingredients EXCEPT OIL in the bowl of  a food processor.  Process until semi‐smooth.  With processor running, add oil in a continuous  stream.   Toss with pasta; serve on toasted bread with  tomatoes, etc.   All of these amounts are approximate.  Adjust them to your own taste.  It's pretty hard to mess up.   I often use other herbs besides basil.  Right now there's a cilantro pesto in the fridge, and  last week was basil‐mint.   Walnuts or almonds can be used in place of the  pine nuts, which are awfully expensive (I prefer  walnuts).   If you like tons of garlic, add as much as you want,  but the more garlic you add the longer you should  let it sit before eating.  Pesto keeps very well and is delicious the next day.  It freezes well, too.   A dash of Dr. Bronner's liquid aminos is nice in  pesto.    

PESTO Vegan STYLE with Several Ideas for  Pesto Flavors 
  Pesto (Italian ['pesto], Genoese ['pestu]) is a sauce  originating in Genoa in the Liguria region of  northern Italy (pesto alla genovese). The name is  the contracted past participle of pestâ ("to pound,  to crush", from the same Latin root as the English 

A Tour of Italy

February 2009|25

Spinach Linguine with Lemon, Asparagus  and Spring Herbs 
 
• • • • • • • • • • •

2 tbsp. olive oil   2 tbsp. vegan margarine   1 large bunch scallions, including half of the  greens ‐‐ thinly sliced   2 ½ tsp. grated lemon zest   1 tbsp. fresh thyme, sage, or tarragon ‐‐  finely chopped   Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste   2 pounds fresh asparagus ‐‐ tough ends  removed   1 pound  spinach linguine   4 tbsp. pine nuts ‐‐ toasted   3 tbsp. fresh parsley ‐‐ chopped   2 tbsp. fresh snipped chives, plus blossoms ‐ ‐ if available   Chef’s Note: Use Vegan Cheese (mozzarella)  to garnish your pasta. Great light dish  paired with “Organic WHITE” wine... YUM ~  VIVA La VEGAN 

When the water boils, salt it, add the asparagus,  and cook until partially tender, about 3 to 4  minutes.  Scoop it out, add it to the scallions, and continue  cooking.   Cook the pasta, then add it to the pan with some of  the water clinging to the strands.  Raise the heat and stir in the remaining oil, the  pine nuts, parsley, chives, pepper to taste, and a  few tablespoons of cheese, if desired.  Divide among pasta plates, grate a little vegan  cheese over each portion, and garnish with the  chive blossoms (if available).    

Vegan Rotini SO EASY    
• • • • • • • • • • • •

    Linguine (also spelled linguini) is a form of pasta —  flat like fettuccine and trenette, but narrow like  spaghetti. The name means "little tongues" in  Italian. According to the making of pasta history,  linguine originates from the Campania region of  Italy. While spaghetti traditionally accompanies  tomato dishes, linguine is often served with pesto.  Linguine is slightly wider than spaghetti, and there  is a companion product called linguini fini which is  similar in width to spaghetti. In most recipes  spaghetti and linguine are interchangeable.    Cook the linguini according to package directions.  I  suggest cooking linguini pasta until al dente as well.  While water is heating for the pasta, heat half the  oil and butter in a wide skillet over low heat.  Add the scallions, lemon zest, thyme, and a few  pinches of salt and cook slowly, stirring  occasionally.   Meanwhile, slice 3‐inch tips off the asparagus, the  slice the remaining stalks diagonally or make a roll  cut. 

1 tbsp. olive oil   3 cups sliced zucchini   1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms   ½ cup chopped green bell pepper   ¼ cup chopped onion   2 cloves garlic ‐‐ minced   1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes – un drained  & chopped   1 tsp. chopped fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. dried   ½ tsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1/4 tsp.  dried   ¼ tsp. sea salt or to taste   ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper   2 cups hot cooked rotini  

  Rotini is a type of spiral pasta, related to fusilli, but  with a tighter helix, i.e. with a smaller pitch.  The  name derives from the Italian for twists.  Rotini  originated from Northern Italy and the tight twists  help them retain a wide variety of sauces better.   They are often used in pasta salads with pesto or  tomato‐based sauces.  Rotini is most often made  from refined (white) wheat flour, although varieties  made from whole wheat flour, brown rice, or other  grains are also available.  It is very similar to fusilli,  another type of corkscrew‐shaped pasta, but fusilli  is thinner. Rotini should not be confused with  rotelle ("wagon wheel" pasta).    Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add zucchini and next 4 ingredients and cook,  stirring constantly, 5 minutes. 
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A Tour of Italy

Add tomato and next 4 ingredients; bring to a boil,  and remove from heat.  Add cooked pasta and toss gently.  Serve immediately.    What do you think? Can you create your dish?  You  are the chef in your kitchen….The possibilities are  just amazing.  Have fun!    E' semplicemente delizioso.....   Buon appetito  The Author 
Chef Mayra has been in the  “healthy eating and cooking”  industry for over 11 years and has  certifications in sports nutrition,  macrobiotic cooking, vegan and  vegetarian, holistic, and feng shui  cuisine. She started her career as a  cook by learning and  experimenting with French, Caribbean, Southern, Cajun,  and West African cuisine.  Chef Mayra is a chef  instructor and conducts a variety of classes and  demonstrations geared towards vegan athletes,  personal trainers, and anyone who would like to live a  healthier life. “Dr. Flavor” can make healthy cooking  easier by becoming your personal chef!  Visit chef Mayra  at www.mychefmayra.com or call her at 702‐372‐4709. 

 

A Tour of Italy

February 2009|27

Easy Sprouts!
winter greens in any season
By Liz Lonetti
It has been very hard talking with my Grandpa back  in Minnesota about the weather without feeling a  little guilty – he was telling me about 30 degree  below zero wind chills – while I’m  looking out over my beautiful and  productive winter garden beds.  Of  course I remind myself that summer  here in Phoenix will come again,  and Gramps will get his revenge;  but as he lamented the sad looking  and ridiculously priced produce in  the stores, I found inspiration for  this month’s article.      In many climates, wintertime can be  challenging to find fresh, vibrant  and nutrient packed foods on a  budget.   Growing up in Minnesota,  we relied heavily on frozen and  canned veggies to see us through  the long, dark winters of the ‘frozen  tundra’ (which is probably why I still  get cold shivers looking at canned peas in the  grocery store).  A better solution to getting your  daily dose of green things is to sprout them  yourself!      Sprouting is a very easy and inexpensive way to get  great nutrition, not just in winter, but anytime of  the year!  There are so many ways to use sprouted  grains, nuts and seeds. You could sprout your oats  before making oatmeal or add sprouted lentils to  your pancakes for breakfast.   Some of my favorite  sandwiches and salads feature sprouted radish  seeds for that little extra kick of flavor.  You can put  sprouts in smoothies, soups, baked goods, dips &  spreads ‐ even desserts!      So how does one go about harnessing the power of  sprouts in your own home?  There are many  different methods, I’ll start with the first one I had 
A Tour of Italy

success with – using a simple kitchen colander with  lentils.      While living in California, Dan and  I developed a tradition of having  pancakes every Saturday morning  for breakfast.  Well, a traditional  pancake is not very nutritious and  I am a firm believer in consuming  as many nutrients as possible per  calorie.  So I started thinking  about how to up the nutritional  content, while maintaining a taste  that we both loved, and the  sprouted lentil blueberry pancake  was born!  On Wednesday or  Thursday evening I would take  about half a cup of lentils and soak  them in warm water overnight.  In  the morning I would rinse them in  a colander that I hung over the  sink and then rinse them again in  the evening before heading to bed.  Every day,  morning and evening, they would get another rinse  and by the weekend they were ready to add to the  pancake batter.  I would always make lots of  pancakes, so I could freeze them for later in the  week – they were so yummy!    Of course after moving to Arizona, I discovered that  my time‐tested colander method no longer worked  – the air was just too dry to keep the little sprouts  going on just a twice daily rinse.  I had to start  experimenting again and in the course of my  research I came across a most valuable resource.   The Sprout People (www.sproutpeople.com) had  just what I was looking for, a simple device that  worked marvelously for my climate, the ‘Easy  Sprout Sprouter’.  It was perfect for keeping the  lentils moist enough to sprout, and because it was  so successful and easy, I began experimenting with 
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many  other types  of sprouts.   There is a  wealth of  info on  their  website  and I was  inspired to  find new  favorites.   Soon they  got me to  try peas,  beans,  broccoli,  and  arugula,  just to name a few!  Eventually I came to realize  that I love radish sprouts, but unfortunately that is 

one of the few sprouts that didn’t work as perfectly  as the others in the Easy Sprout Sprouter, they  never got green enough for my tastes.      It was only last month that I stumbled across my  other favorite sprouting device at our local Asian  market, the ‘Natural Life Composition’  (www.rt4u.co.kr/eng/ceogreeting.html).  The ‘NCL’  is manufactured by a Korean company and the  instructions made it clear that they had used some  flawed translation software ‐ not to worry though,  since the pictures and photos are enough to get it  set up and working properly.  This device has a  large clear dome fitting over ceramic disks that sit  on a water reservoir.   The little sprouts are  protected from drying out while staying exposed to  enough light to become very green.  The radish  sprouts that come out of it are nothing short of  miraculous‐ spicy and a great addition to salads  and sandwiches!   

Sprouted Lentil Blueberry Pancakes
  Pancakes are definitely worth experimenting with to find the perfect recipe for your tastes! This recipe has been modified from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s “Vegan with a Vengeance,” a book that I recommend highly. Sift together: 1 ¼ cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill) 2 tsp Baking Powder 1 tsp Cinnamon Blend together: 1 ½ cups Rice or Soy Milk 1 tbsp Flax Seed 1 tsp Vanilla 1 tsp Cinnamon Fold into the batter: 1 ½ cups Blueberries, either fresh or frozen (defrosted and rinsed) Mix the liquids into the dry ingredients, but don’t over mix. Let the batter rest for at least 20 minutes. Depending on your batter, you might want to add some additional liquid to keep the batter thin enough. Preheat the skillet (I use cast iron) to just lower than medium (on my gas stove the setting is just over 4 out of 10), lightly grease the skillet if you are not using a non-stick pan. When water drops on the skillet and splutters, the griddle is ready. Ladle the batter onto the griddle and cook until the edges look a bit dry and have lots of bubbles in the center. Flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.
A Tour of Italy February 2009|29

Sprouts are a perfect supplement to your diet,  especially when the weather is particularly  uncooperative for gardening.  It really is as easy as  soaking some lentils and keeping them moist  enough over a couple days to start growing – go  ahead and give sprouting a try!                                                                                       
A Tour of Italy

The Author  As a professional urban designer,  Liz Lonetti is passionate about  building community, both  physically and socially.  She  graduated from the U of MN with  a BA in Architecture in 1998. She  also serves as the Executive  Director for the Phoenix  Permaculture Guild, a non‐profit organization  whose mission is to inspire sustainable living  through education, community building and  creative cooperation  (www.phoenixpermaculture.org).  A long time  advocate for building greener and more inter‐ connected communities, Liz volunteers her time and  talent for other local green causes.  In her spare  time, Liz enjoys cooking with the veggies from her  gardens, sharing great food with friends and  neighbors, learning from and teaching others.  To  contact Liz, please visit her blog site  www.phoenixpermaculture.org/profile/Liz   Resources  www.urbanfarm.org  www.phoenixpermaculture.org                                       

February 2009|30

7 Simple Strategies to Kill Cravings
By Dr. Leslie Van Romer 
Americans are well‐aware of common addictions:  smoking, caffeine, alcohol, amphetamines,  prescription pain meds, sleeping pills, and of  course illegal drugs, such as cocaine and heroine.  However, most of us are blind to this country’s  biggest addiction of all: Food. The shocking truth is  that too much weight now kills more people than  cigarette smoking.     Yes, food is addictive – as we all can attest.  Whether it’s a physical, mental, emotional,  conditional, cultural, or all‐of‐the‐above addiction  makes no difference. We’re hooked, and that’s why  it’s so tough to beat those cravings that loudly lure  us in, no matter how much we try to think or talk  ourselves out of them.     For some of us, it’s sweets that woo; for others, it’s  salt. It can be greasy chips we choose, or diet pop  we gulp. Bread soothes, meat rules, cheese pleads.  Countless combos connive to command and  control. And let’s not forget the dark devil himself,  a seductive master who leaves us weak in the  knees and vacant of sense…chocolate.     Whichever cravings hold you hostage, these seven  strategies can help you escape – freeing you to lose  weight, sidestep diseases, and build health.      1. Satisfy Your Hunger Drive    You must control your hunger drive to lose and  maintain ideal weight – a mythical cultural mantra  you may believe. When you fail to control your  hunger and give in once more to your cravings, you  feel inherently weak, lacking will power and self‐ control. Delete that myth from your brain. Your  hunger drive cannot be controlled. It is a natural  instinct, and, like all human instincts, it keeps you  alive.    
A Tour of Italy

When you’re thirsty, you drink. When you’re  sleepy, you sleep. When you’re hungry, guess  what? You should eat. Simply fill up on the right  foods that satisfy your hunger drive (see Strategy  #2). Yippee! You are now free to eat until you’re  full.     Remember to listen to your brain and stop eating  before your stomach begs for mercy. And when  you’re hungry again, truly hungry and not just  needy for emotional comfort or relief from  boredom, eat! Who would have thunk it? You get  to eat when you’re hungry!      Cravings, triggered by hunger, can be crushed, if  you stop waging war with your hunger drive and  start satisfying it by filling up on the best‐for‐you  foods.    2. Fill Up on Good‐Guy Carbs    For all the carb confusion, there is one glaring fact.  All carbs are not created equally. The good‐guy  carbohydrates, sourced by whole, fresh fruits,  vegetables, unrefined grains (brown rice, not  breads) and legumes, satisfy your hunger drive,  thereby calming cravings. When one of your  goodies, but baddie screams at you, whether mid‐ afternoon or during evening T.V. viewing, eat and  fill up on nature’s best‐for‐you foods first, and be  amazed by the fading of the craving.      Hint: For cravings to disappear, you must eat  enough of the best‐for‐you foods to really and truly  fill you up.       3. Ditch Bad‐Boy Carbs    On the other hand, the bad boys incite cravings.  Steer clear of them. Scout them out and ban them  from your house, workplace, and car. As 
February 2009|31

experience teaches, the more refined sugar,  desserts, baked goods, breads, salty snacks, and  chocolate you eat, the more hooked you get. If  they are out of sight, they are much easier to avoid.    The natural sugars and sodium (nature’s salt),  wrapped up in nature’s perfect, nutrient‐dense  package of fruits, vegetables, unrefined grains, and  legumes, are your biggest allies to successfully fight  and conquer cravings. When cravings call, be sure  to first load up on these foods, especially whole  fruits and vegetables, to render those sabotaging  urges powerless.      4. Graze on Fruit for Breakfast    Fresh fruit expedites your freedom from cravings.  The challenge is – eating enough fruit in a day  when traditional food faves demand front stage  and center. Rather than breakfasting on the typical  bad‐boy carbs which trigger cravings (dried‐up  cereal from a box, quick oats, brown‐colored white  toast, pancakes, pop tarts, pastries), fat‐laden  bacon and eggs, or just a cup of pick‐me‐up‐then‐ crash‐me‐down, why not jump out of the breakfast  box and fill your morning and stomach with  nature’s best craving crushers – fresh fruits?    Pay attention to your hunger drive and eat enough  whole fruits, approximately four to ten, to fill you  up and satisfy you. Grazing on whole, fresh fruits  until noon helps shut the gate before the cravings  get out of the barn, gain momentum, and sneak  attack later in the day. Try it. See how many whole  fresh fruits fill you up and behold your incredible  shrinking cravings.    5. Keep Healthy Snacks Handy    Whether at home, work, or on the go, think ahead  and keep healthy snacks with you at all times – cut‐ up veggies, fruit, and raw, unsalted nuts and seeds.  That way, when cravings start crooning, your  fortifications will stop them dead in their tracks.            
A Tour of Italy

6. Stop the Diet‐go‐Round – Forever    Sure diets work, for a while – until they don’t. But  they are excellent at one thing – adding red‐hot  fuel to your cravings.     First, diets deprive you of your food faves ‐ until  you can’t stand it, give in, and sneak them back  into your life. Second, diets restrict calories and  portions, leaving you hungry, making you crave  more, and building that food frenzy to a height that  consumes your thoughts and your life until…you  give in. Third, diets often limit the major nutrient,  carbohydrates. With a shortage of good‐guy carbs,  cravings take control, and you grab the first bad‐ guy carb in sight. The result: you feel like a  hopeless failure one more time.      So the next time you’re tempted to diet, just  remember one thing: Diets Don’t Work!    7. Add and Wiggle!    Okay. Let’s face it right now. You’re not perfect.  You will never be perfect. Nor do you have to be  perfect to finally be free from food cravings. So  give yourself some wiggle room. Instead of  proclaiming that you’re never ever going to be  seduced by one of your food friends again (that’s  not going to happen so why go there?), try a new  strategy.     Think addition, not subtraction. In other words,  instead of trapping yourself in a restrictive food‐ box of “can’t haves,” depriving yourself from the  get‐go, think about which foods you “get to” add to  your day that will give you the most nutrition for  your calorie buck. These are the very same foods –  fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes – that  will short‐stop those cravings that have enslaved  you for decades.     Then follow the 80/20 Rule. Eighty percent of the  time when meals and snacks are routine without  holidays, birthdays, or get‐togethers, add and fill  up first on those best‐for‐you foods. The other  twenty percent of the time, don’t worry about it  and wiggle! Just beware you don’t wiggle too  much.  
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  No matter how diligent you are at incorporating  these 7 Strategies into specific action steps in your  daily life, if you are a mere mortal, there will be  times when a goodie, but baddie will hop into your  open‐like‐a‐baby‐bird mouth, and when you least  expect it. No worries, with persistent mindfulness,  time, and patience, you can unlock that trap door,  free yourself from cravings, and build your body‐ dream‐come‐true.                                                                                 
A Tour of Italy

  The Author  Dr. Leslie Van Romer is the  author of weight‐loss, health‐ boosting Getting into Your  Pants, and its companion  workbook, Getting into Your  Pants PlayBook, Sequim  chiropractor, weight‐loss  cheerleader, and motivational  health speaker.     For more information, call 683‐8844, email Dr.  Leslie at Dr.Leslie@DrLeslieVanRomer.com , or hop  into www.gettingintoyourpants.com.      

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An Interview with Chef Brian “BeLive” Lucas
   

What got you into being a raw chef?    I was introduced to raw living foods by my good  friend and mother of my children Whitney  Mckinney. She had been into it a little bit here and  there since the mid 80’s, and originally introduced  me to being vegan in 1992. A few years later in  1997, I remember we would drive past Juliano’s  original raw restaurant and she would try to get me  to go in to eat but I kept avoiding it, I imagined  oranges and apples on the tables and thought it  was pointless to go eat there since we had plenty  of fruit at home. I remember when we finally went  in, I was impressed by the gourmet presentation  and it also tasted quite good. After we finished, we  walked out of the restaurant and as soon as we  started walking down the sidewalk, I started feeling  as if I was floating, just from the living food. That  instantaneously convinced me to go 100 % raw  living vegan. I read some info about raw foods and  found that it helped with many diseases, including  cancer. My mother had died of cancer 11 years  earlier, so I was inspired even more to eat raw  living foods. I became Juliano’s #1 customer and I  watched him and the prep chef’s making the  cuisine. Juliano was one of the original pioneers of  the new age of gourmet raw living cuisine. He and  Victor “Vitya” Sagalovsky started their first  gourmet raw restaurant called Raw Living Foods in  1995 after they had been previously throwing raw  parties.    

What did you do before you became a chef?  Did  you think you would end up with this career or  was it a nice surprise?     I was following the Grateful Dead around the  country from 1990‐1995 and did what many Dead  Heads did; sell tie‐dyes, jewelry, veggie sloppy joes,  etc. Two years prior to me being introduced to raw,  Jerry Garcia had died so the Grateful Dead had  stopped touring and I was just doing odd jobs.  When I was turned on to raw I was driving a cab in  San Francisco, I would pop in and out of Raw Living  Foods for a bite to eat and hang out extended  periods with Juliano. I had no idea of what was to  come and it was a phenomenal surprise.     Was there a moment, a sort of epiphany, when  you realized that this is what you want to do?     Absolutely! It was when Juliano told me he was  going to move to Los Angeles to further his film  career and do a restaurant. I asked him if he was  going to sell Raw Living Foods and he told me he  would try but close it if he didn’t have success. So  without much thought, I took my savings and put a  down payment on the place and instantly without  hesitation decided to buy the restaurant. He asked  me what I was going to call it, and I remember a  name just mystically popped into my mind, I said  “Organica: The Living Cuisine”. Juliano said, “I like  it!” I knew how to create the basics from just  watching from before, but I had no hands on  training. When I made the decision to take on the 
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A Tour of Italy

restaurant, a very powerful shift happened, and  what I would consider God stepped in and blessed  me with a talent essentially overnight. At that point  I knew I would be involved with raw living cuisine in  one form or another from then on.     You’re a published raw foods author, having had  your recipes in several raw books as well as your  own, Orgasm of the Taste Buds.  Please enlighten  us about these and do you find yourself becoming  more of an author and educator or more of a  “traditional” chef prepping food and designing  menus behind the kitchen counter?     That’s a great question. Well I don’t see myself  behind a counter much again like in Organica, but I  am involved in and am interested in doing more  menu development and consultations with other  restaurants interested in incorporating living foods  into their establishments. Carol Alt, the famous  super model loved one of my recipes so much that  she ended up publishing it in her raw recipe book  The Raw 50. It was a recipe that my mom made  many times for me when I was growing up that I  converted into a raw vegan dish. I call it BeLives  Mom’s Stuffed Bells; you can get it on my website  at www.belivelight.com. I was raised Seventh Day  Adventist and my parents fed me a vegetarian diet,  even though they ate meat themselves. Many  Seventh Day Adventists are vegetarians, but some  of them follow a similar‐to‐kosher meat diet.  Recently, I self published the first version of my  book to introduce 30 of my recipes to the world,  since my food has only been available for intimate  gatherings and private chef work for the past three  years. I see myself as a front liner when turning the  masses on to realizing it can taste absolutely  fabulous and as good as or better than any cooked  or meat dish out there.     I understand you’ve got over 1,500 recipes and  plan on publishing another book this year as well  as opening two restaurants!  What can you tell us  about those?     I do have over 1500 recipes and could create 20  tantalizing recipes a day with enough time and  ingredients. I have more than that because that’s  just with my recipes. In Christmas 2007 my dads 
A Tour of Italy

Raw Pasta   There are many different ways to make pasta. If  you have a vegetable pasta maker than use I  encourage you to use it, but if not you can use a  vegetable peeler to create it. For Italian style  pasta different types of squash such as zucchini,  yellow squash, crook neck, etc make great  noodles. Just create desired noodle by slicing  them with peeler. A mandolin also works great,  especially with lasagna style noodles. After  creating your choice of pasta from squash put in  bowl and sprinkle with fine pink salt. This will  cause the squash to sweat, after letting sit for 15  minutes, massage the water out of it, then add  olive oil to it. Now, it is ready to use. You can use  same pasta for Asian, Russian and other types of  noodles but you can always buy kelp noodles and  use them as well. There are many ways to make  different types of Noodles which I will share in  future books to come. 

wife Jeanette, brought a box in from the garage  and told me that the contents inside were mine  and had belonged to my mother. I opened it up  and found about 20 vegetarian books from my  childhood; tears instantly graced my eyes realizing  that my mom was here with me. I realized then and  there that I would be doing a series of raw recipe  books in the future transforming my childhood  favorites into raw cuisine, and dedicating them to  my mom. I have already found over 800 recipes out  of the thousands that I want to create. As far as the  2 restaurants that I have been visualizing, 1 is going  to be a fast food franchise and the other is going to  incorporate different projects I have worked on in  the past, into a green sustainable living space  combined with conscious food, music and film. My  fiancée and partner Adoré and I, have been  meeting with potential investors, and we’re  currently building a team with other key  components. We are focused on making sure that  the individuals we partner up with truly 
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comprehend what our vision is, we know that we  will align with the right people.    Do you have any other exciting projects on the  horizon?     Adoré is an unbelievable dancer, not only  considered so by me, but by many others around  the world. She’s a life long dancer trained in ballet,  jazz, modern, samba, African and belly dance and  she was also a nationally competitive gymnast. 5  years ago she started dancing with the famous  troupe the Bellydance Superstars and became the  world’s first acrobatic belly dancer; she is also a  trained actor and SAG member. You can go to her  website www.bellysoul.com to find out more. With  her background in dance and acting and mine in  green sustainable living, conscious music, film and  food, we have started developing a Lifestyle TV  show that I can’t tell you the name of and much  about yet, but you’ll love it. We actually manifested  a TV pilot for it not long after we envisioned it, and  we are about to get a copy to shop around to  producers. Adoré, our room mate who is film  maker and I have also started conceiving a TV  reality show as well, that I’m excited about. She  and I are eventually starting a pre‐packaged food  line, which will incorporate raw versions of cuisines  from all around the world; we plan on getting it up  and running within the next year or so.    What is your best advice for someone who wants  to transition to a raw diet?     I’d start by saying that when you incorporate a  large percentage of raw living vegan food into your  life, there is a detoxification period and that time is  different for every person. A lot of people don’t  realize this when they start eating raw, that the  toxins from the body start coming out and it will  cause side effects that don’t feel good and  sometimes down right terrible. It is always good to  start off with some type of cleanse then to just go  right into 100% raw living foods, to prepare your  body for it. I have seen time and time again, people  starting the raw diet and then all of a sudden  having detoxifying side effects and blaming the  raw, when in reality it is their toxicity level. Some  people do jump right into it with ease, but it’s 
A Tour of Italy

usually the people that have been on the organic  path for a while. Another important thing is that it  takes experimenting with something to see if it  works, if it does work than you’re on the right path.  It is also important to not torture yourself, because  it is as bad if not worse to eat something that is  great for you with a stinking thinking attitude, than  to eat something that is bad for you with an  attitude of gratitude, that is simple quantum  physics. It is also important not to follow any one  person’s advice 100% as well. It’s smart to read a  lot about raw, to gather advice from the experts,  and to talk to others about their experiences with  it, but when it comes down to it in the end, all of  the knowledge gathered needs to be used based  on what resonates with the individual. We are all  different, every single being on this planet. So we  need to know that we can’t expect any one  person’s answers to completely be the way it is.  Just take your time and enjoy your personal  transition and if that means you’re eating 100%  raw living vegan overnight than “great!”, or if you  are just adding 20% to your not existing raw living  diet than “right on!”. Eating organic, wild or  biodynamic is important too, especially when this  day and age of even organic farming being 30‐70%  digestive enzyme, protein, vitamin and mineral  deficient.     For you, what is  the key to having  fun in the kitchen?     The key for me is to  always know that  what I am doing for  people is truly  nourishing them at  the same time as  enticing the palate.  I always silently  pray as I bless the  food with love, from the infinite energy of what I  consider to be God, directly from source, through  my heart, and into the dish. I always consider  “LOVE” my number one ingredient.     
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    That depends on the day. I am always in the  What kitchen equipment do you use the most at  kitchen at least a couple hours, just preparing food  home and what is the one item you feel you can’t  for Adoré and I. If I am working, I can be in there  do without having?  for 12+ hours at a time. I could be doing private    chef work, measuring recipes for my books,  That’s definitely a toss up between my blender,  food processor, dehydrator  developing menus for a  and juicer. They are all just  restaurant, there are many  Exotic Pleasure Rawp #1111 as important when truly  equations to keep me in    doing raw cuisine. I would  the kitchen. Being a raw  Pate’ Base say that the one item that I  foodist gives you more  Put ingredients in food processor and can’t do without for  energy and it also requires  blend the following: gourmet raw cuisine is pink  for you to be involved with  or sea salt, because it is the  the food more intimately in  1 cup Brazil nuts (soak for 12 hours and one ingredient that  general.   rinse before using) enhances the foods flavor.    ¼ cup tomatoes But really that question is a  Do you allow other people  ¼ cup water difficult one for me  to help you in your  1 tbsp. dry basil kitchen?  because all of them are  ¼ cup fresh cilantro/coriander   important, and honestly I’d  1 tsp. fresh mint be very sad if I had to  Absolutely, I wouldn’t see it  1/8 tsp. garlic powder choose between any of  otherwise. I like to teach  ¾ tsp. pink or sea salt them.  and learn from others, and  1 tbsp. of agave (Ultimate Raw people helping rarely get in    preferred) the way. As long as know  What staples do you keep  around your kitchen?  one puts their hands in the  Wrap   food or tries to taste it  For wrap material use raw nori sheet or Herbs, Spices, pink salt,  before I’m finished, I have  cabbage leaf nuts, fruits, vegetables,  pet peeves about that.     agave, cacao, maca, dates,  Place inside the wrap material the chlorella, goji berries, super  What is the most amusing  following: foods, nori, avocados,  kitchen accident you’ve  coconuts, apple cider  had at home?  Spread a moderate amount of pate’   vinegar, I could keep going  base and going because I  WOW! I can think of a few.  ½ of an avocado ¼ cup chopped tomatoes consider so many things  I made raw chocolate for  ½ cup chopped cilantro that I use, as staples.   an intimate cacao party we  ¼ cup chopped mint   were having with friends at  ¼ cup sunflower or alfalfa sprouts How do you organize your  our home. This is some of  drizzle a small layer of agave on top kitchen?  the best chocolate candy    you have ever tasted bro,  Recipe by Chef Brian Lucas  I like to put my tools and  and everyone knew it. It  equipment where I have  had a thick bottom layer of  easy access, positioning them in places that when I  dark cacao and white cacao in the middle. I didn’t  am preparing cuisine, I can use my time more  have molds so I used a big bowl that we were going  efficiently.    to cut pieces out of after it had hardened. So we    waited patiently for a couple hours for it, then  How much time do you usually spend in your  everyone started getting anxious because it was  kitchen?  taking longer than usual due to being really deep 
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What do you usually prepare when you entertain  and because of the different layers. I even thought  guests at home and do you have any advice on  it was done when I pulled it out of the freezer and  entertaining?  examined it, but as I held it up side ways to show    everyone, to my surprise all of a sudden the room  I love preparing salads and doing different stages of  went crazy as they started saying “No!” and “Aw!”.  dressings, taking the dressing from the first version  Luckily as it started pouring out on the floor, I  and creating a second version of dressing for the  reacted quickly and turned it back to its normal  second salad and so on. I  position saving most of it.  will do 5 or 6 generations  Immediately 2 people we’re  Marinara Sauce in an evening. I also love  skimming the top layer of  (4 servings) making pastas, soups,  chocolate off the floor and  puddings and obviously  eating it, I didn’t really  Blend the following: chocolate candy. As far  resonate with that and  as advice, I would always  wouldn’t personally do it  2 ½ cups of sugar plum tomatoes or suggest making as much  myself but these people were  any desired tomatoes of the food before the  serious chocolate lovers and  ½ cup fresh basil dinner as possible and to  obviously super anxious for  1/3 cup fresh oregano usually leave something  some. We had a big laugh and  2 Tablespoons Cold pressed olive oil to do in front of  went on to waiting another  ½ teaspoons Garlic powder ½ teaspoon dried minced onion everyone, so they can be  hour longer for the candy to  ½ teaspoon dried thyme form and when it was done,  inspired to make raw  ¼ teaspoon dried sage food for themselves in  boy did we have some  ¾ teaspoon pink salt the future. I encourage  yummy chocolate. Good  creating something so  things come to those who  Add on top of zucchini or kelp noodles the guests can see the  wait!    preparation and how fun  Thai nut pasta and easy it can be.   What two dishes do you find  (4 servings)   yourself preparing at home  most often?  (Please provide  Do you have any advice  Blend the following: recipes for our readers!)  for our home chefs?      1 ½ cups soaked ACTUAL raw cashews I love making Exotic Pleasure  Always be intuitive and  ½ cup soaked macadamia nuts Rawps often; I have 100’s of  take chances in the  1 ½ cup coconut water kitchen. Great creations  them. Italian or Thai sauce  ½ cup fresh basil and pasta are great and I do  happen from this space.  ¼ teaspoon garam masala What is the famous logo  them often as well. I don’t  ½ teaspoon cayenne have any favorites or 2 dishes  from Nike? That’s right,  ¼ cup raw agave that I prepare more than any  “Just do it!”  1 teaspoons pink salt other, but these are actually 3    Serve over zucchini or kelp noodles. dishes that are truly  Feel free to talk about    scrumptious, easy and I can  anything you would like  Recipes by Chef Brian Lucas  share the recipes with your  here that we haven’t  readers.   already covered!      Do you have any advice on kitchen management?  I really had a great time doing this interview, it    brought up some great point’s, stories and issues  Be aware of your surroundings and have everything  that need to be addressed to the vegan  in places that work in unison with your flow.   community. For booking, prices, recipes, events    and more visit my website at www.belivelight.com. 
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The bound version of my book Orgasm of the Taste  Buds is at www.lulu.com, and you can also request  an e‐Book version for donation based on what you  feel it’s worth by emailing me through my website.     Thank you very much Brian!    Brian Lucas aka Chef BeLive was executive chef and  co‐owner of Organica: the Living Cuisine, which was  located in San Francisco. Prior to Organica, it had  been Juliano Brotman's Raw Living Foods and  then Jeremy Saffron and Renee Underkoffler's Raw  Experience. Organica was one of the first Gourmet  raw restaurants in the world and was 100% Raw,  100% Vegan and 100% Organic,Wild or  Biodynamic. The establishment was in operation  from 1998‐1999 and was definitely ahead of it's  time. Along with a handful of others, Brian was one  of the pioneers of the new gourmet raw living  cuisine era.   Woody Harrelson, Mike D, Andy Dick, Brittany  Daniel, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Stephen Spielberg,  Jeremy Piven, Ammachi, Baryy Zito, David Wolfe,  Michael and Roxanne Klein, Ammachi, Michael  Beckwith, Hip Hop Leaders, among other politicians  and celebrities, have eaten Brian's unique twist on  gourmet living cuisine. He was the originator of  guest chef appearances in the raw restaurant  community. Cousins IV restaurant and Funky  Buddha Lounge in Chicago, Forest Whitaker &  Nweena Kai's restaurant Taste of the Goddess in  Hollywood, Michael Randolph and Chef Zitari's  Higher Ground in North Hollywood, Chef Mellisa  Mango's Terra Bella in Redondo Beach all hosted  him at their spaces.  He specializes in flavoring food and considers  himself a "transitional" gourmet raw living vegan  chef, making peoples 1st raw experience equal  to many of their favorite cooked meals. He also  provides individuals who have been turned off to  raw living foods because of a horrible flavoring  experience a 2nd chance to show them it can  be as pleasurable as any other cuisine. One of his  recipes was featured and recently published in  Carol Alt's new book The Raw 50. 

Brian has encouraged people to discover a healthier  diet through his flavorful cuisine, helping their  

pleasure rawp, pasta marinara and salad with goddess  vinaigrette  

transition when having problems making their raw  living meals taste good. Ideally, his ultimate final  goal is to assist people in learning how to find  "their own way", and to eventually what he calls  "taste with your third eye" instead of relying their  taste buds. The fact of the matter is that many  individuals need flavorful food to transition into the  raw lifestyle in an easier manner. He has a unique  style all his own and everyone should have the  pleasure to experience.  He is an incredibly innovative and inspirationally  intuitive person. He's loving, compassionate, a  wonderful father and he shares his heart space  with any who come across his path. His former  menu from Organica, read as follows... "Money  back guarantee to give an organic orgasm of the  mind, soul and especially the taste buds." His motto  still rings true today.  Brian is the author of Orgasm of the Taste Buds, a  recently published gourmet raw living recipe book  that is now for sell at  http://www.lulu.com/content/4326420  http://www.myspace.com/BrianLucas   http://www.giveittomeraw.com/profile/BrianLucas   http://youtube.com/watch?v=5DaUpIHbtyM 

A Tour of Italy

February 2009|39

An Interview with Athletics Trainer Barry Lovelace
   

What led you to become a fitness athletics  trainer?    I began working with athletes many years ago and  immediately got very excited about creating  different exercises that would help them become  their best. It was the combination of the creativity  involved with creating sport specific movements  and seeing the incredible results, I was hooked.     What led you to become vegan?     My wife and daughter we’re already vegan but  never pushed their views on me. One day I asked  my wife to sit down and tell me what she knew and  why she was vegan. When I heard about factory  farming and the horrors these animals endure I  cried and I never ate an animal product again. It  was like flipping a switch.    How have those two aspects of your life merged?    Being a vegan compliments everything I do  because it is such a deep part of who and what I  am. I believe I am a more compassionate person as  a whole since ridding my body of animal products  and I believe that compassion comes through to  the young athletes I train.  

What challenges have you faced as a vegan fitness  instructor and how have you overcome them?     Many people in the fitness business and those  looking to build muscle believe strongly that  consuming large amounts of lean animal proteins is  necessary to reach that goal. There are times when  I am confronted on this issue but luckily I know the  facts and can back up what I do. Once I speak to  them, in a compassionate and not ‘in your face’  manner they understand, I have changed the mind  set of thousands of people who at minimum have  given up all dairy.    What response do you usually get from athletes  when they discover you are vegan?     They are either confused, like, what is vegan? Or  they are surprised. People have such a hard time  imagining life without meat and dairy and believe  vegans are skinny and malnourished.    How much do you think diet plays in building a  sound body and what results have you seen in  clients who follow your nutritional  recommendations as well as your training  program as opposed to, say, just following your  training programs?    
February 2009|40

A Tour of Italy

Nutrition is simply huge. To truly reach your full  athletic potential, neither exercise or nutrition is  enough, you need to do both. A properly fueled  body is full of energy and is also mentally focused  more so than someone eating junk food. I work  with young athletes and unfortunately many of  their diets are horrendous.     How has becoming vegan affected you  personally?    Again, it has made me a much more compassionate  person and also much more aware of cause and  effect. I no longer go through life in my own  ‘bubble’ if you know what I mean, I am aware of  the decisions we make and the power that they  have.  ‘Knowledge is Power’    What is the Barry Lovelace  philosophy?     Do it MY WAY…what other  way is there ☺     Wow, that is a tough one.  Basically, I want people to  live their best life and I  believe that to do that you  need to fuel your body with  healthy food and exercise. It  truly is a big deal. So many  people have a low quality of  life because they are living  on crap and not moving, they  have no energy for all that  this life has to offer. It all  comes down to personal  responsibility.    What are your primary food sources for building a  fit body?   
A Tour of Italy

Whole grains and whole grain cereals, oatmeal,  beans and vegetables and fruit. I also make a  protein shake everyday with almond milk and rice  or pea protein. We eat lots of great food and enjoy  it.     What does a day in your kitchen look like and can  you share a few ideas with our readers to help  increase performance?     Well, I always start my day with oatmeal. I like to  put in slivered almonds, raisins and cinnamon, it’s a  great way to kick start the day. Lunch is often a stir  fry with tofu or seitan and tons of veggies or whole  wheat pasta and veggies. Dinner is tough as I am  often training clients in the evening. I sometimes  need to grab a veggie burger or have an Amy’s  burrito. I believe it’s important to eat five or six  times a day so I throw in a  protein shake with almond  milk and rice or pea protein  and fruit, a bowl of cereal, etc.  Obviously, I can improve my  nutritional intake and it is my  2009 goal to drastically  eliminate processed foods. Do  you know anybody that can  help? ;)    What advice can you give our  readers to get them on the  road to becoming fit and  strong?     Make the commitment to  change your lifestyle instead  of just setting a goal of ‘losing  20 pounds’ or ‘benching 250 pounds’. These are  fine things to accomplish along the way but they  should be part of a bigger picture, the picture of  living a healthy, active lifestyle.    
February 2009|41

Take it step by step and please do not try to go full  force into an exercise or diet routine. When you go  crazy with it at first you are just setting yourself up  for failure…again.  Please work your way into an  exercise / diet program.    What projects are you currently working on and  what is the future for Barry Lovelace?     Where do I begin? I have several products in the  works as we speak and tons more in my head! I  have a new baseball training workout coming out  soon called ‘Extreme Baseball Power’. This is a  follow‐up to my recently released ‘Core Power for  Baseball’. I have a product on the way for gymnasts  as well. I see my future as traveling to train and  speak to teams, coaches and clubs and share with  them my method of athlete training in addition to  continuing to train athletes and create athlete  training products. Never know….a Vegan Fitness  DVD may be in the works ;)    Please take this opportunity to talk about  anything we haven’t covered that you would like  to cover!     Well, to be honest, whenever I do these interviews  I feel so humbled, I feel so blessed to be living this  life and doing something that I enjoy so much. So  what I would like to say to everyone is follow your  dream, ask yourself what affects you, what  motivates you and what makes you happy and go  for it. We all have that voice in our head that tells  us ‘you can’t do that’ or ‘it won’t work’, the  difference between making it and not is quieting  that voice and realizing that no one can stop you  but you.     Thanks Barry! 
       
A Tour of Italy

Contact Info    You can reach Barry at www.barrylovelace.com.  
 

February 2009|42

The Travleing Vegetarian, Yvonne Smith!
   

Tell us about the Traveling Vegetarian!      I am The Traveling Vegetarian!  It is also the name  of my show.  I visit restaurants around the world  and showcase vegan food.  I get to answer  questions like, “What does a vegan/vegetarian eat  anyway” and “How can you eat healthy food while  you’re traveling?”      What did you do before you started the show?    I have done various jobs within the entertainment  industry.  I always wanted to be a singer, but  shortly after I moved to Nashville it became  apparent that it wasn’t going to happen the way I  thought it would… So, after working for several  artists behind the scenes for a while, I finally  started doing my own thing.  It wasn’t what I  expected, but I love it!    What led you to starting your show and how did  you get it off the ground?    I am a longtime fan of travel and food shows, but I  always wondered, “Where is the show for people  who eat like I do?”  All these programs seemed to  be so focused on unhealthy foods and there is such 

a need for TV that appeals to those of us who eat  healthily and compassionately.    What is your favorite episode so far and why?    Laughing Seed in Asheville, NC.  I am such a fan of  Chef Jason Sellers both as an artist and as a person.   His food is truly delicious and beautiful and made  with so much passion.  Honestly, I have loved all  the segments I’ve done and have eaten great food  at every restaurant I’ve covered, but Laughing Seed  stands out for their exceptional food, atmosphere,  employees, etc.    You’ve obviously gotten to try tons of vegan  restaurants.  Tell us about your most exquisite  experience!    I can definitely say good things about all the vegan  and vegetarian restaurants I’ve visited all around  the country, but I have several that stand out.  One  was the last time I went to Laughing Seed.  They  were actually closed that day, but Chef Jason was  there prepping and he made an amazing four  course meal for my friend and me.  Another is at  Green Zebra in Chicago where I had the Chef’s  Tasting Menu with wine pairings.  Yum!  They are a  vegetarian restaurant, but they gave us a vegan 
February 2009|43

A Tour of Italy

option for the tasting and everything was delicious.   The third is my last experience at Millennium in San  Francisco.  I had the Market Menu with wine  pairings and Chef Tucker even sent out an extra  course for us.  Everything was so incredible, fresh,  seasonal and delicious.  Anytime you add a wine  pairing to an already phenomenal gourmet vegan  meal, it’s just that much more of an amazing  experience!   I have pictures of all of the meals on  my Flickr page, which you can access from my  website.    What challenges have you faced bringing the  show to the public and how have you overcome  them?    My biggest challenge is getting the networks to  realize that there is a huge demand for this kind of  show.  Most of my viewers are non‐vegetarian, and  either they’re interested in what vegetarians eat or  they are just hungry for knowledge on how to eat  better.  People are waking up to the horrors of  factory farming, heart disease, obesity, diabetes,  etc., and they want to eat more healthily, but they  don’t know where to start.  My show gives people  ideas, sparks curiosity and motivates them to dig  deeper and start doing their own research.  When  the show is on a network and reaches millions of  people, I really believe it will make a difference and  expose a lot of people to things they didn’t know  existed.  I’m very excited for the future!      What have you learned about vegan cuisine, the  vegan community, and vegan issues in general  since you’ve been doing the Traveling Vegetarian?    Oh, where to begin? There is just such a huge  world of amazing vegan cuisine out there.  Gone  are the days of vegetarians living merely on veggie  burgers, pasta and salads.  There are few dishes  out there that can’t be veganized and the vegan 
A Tour of Italy

versions taste better anyway!  Most people open  up a whole new world of foods they didn’t even  think they would like when they ate the Standard  America Diet.  I know that happened for me.  I used  to be one of the junk food vegetarians who ate a  ton of processed food and little vegetables.  Now I  eat almost all whole, organic foods that I thought I  hated before.  It’s all in the way they’re prepared  and there are so many amazing chefs out there  creating art with vegan food.      I love the vegan community.  I went to Vegetarian  Summerfest and AR 2008 this year and both were  amazing experiences.  Once you know a few  vegans, you’re basically one degree of separation  from all the other s and it’s a close knit group of  folks.  When you’re in a room with hundreds of  others who all share a common bond, it just fills  you up.  I can’t wait to go back to Summerfest this  year.  We jokingly called it Vegan Summercamp. ;)    I understand you’re a big fan of the McDougall  plan.  How did that come about?    I actually went vegan because of The New  McDougall Cookbook.  I was looking for TV work  and I wanted to lose weight and clear up my  complexion.  I had the book already and had  dabbled in quitting dairy a few years earlier, but  like many others, I had a hard time giving up  cheese and ice cream.  When I read it again,  something just clicked and I totally quit dairy,  lowered my oil intake, etc.  I ended up losing two  sizes and my face completely cleared up.  On top of  that, I stopped getting menstrual cramps and  headaches and my seasonal allergies got better.  It  completely changed my life.  Soon after, I learned a  lot more about the dairy industry and I can  honestly say I don’t ever want to eat another piece  of cheese.  I don’t feel like I’m missing out on  anything because I always remember how I felt and  looked when I was eating dairy. 
February 2009|44

  What differences have you seen in your life since  becoming vegan?    I’m happier and healthier than ever.  I eat a much  wider array of foods and I have met so many  incredible people who are doing such great things  for the cause.  It really was one of the best  decisions I’ve made in my whole life.    I’ve heard you say you’re not much of a cook, but  any good foodie has their own favorite recipes.   Can you share two of yours with us?      I actually eat pretty simply at home.  Breakfast is  often cereal or some sort of grain with fruit, nuts  and/or veggies, lunch is usually beans, brown rice  and some kind of vegetable.   I do enjoy cooking  though, and have a few favorite things that I like to  prepare for potlucks and dinner parties, like my  Mexican Lasagna.  I use the cashew ricotta and  enchilada sauce from Veganomicon, but you can  use any cheese sub and enchilada sauce recipe you  like.    Starting with a square casserole dish, ladle some  sauce on the bottom, then place a whole wheat  flour tortilla over the sauce.  Layer more sauce,  some refried beans, cashew ricotta, baby spinach  leaves and black olives on top of the tortilla and  place another tortilla over that.  Repeat this  process and top with third tortilla, more sauce and  your cheese substitute.  Cover with foil and bake in  the oven at 350 degrees until cooked all the way  through.  I then like to uncover and leave in for  another ten minutes or so to brown the top.    This casserole is so easy and so good!  You could  also add corn, jalapenos, use corn tortillas instead,  etc.  It’s also really good without any cheese  substitute.  Whatever!  It’s always a hit.  I also use  the same ingredients to make quesadillas, which 
A Tour of Italy

are very yummy.  Makes me want to whip up a  batch of enchilada sauce right now!    Do you have any exciting projects coming up?   What is the future for the Traveling Vegetarian?    Yes!  I just returned from a cross country road trip,  I’m going to Australia in March and I might be on  tour this summer with a health and wellness  focused music festival.   Lots of fun things  happening!  I’m video blogging now and I plan to  blog and vlog about my travels on my website,  http://thetravelingvegetarian.tv    Thanks Yvonne!       

February 2009|45

Resta nt R auran Rev view: Pizza Fus a sion
Revie ewer: Ja ason Wyr rick
5735 E. McKellips Road   s a, Mesa AZ 85215 480-8 832-5200 Hour M-T 11-9, F & S 11-10 Sun 11-8 rs: , 0, Loca ations Across the United States s

http: ://www.pizz zafusion.com m/   

Pizza a Fusion.  I w wasn’t quite sure what to o expect  from m that name. .  Did it mean the restau urant  offer red a quirky combination of ingredie ents from  arou und the world?  Did it me ean it the re estaurant  serve ed pizzas plu us an eclectic combination of  dishe es?  Was it g going to be g good?!  The answers to  those questions would, of co ourse, come e later, but  t drew me there sight unseen was the promise  what of go ood, vegan p pizza, and I h had heard fro om  repu utable source es that the f food was top p‐notch and  just a as importantly, the soy cheese really was  vega an!  Did I mention that P Pizza Fusion  conc centrates on organic ingredients and d  susta ainability?    Atmos sphere    This w was one of  my big ggest  surpris ses of the  night.  Upon first  walkin ng into Pizza  Fusio on, I could te ell that it wa as far classier than a  typic cal pizza join nt.  The lighting was sligh htly dim, the e  table es looked nic ce, the bar c classy, and th here was a  nice adornment of wines and win glasse es.  There  e also messa ages about sustainability y stenciled  were on th he walls, wh hich I though ht was a very y nice touch. .   Even n the restroo oms had wat ter‐conserving features.  

Ther re is no mist taking that P Pizza Fusion is part of  the Green move ement.      Serv vice    The service, from m what I cou uld tell, was fairly  stan ndard.  No on ne was parti icularly know wledgeable  about the wines s, but they w weren’t total lly clueless  either.  All in all, , the service e was what y you should  expe ect when yo ou go to a de ecent restaur rant.    Pres sentation    The pizza does n not come ou ut in the typi ical round,  but rather as an n oblong serv ved on a tap pered  woo oden pizza peel.  I prefer r my pizza se erved this  way y because it h has a rustic, elegant look which I  appreciate.      d  Food   Ther re were two o foodie draw ws for me to o Pizza  Fusion.  The first was the pizza.  Good v vegan pizza  ard to come by, but fortunately, you u won’t be  is ha disappointed he ere.  While P Pizza Fusion is not a  etarian resta aurant, it does go out of f its way to  vege cate er to vegans and its soy c cheese is cas sein free.   Ther re are only a a few pre‐ma ade combina ations of  ingredients on t the menu.  T The real treasure is 
February 2009|46

A Tour of Italy

getting to build your own.  The build‐your‐own  ingredient list is fairly standard with a few surprises  thrown in, like arugula and Portobello mushrooms.  I tried one with eggplant, sundried tomatoes, green  olives, and a rich tomato sauce.  The pizza, I have  to say, did not disappoint.  While a bit pricey, I  considered ordering another one just to try out a  different combination of ingredients!  I consoled  myself by promising to go back soon.  I also  consoled myself with my next topic, the wine.    Most of the wines at Pizza Fusion are organic, but  the big surprise?  The wines that were vegan were  clearly marked as being vegan and there were  quite a few of them.  You can expect to pay  anywhere from $5 a glass to $12 a glass.  Fairly  reasonable for quality, organic, vegan wine.    Overall    My experience at Pizza Fusion is one that I can’t  wait to repeat.  While the price makes this  restaurant something of a special treat, I can see  myself visiting the restaurant every couple months  or so for a night of pizza and fine wine.  I suggest  you do the same!    Rating:  4                                           
A Tour of Italy

The Reviewer  Chef Jason Wyrick  is an award  winning vegan chef  and the owner of  Arizona's only  vegan catering  company, Devil  Spice. Serving the state since 2004 as both a caterer  and a prolific vegan culinary instructor, Chef Jason  has garnered local and national attention. He was  chosen as vegcooking.com's October, 2005 Chef of  the Month and has been featured in the Arizona  Republic and on ABC's local morning show, Sonoran  Living Live. Formerly a diabetic, Chef Jason  approaches vegan cuisine from both a health and  ethical standpoint with an eye for taste and  simplicity.  

February 2009|47

Product Revie G en B ew: Gold Bean R C colat Raw Cho tes
Review wer: Jason Wyrick n
 
 

High h Integrity F Foods, Inc.  http p://www.hig ghintegrityf foods.com   http p://www.go oldenbean.c com   Portland, OR 

I first came across Golden Be ean raw cho ocolates at  Raw Spirit Fe estival in Sed dona, AZ in 2 2008.   the R Ther re were so m many chocola ate vendors at the  festival that it sh hould have b been called R Raw Cacao  Fest, , and yet, Go olden Bean c chocolates m managed to  stand out in a ra ather crowde ed venue.  It t was at the  Gold den Bean boo oth that I made my last chocolate  stop of the day ( (after having g made a lun nch, well  seve eral lunches, out of vario ous chocolate samples)  and met Chris Pe eck, one of t the owners o of High  grity Foods.    Integ   den Bean is c clearly part o of the burgeoning raw  Gold choc colate movement spearh headed and largely  inspi ired by David d Wolfe, wh hich explains s the  proli iferation of r raw chocolate vendors.  That’s not  nece essarily a bad d thing, quite the oppos site in fact,  beca ause the more chocolate e vendors there are, the  hard der it is for a product to s stand out.  T The ones  that do stand ou ut typically h have either g good  mark keting or an incredible taste.  While I can’t  vouc ch for Golden Bean’s ma arketing, I ca an tell you  abou ut its taste, a and oh how good it is!    Gold den Bean def finitely has t the purest flavor of any  raw chocolate I’v ve tried.  By that, I don’t t just mean  the c clean feel that most raw w foods have e, I mean the e  textu ure of the ch hocolate bar r and the wa ay that 
A Tour of Italy

texture supports the flavor of the choco olate.  The  s were very s smooth and I particularly enjoyed  bars the way the cho ocolate slowly melted in my mouth,  reve ealing its nua anced flavor rs.    to my next p point.  The fla avors were  This brings me t incre edible.  Ofte en, as chocolate melts, a a bitter  undercurrent sh hows itself w with several o other  unpleasant flavo ors lingering g in the background.   Not so with the Golden Bean chocolates.  As these  choc colates melt ted, the good d flavors only  intensified and i it was hard n not to chew the  colates to ge et them to m melt faster!  The flavors  choc beca ame richer, f fuller, and lu uxuriant with hout  sacr rificing any o of that clean, , pure feel.   I wa as fortunate enough to try the stand dard version, ,  the one with rai isins, and the one with M Macadamia  nuts s.  The latter r was by far m my favorite, an  exce ellent pairing g between the decadenc ce of the  nuts s and the richness of the e chocolate.  I didn’t  quite like the on ne with raisin ns as much, but I still  enjo oyed it, with the plain ve ersion comin ng right in  the middle.    If yo ou have the o opportunity to try a sam mple of  Gold den Bean chocolates, I suggest not p passing up  the opportunity y!  While not t widely available, they 
February 2009|48

can be ordered on the company’s website at  www.goldenbean.com.  Raw chocolates are  notoriously expensive and this is no exception, but  for an occasional indulgence, well worth it. 
 

The Reviewer 
Chef Jason Wyrick is  an award winning  vegan chef and the  owner of Arizona's  only vegan catering  company, Devil Spice.  Serving the state  since 2004 as both a  caterer and a prolific vegan culinary instructor, Chef  Jason has garnered local and national attention. He was  chosen as vegcooking.com's October, 2005 Chef of the  Month and has been featured in the Arizona Republic  and on ABC's local morning show, Sonoran Living Live.  Formerly a diabetic, Chef Jason approaches vegan  cuisine from both a health and ethical standpoint with  an eye for taste and simplicity.     

A Tour of Italy

February 2009|49

Book Review: The Saucy Vegetarian
Author: Joanne Stepaniak
Reviewer: Eleanor Sampson
    Most vegetarians and vegans are already familiar  with Joanne Stepaniak – she is the bestselling  author of such perennial vegan cookbooks as The  Uncheese Cookbook and Vegan Vittles.  The Saucy  Vegetarian is a bit of a departure for her, and it is  different from most other cookbooks.  Instead of  appetizers, side dishes, main courses and desserts,  Stepaniak does sauces.  Over 150 recipes of sauces,  none of which require cooking or kitchen  equipment beyond a blender or food processor.   Even those recipes can be fairly easily replicated  with a whisk and some elbow grease.    Before starting on the actual recipes, Stepaniak  gives tips on how to put together meals.  I found  this section to be extremely helpful – her chart of  “Custom Designed” vegetarian meals is the essence  of simplicity.  Choose a starch from column one,  two vegetables from column two, an optional  protein from column three, and a sauce from  column four.      Personally, I know my way around a kitchen, and  my most common problem isn’t following a recipe,  it’s looking in my cupboard at a container of quinoa  (or a can of black beans, or a bag of chapattis) and  wondering what interesting dish I can make with it.   That’s the true beauty of this cookbook – the cook  doesn’t have to run out and buy exotic ingredients,  he or she simply uses what is on hand to make a  completely new dish every time.  Didn’t care for  the fennel‐mustard sauce on barley and carrots?  

Author:  Joanne Stepaniak  Publisher:  The Book  Publishing Company  Copyright:  2000  ISBN:  1570670919  Price:  $14.95    Try it on a steamed potato with bitter greens next  time.  The combinations are practically endless.    Also extremely helpful is the fact that next to each  recipe, Stepaniak has listed starch/veggie combos  to try the sauce on.  It’s nice to have such open  ended suggestions.  I might look at the Garbanzo  and Carrot Sauce and immediately think  “cauliflower”, or I can take her suggestion and  serve it with fettucine or a brown rice and bulgur  pilaf.  Again, the decision is mine to make.    Most of the recipes yield between one‐third to one  cup of sauce, though nutritional information is  given by the tablespoon.  Calories per serving range  from four calories to one hundred calories, but it’s  important to remember that this is by the  tablespoon.    If I had any complaint about the cookbook, it would  be this: figuring out the total calorie count of an  entire recipe is cumbersome.  I know that four  tablespoons equals one‐quarter cup, but if a recipe  yields two‐thirds of a cup, I don’t really want to do  the math to figure out the total calories, fat grams,  protein grams and carbohydrates for the recipe.   Given the unique nature of this particular  cookbook, the basic nutritional information for a  full recipe would have been very helpful.    That aside, I love this cookbook.  It’s simple to use,  most of the recipes take between five and ten  minutes to create and require no cooking. 
February 2009|50

A Tour of Italy

  The Reviewer  Eleanor is the editor for The  Vegan Culinary Experience,  author, and an expert vegan  baker with a specialty in  delicious vegan sweets  (particularly cinnamon rolls!)  You can reach  Eleanor at Eleanor@veganculinaryexperience.com.      

A Tour of Italy

February 2009|51

     

 

Recipe Index 

Click on any of the recipes in the index to take you to the relevant recipe.  Some recipes will  have large white sections after the instructional portion of them.  This is so you need only print  out the ingredient and instructional sections for ease of kitchen use. 
 

Recipe 
Main Dishes  Basic Risotto  Chanterelle Risotto  Wild Mushroom Risotto 1  Wild Mushroom Risotto 2  Caponata Sandwiches  Raw Zucchini with Caponata  Fagioli  Chef Jason’s Lasagna  Chef Phil’s Lasagna  Raw Lasagna  Yvonne’s Mexican Lasagna  Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms  Pasta alla Norma  Pasta Primavera  Spinach Linguine with Lemon,  Asparagus, & Spring Herbs  Rotini  Italian Meatballs  Lemon Roasted Fennel  Roman Artichokes  Stuffed Eggplant  Mediterranean Greens  Exotic Pleasure Wrap  Pizza with Pesto & Tofu Ricotta  Stuffed Squash Blossoms       

Page
  54  58  62  20  66  71  75  79  21      84      45      89      93      98      26           26     102     107     111     116      14      37      23      24   

   

Recipe 
Breakfast  Fritatta   Sprouted Lentil Blueberry Pancakes    Sides & Appetizers  Arancine  Classic Bruschetta  Fava Bean Bruschetta  Stuffed Peppers  Focaccia Genovese  Fava Bean & Sundried Tomato Dip  Tuscan Peas  Sweet & Sour Squash  Zucchini in Sweet Tomato Sauce  Sautéed Rapini & Capers  Polenta with Pistachios  Griddle Radicchio    Sauces  Basic Pesto  Power Pesto  Walnut Pesto  Sundried Tomato Pesto  Fresh Tomato Sauce  Raw Marinara Sauce     

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Recipe Index 

Click on any of the recipes in the index to take you to the relevant recipe.  Some recipes will  have large white sections after the instructional portion of them.  This is so you need only print  out the ingredient and instructional sections for ease of kitchen use. 
 

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Basic Risotto
Type: Main Dish Serves: 2 Time to Prepare: 25 minutes

1 cup of Arborio rice ½ tsp. of olive oil 1/8 tsp. of salt 3 to 4 cups of veggie stock

Ingredients

Option: ½ cup of white wine in place of ½ cup of veggie stock Instructions

Warm the veggie stock in a pot. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a separate pot. Add in the uncooked rice and toast it until some of the grains turn golden. Add in ½ cup of veggie stock and stir. Keep stirring slowly. When the liquid is mostly absorbed, add in another ½ cup of veggie stock. Add the salt at the end. Repeat this process of stirring, absorbing, and adding stock until the rice is soft and creamy.

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Kitchen Equipment
Medium sized Pot for the veggie stock Ladle Wooden Spoon to stir the rice Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon

Medium sized Pot for the risotto (an enameled cast iron pot works best for this)

Presentation
This recipe is only the base for other risotto recipes, so there is no presentation to speak of.

Time Management
Risottos require constant attention for them to work because the stirring is what creates the

creaminess of the rice. Make sure to warm the stock as the warm stock will absorb faster than one at room temperature. Lastly, if you want to be able to walk away from the risotto, you can cook it in a pressure cooker. Saute the rice the same way as above and then add all the ingredients to your pressure cooker and cook it for 7-10 minutes.

Complementary Food and Drinks
The basic risotto recipe is incredibly versatile. It can take classic Italian ingredients like mushrooms and basil. It can take hot Southwestern peppers. It can be mixed with Thai curry paste for good effect and nuts go very well with almost all risotto recipes.

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Where to Shop
Arborio rice can be purchased packaged in most grocery markets. However, the best place to get

it is in a store that has it in bulk. You’ll get a better price on it and often a store with bulk bins will have an inexpensive organic version of it.

How It Works
Risotto is known for its creaminess and that creaminess is derived from the starch of the rice. Rice has two starches. Amylose and amylopectin. Rices with a high proportion of amylose turn fluffy, while rices with a high proportion of amylopectin, a long chain starchy molecule with lots of protrusions that bind to other amylopectin molecules, turn creamy. Short grain rices, like Aroborio rice, contain higher portions of amylopectin than they do amylose. Stirring the rice slowly knocks off the amylopectin molecules into the stock, where they bind together and create a creamy texture. This is why the stock must be added slowly. If it is added quickly, there is not enough time for the amylopectin to work itself out into the liquid and create that creamy texture. Also, if too much of a volume of liquid is added at once, the amylopectin molecules will disseminate in the liquid and not touch, meaning that they won’t have the opportunity to bind. Sauteeing the rice in oil also retards the absorption of the liquid, which allows the amylopectin more time to bind. This also gives the rice a deeper, nuttier flavor.

Chef’s Notes
Risotto is a bit labor intensive, but it is well worth the effort and time put into it. Keep in mind that it is very filling, so you will not need a lot of it to feed yourself and your guests.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 965.2 (482.6) Calories from Fat 104.8 (52.4) Fat 11.6g (5.8g) Total Carbohydrates 193.7g (96.9g) Dietary Fiber 17.6g (8.8g) Sugars 13.8g (6.9g)
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Protein 21.4g (10.7g) Salt 1631mg (815.3mg) Vitamin A 534% (267%) Vitamin B6 53% (26.5%) Vitamin C 312% (156%) Calcium 43% (21.5%) Iron 143% (71.5%) Thiamin 87% (43.5%) Riboflavin 5% (2.5%) Niacin 71% (35.5%) Folate 272% (136%) Phosphorous 19% (9.5%) Potassium 46% (23%) Zinc 15% (7.5%) Magnesium 54% (27%) Copper 21% (10.5%)

Interesting Facts
Arborio rice is not the only rice used to make Italian risotto. Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are also used. Risotto is a Northern Italian dish and was the Northern counterpart to the South’s pasta dishes during the past few centuries.

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Chanterelle Risotto in a Creamy Garlic Sauce
Type: Main or Side Time to Prepare: 40 minutes Serves: 4 or 8

½ cup of chopped chanterelles ¼ of a sweet Maui onion, sliced thinly in long strips ½ tsp. of olive oil ½ cup of Arborio rice 2 cups of vegetable stock ¼ cup of pinot grigio ¼ tsp. of salt 1 sprig of flat leafed parsley, chopped 1 bulb of roasted garlic 3 tbsp. of olive oil ½ tsp. of freshly ground pepper 1 tbsp. of pine nuts Pinch of saffron

Ingredients

Instructions

Roast the garlic on 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Chop the chanterelles and set them aside. Slice the onion and mince the garlic. In the risotto pan, sauté the onions in ½ tsp. of oil on a medium heat until they turn translucent. Add the rice to the pan and sauté it for about five minutes. Add in ½ cup of stock and stir until the stock is mostly absorbed. Add in the chanterelles. Repeat the process with the stock until the rice is soft, but not mushy (al dente). Add in the parsley, pepper, and pine nuts. In a small pan, sauté the garlic for about one minute in ½ tsp. of olive oil on a medium heat. Blend the roasted garlic with the 3 tbsp. of olive oil. Stir together until it turns into a sauce. Mix in the sauce into the risotto. Garnish with saffron.
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Cutting Board Small Knife

Kitchen Equipment

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon 1 Large Sauté pan for the risotto 1 Small Sauté pan for the sauce Wooden Spoon

Presentation
You can use this as a main dish or a side, but whichever way you decide, the presentation is the same. Place the risotto on the plate and sprinkle it with a little bit of fresh parsley and pepper. Next, garnish it with the pine nuts and place a pinch of saffron on top for a delicate look and color. This goes along with the chanterelles nicely.

Time Management
Make sure to get the garlic in the oven before you start the risotto. As you are finishing up the risotto, the garlic will be ready to take out of the oven. While you finish the last steps of the risotto, the garlic will cook enough for you to handle. This is something that can be made several serve it. When you are ready to use it, warm it in the oven for about 15 minutes on 250 degrees. hours earlier and will last for a couple days. If you store it, do not garnish it with anything until you

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with the same pinot grigio that you used to make the risotto.

Where to Shop
Fresh chanterelles can often be found at gourmet markets, so check there first. If you cannot find
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it, you can look for the more common dried chanterelles at your local market. The Arborio rice should be readily available in a package at your local market, but you will get the best value if you can find it in a bulk bin. Look at Whole Foods for that.

How It Works
The pinto grigio gives a hint of sweetness to the risotto, making it a little milder. Adding the chanterelles in halfway through the cooking process ensures that they soften and release their flavor, but do not overcook. Also, minimizing the ingredients helps keep the chanterelles as the featured flavor. Finally, roasting the garlic allows it to easily blend with the oil, making it creamy; a nice ending touch to the risotto.

Chef’s Notes
I originally tried this with sautéed garlic, but the roasted garlic was far superior and blended up much better into a garlic cream.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 451.8 (113.0) Calories from Fat 122.2 (30.6) Fat 13.6g (3.4g) Total Carbohydrates 63.4g (15.8g) Dietary Fiber 3.5g (0.9g) Sugars 2.4g (0.6g) Protein 9.0g (2.3g) Salt 635mg (158.8mg) Vitamin A 0% (0%) Vitamin B6 14% (3.5%) Vitamin C 9% (2.3%) Calcium 5% (1.3%) Iron 17% (4.3%) Thiamin 19% (4.8%) Riboflavin 9% (2.3%)
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Niacin 19% (4.8%) Folate 30% (7.5%) Phosphorous 16% (4%) Potassium 8% (2%) Zinc 14% (3.5%) Magnesium 15% (3.8%) Copper 44% (11%)

Interesting Facts
Risotto began as a peasant dish. be Arborio. It is necessary to use a long grain, sticky rice to make a risotto. To be a true risotto, that rice must

Risottos are a Northern Italian dish.

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Wild Mushroom Risotto
Type: Main Dish Serves: 2 Time to Prepare: 30 minutes

1 cup of Arborio rice ½ tsp. of olive oil 1/8 tsp. of salt 3 cups of veggie stock

Ingredients

Option: ½ cup of white wine in place of ½ cup of veggie stock
¼ tsp. of crushed red pepper 1 tsp. of fresh thyme leaves ¼ of a yellow onion, sliced 2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cup of dried wild mushrooms or ½ cup of fresh wild mushrooms

Instructions

If you are using dried mushrooms, rehydrate them in 1 cup of warm water and save the water. This 1 cup of water replaces one cup of water in the stock. If you are using fresh mushrooms, slice them. Slice the onion and mince the garlic. Get the thyme leaves ready. On a medium heat in the risotto pot, sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is soft. Add in the rice and sauté it until some of the grains turn golden. Add in ½ cup of stock and continuously stir the rice until it is absorbed. Repeat this until you get to the last ½ cup and add the crushed red pepper, thyme, and ½ the mushrooms with it. them. Place the risotto on the plates and top each one with the remaining mushrooms. If you are using fresh mushrooms, you will need to sauté them for about 2 minutes before you add

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Kitchen Equipment
Medium sized Pot for the risotto Small Pot for the stock Ladle Small Bowl to rehydrate the mushrooms (if using dried) Cutting Board Knife Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Wooden Spoon to stir the risotto

Presentation
I like to put a few stems of fresh thyme along the side of the plate or, if you can raise them up, just off center. Adding height to a dish almost always helps the presentation.

Time Management
If you are using dried mushrooms, you will need to rehydrate them before you start the risotto so that you can use the now mushroom flavored water as part of the stock. The hotter the water, the better, though it should not go as high as a boil.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Not only does this make a great dish, it also makes a great stuffing for a portabella cap.

Where to Shop
Most grocery stores will have a dried mix of wild mushrooms in their produce section. However, if you go to a high end market, you should find more varieties to choose from and you will often have
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access to good quality fresh mushrooms. The rest of the ingredients should be easy to find.

How It Works
This is basically a standard risotto with just a few ingredients added. First, the onion gives the risotto a touch of sweetness. The crushed red pepper gives the risotto an unexpected kick instead of just being the typical mushroom risotto. If you don’t like spiciness, just omit them. The fresh thyme adds a deep, herbal quality to the dish. Adding all of these ingredients in towards the end ensures that their flavors don’t completely meld into the risotto.

Chef’s Notes
My favorite mushrooms to use in this are porcinis, followed by chanterelles.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1000.0 (500.0) Fat 11.8g (5.9g) Calories from Fat 105.9 (52.9)

Total Carbohydrates 201.3g (100.6g) Dietary Fiber 18.9g (9.4g) Sugars 16.6g (8.3g) Protein 22.3g (11.1g) Salt 1632mg (815.8mg) Vitamin A 534% (267%) Vitamin B6 58% (29%) Calcium 44% (22%) Iron 144% (72%) Thiamin 89% (44.5%) Riboflavin 8% (4%) Niacin 74% (37%) Folate 275% (137.5%) Phosphorous 21% (10.5%)
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Vitamin C 315% (157.5%)

Potassium 51% (25.5%) Zinc 18% (9%) Magnesium 56% (28%) Copper 38% (19%)

Interesting Facts
Wild mushrooms are a name given to mushrooms that go beyond the basic button, cremini, and portabella varieties. The Egyptians used thyme during embalming.

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Caponata and Zucchini Sandwiches
Type: Sandwich Time to Prepare: 40 minutes Serves: 6

The Caponata 1 small eggplant, diced ¼ of an onion, diced 2 tbsp. of diced red bell pepper 6 sundried tomatoes, diced ¼ cup of green olives, diced 1 tbsp. of diced basil leaves 1 tbsp. of diced parsley leaves 1 clove of garlic, minced 1 tsp. of olive oil 1 tbsp. of capers 1 tbsp. of lemon juice The Zucchini Sandwich 6 zucchini 1 tsp. of olive oil 1/8 tsp. of salt 3 large sandwich rolls ¼ cup of red wine vinegar 6 pieces of lettuce 1 tbsp. of currants ½ stalk of celery, diced

Ingredients

Instructions

Making the Caponata Dice the eggplant, celery, onion, red pepper, tomatoes, olives, basil, and parsley. Mince the garlic. On a medium heat, sauté the eggplant, celery, onion, and red pepper in the oil until they are all soft (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic and continue sautéing this for another 3 minutes.
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Remove this from the heat. Immediately stir in the sundried tomatoes, green olives, basil, parsley, capers, lemon juice, and currants and set it aside. Making the Zucchini Cut the ends off of the zucchini. Slice the zucchini into thick slices (about ¼”) along the length of the zucchini. Slice these in half along the width. soft (about 5 minutes). Assembling the Sandwiches Cut the sandwich rolls in half along the width and then slice them in half horizontally. Hollow out the top of the sandwich rolls. Sprinkle the bottom of each sandwich roll with red wine vinegar. Place a piece of lettuce on the bottom slice of each roll. Top the lettuce with zucchini slices. Fill the hollowed out portions of the tops of the sandwich rolls with caponata. Close the sandwich carefully and serve. Sauté the zucchini in 1 tsp. of olive oil with 1/8 tsp. of salt over a medium heat until they are

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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil from the recipe and simmer the ingredients in a thin layer of liquid until the veggies are soft.

Raw Version
Caponata is very easy to make raw. Take the veggies that you would have sautéed and instead mix about ½ tsp. of salt with them. Place them in a bowl and then place a weight over them. Allow them to sit for at least an hour, until the eggplant is soft. Rinse the veggies and mix them with the other ingredients. You can make lettuce wraps out of the zucchini and caponata or slice the zucchini in half along the length and hollow out the halves, stuffing them with the caponata.

Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Measuring Spoon Measuring Cup 2 Sauté Pans Stirring Spoon

Presentation
If I’m putting these out on a platter for people to come by and pick up, then I just find a nice tray and stack the sandwiches on that. My favorite way to serve them, however, is open-faced, because the caponata has a wonderful color to it.

Time Management
Caponata can be made a couple days ahead of time and it also makes a good dip or spread, so try making a big batch and then using it over the next few days. If you’ve got caponata ready, the
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sandwiches only take about ten to fifteen minutes to put together.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a side of fava bean dip to create a good mix of carbohydrates and protein.

Where to Shop
All of the ingredients for this recipe are commonly available, though I either get my capers at

Trader Joe’s or from an olive bar that happens to have fresh capers. Make sure the skin of the eggplant is tight, not wrinkled. If you can’t find currants, usually available at Whole Foods, feel free to substitute raisins for them. Approximate cost per serving is $1.50.

How It Works
The caponata is a mix of savory, sweet, and salty, enhanced by the acidity of the lemon juice. The capers and olives provide the shot of salt, with the sweetness coming from the onion, pepper, and currants. The eggplant forms the base flavor on which all the other flavors ride and also absorbs the surrounding flavors quite well. Some of the ingredients in the caponata are not sautéed because applying the direct heat to them would ruin their flavors. The residual heat in the caponata and the pan, however, will cook them for a brief enough time that their flavors release into the rest of the caponata, but those flavors remain relatively fresh. The top of the sandwich is hollowed out to accommodate the caponata. Without hollowing it out, the caponata tends to slide out the side of the sandwich. Red wine vinegar is used to soften the bottom half of the bread.

Chef’s Notes
Caponata is an interesting fusion of classic Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 943.8 (157.3) Fat 25.8g (4.3g) Calories from Fat 231.9 (38.6)

Total Carbohydrates 136.7g (22.8g)
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Dietary Fiber 25.9g (4.3g) Sugars 44.1g (7.4g) Protein 41.3g (6.9g) Salt 1535mg (256mg) Vitamin A 125% (20.8%) Vitamin B6 95% (15.8%) Vitamin C 582% (97%) Calcium 44% (7.3%) Iron 72% (12%) Thiamin 84% (14%) Riboflavin 54% (9%) Niacin 74% (12.3%) Folate 109% (18.2%) Phosphorous 100% (16.7%) Potassium 143% (23.8%) Zinc 58% (9.7%) Magnesium 98% (16.3%) Copper 74% (12.3%)

Interesting Facts
Caponata is one of several eggplant and tomato dishes found throughout the eastern Mediterranean. Eggplant is also called aubergine.

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Zucchini Caponata
Type: Side, raw Serves: 8 Time to Prepare: 2 hours 30 minutes (includes 2 hours of rest time for the caponata)

1 Japanese eggplant, diced ½ stalk of celery, diced 1 tbsp. of capers ¼ cup of green olives, diced 1 clove of garlic, diced ¼ of an onion, diced 1 tbsp. of raw vinegar or lemon juice 6 sundried tomatoes, diced 1 tbsp. of diced basil leaves 2 tbsp. of diced red bell pepper 1 tbsp. of diced parsley leaves 1 tbsp. of currants 4 zucchini, sliced in half

Ingredients

Option: 1 tbsp. of olive oil Instructions

Dice the eggplant and toss it in 2-3 tsp. of salt. Place this in a colander and put a weight on the eggplant, allowing it to sit for at least 2 hours. Rinse the salt off of the eggplant and press the eggplant into the colander. accounts.) Dice all of the ingredients and combine everything together (barring the zucchini on both This mix is the caponata.

Option: Mix the olive oil into the caponata and let the mix sit for another 30 minutes.
Slice the zucchini in half along the length and scoop out the middles. Fill each zucchini half with the caponata. Note that the longer the caponata sits, the better it gets.

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Kitchen Equipment
Colander 2 Mixing Bowls Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon

Presentation
I serve this on a rectangular plate a couple inches longer than the zucchini on each side because the zucchini fills the space well and it doesn’t need any extra adornment.

Time Management
This is one of those recipes that doesn’t take a lot of work, but it does a while to set. Use that time to clean up, get ready for guests, make another recipe, or take a walk! Also, keep in mind that be good with just a couple hours of rest. the longer the caponata sits, the better it will be. I find it best if it sits overnight, but it will definitely

Complementary Food and Drinks
This is a nice Italian raw dish which means it should go with even more raw Italian cuisine! Go for a Tuscan harvest soup and a raw zucchini pasta with a sundried tomato sauce.

Where to Shop
All of these ingredients should be available at your local market except for the currants, which can

be purchased at Whole Foods, Central Market, Trader Joe’s, and most gourmet grocery stores.
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How It Works
Salting the eggplant draws out the moisture in it and placing the weight on it greatly assists this process. This has the effect of softening the eggplant and getting rid of the bitterness, mimicking cooked eggplant without cooking it. The celery adds a deep flavor to the caponata and the currants give it a nice sweetness. The capers enhance this with a shot of salt and the lemon juice brightens all of the flavors. The green herbs are there to give the caponata an aromatic quality, the onion and garlic give it pungency, and the sundried tomatoes give it depth.

Chef’s Notes
I first taught this recipe at a Raw Foods Made Simple class and it was an instant hit.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 346.1 (43.3) Calories from Fat 69.5 (8.7) Fat 7.7g (1.0g) Total Carbohydrates 48.4g (6.1g) Dietary Fiber 15.3g (1.9g) Sugars 31.7g (4.0g) Protein 20.8g (2.6g) Salt 1140mg (143mg) Vitamin A 92% (11.5%) Vitamin B6 61% (7.6%) Calcium 20% (2.5%) Iron 40% (5%) Thiamin 26% (3.3%) Niacin 31% (3.9%) Folate 41% (5.1%) Phosphorous 68% (8.5%) Riboflavin 18% (2.3%) Vitamin C 447% (55.9%)

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Potassium 109% (13.6%) Zinc 37% (4.6%) Magnesium 67% (8.4%) Copper 54% (6.8%)

Interesting Facts
Caponata hails from Sicily.

Caponata has a heavy Middle Eastern influence with the eggplant and currants.

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Fagioli
Type: Main Dish, Italian (Tuscan) Time to Prepare: 1 hour 45 minutes Serves: 4

1 yellow onion, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 2 carrot, chopped 2 bay leaves 4 cups of water (should reduce to 2 cups) ½ cup of tomato paste 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp. of chopped sage leaves 2 tbsp. of olive oil ½ tsp. of salt ½ tsp. of freshly ground pepper 3 cups of cannellini beans, rinsed 1 bunch of spinach, chopped 4 slices of Tuscan (or other Italian) bread, toasted 3 cloves of garlic, smashed

Ingredients

Instructions

Chop the onion, celery, and carrots and smash the garlic. Drain and reserve the liquid, discarding the veggies. Mince the 2 cloves of garlic. Chop the sage.

Simmer the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and bay leaves in the water for about 40 minutes.

Mix the liquid with the tomato paste, garlic, sage, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix the tomato sauce you just made with the beans. Place this in a baking dish and cover it. Bake it on 400 degrees for 45 minutes. While the beans bake, wilt the spinach leaves in a dry pan over a medium heat. Once the beans are done, mix the spinach in with them. This should be served with a side of Tuscan toast.
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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil from the recipe.

Raw Version
Use sprouted garbanzo beans instead of cannellini beans. They are a bit easier to sprout. Blend four roma tomatoes and ½ cup of reconstituted sundried tomatoes with ¼ cup of shredded carrot, 1 tbsp. of diced red onion, 1 clove of garlic, and ½ of a celery stalk. Mix this with the salt, pepper, minutes until it wilts. Rinse the spinach and mix this with the beans and tomato sauce. olive oil, and beans. Salt the spinach and place a weight on top of it and let it sit for at least thirty

Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Pot Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Colander or Strainer Mixing Bowl Stirring Spoon Baking Dish Foil Pan

Presentation
Most Tuscan cuisine has a simple presentation, so I typically just plate this in a shallow bowl or on a plate with either the bread served on the side or with the fagioli served on the bread.

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Time Management
You can skip the baking part of this recipe if you want to reduce the cooking time by 45 minutes. If you do that, just use ¼ cup less of the reduced water, which would have evaporated during baking. You can save even more time by using one cup of veggie stock instead of going through the process of simmering the veggies in water. This stock replaces the water and the simmering veggies.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Any sort of Italian bread will go well with this. For wine, go with a red that is low in tannins as a heavily tannic wine will overwhelm the tomato sauce.

Where to Shop
All of the ingredients should be readily available at your local market. Approximate cost per serving is $2.00.

How It Works
By simmering the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic, you are creating your own veggie stock which is used to flavor the tomato sauce. This then bakes around the beans so that the sugar in the stock and the tomato sauces caramelizes, deepening the flavor of the fagioli. Spinach is added both for color and taste and is a traditional Tuscan green.

Chef’s Notes
This is absolutely one of my favorite Tuscan dishes. I love the mix of beans, greens, and tomatoes laced with fresh sage. Yum! I could easily eat this for lunch several times a week and would if I wasn’t so busy making other recipes.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1712.8 (428.2)

Calories from Fat 311.0 (77.8)
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Fat 34.6g (8.6g) Total Carbohydrates 268.1g (67.0g) Dietary Fiber 59.4g (14.9g) Sugars 27.2g (6.8g) Protein 82.4g (20.6g) Salt 2224mg (556mg) Vitamin A 657% (164.3%) Vitamin B6 96% (24%) Vitamin C 237% (59.3%) Calcium 112% (28%) Iron 221% (55.3%) Thiamin 107% (26.8%) Riboflavin 90% (22.5%) Niacin 62% (15.5%) Folate 308% (77%) Phosphorous 117% (29.3%) Potassium 219% (54.8%) Zinc 86% (21.5%) Magnesium 195% (48.8%) Copper 151% (37.8%)

Interesting Facts
Fagioli is a very old recipe and used to be made in a flask placed over a low-heat fire. Instead of bread, fagioli is often served with pasta in a dish called pasta fagioli.

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Lasagna al Forno
Type: Main Dish Time to Prepare: 60 minutes Serves: 4

The Sauce 8 Roma tomatoes ¼ cup of water ½ tsp. of fresh thyme leaves ¼ tsp. of salt ¼ tsp. of freshly ground pepper 1/8 tsp. of cumin The “Ricotta” 12 oz. of firm tofu ½ tsp. of salt 2 tsp. of lemon juice 2 tsp. of olive oil The Veggies ½ tsp. of freshly ground white pepper 3 cloves of garlic, sliced

Ingredients

Options: ¼ cup of soy cream cheese or ¼ cup of shredded soy mozzarella

1 bunch of spinach, chopped 1 carrot, sliced 1 zucchini, sliced ½ tsp. of olive oil The Pasta 8-10 lasagna noodles

Instructions

Making the Sauce Chop the tomatoes. Slice the garlic. Add all of the sauce ingredients to the pan.
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Over a medium heat, cook the sauce ingredients, pressing on the tomatoes periodically to get them to release their juices quicker and smash into a sauce (they should be ready in 7-8 minutes). Set the sauce aside. Making the Ricotta Crumble the firm tofu. Mix it with all of the ricotta ingredients and set it aside. Options: Add any of the optional ingredients to the tofu ricotta. Prepping the Veggies Chop the spinach. Wilt the spinach over a medium heat just until it has softened and reduced. Drain away the excess water. Slice the carrot and zucchini thinly into rounds. Set all the veggies aside. Cooking the Pasta Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles to the water and stir them for about the first 3 minutes of cooking. water and checking to see if it has turned color. Only cook the noodles to the point where they are slightly underdone. Assembling the Lasagna Spread a thin layer of sauce along the bottom of a baking dish (the one I use is 8” by 4”). Lay 2-3 noodles on top of the sauce. Spread a layer of the tofu ricotta over this. Add a layer of carrots and a layer of zucchini. spinach. Add another layer of noodles. Top it with the remaining sauce. lasagna. Cover the lasagna with foil. Bake it on 350 degrees for 30 minutes. If some of your noodles tore, you should have some extra noodles with which to patch the Add another layer of noodles, followed by a little sauce, then the tofu ricotta, and then the The cook time varies on the noodles, but you can check them by pulling a noodle out of the Sauté the carrot and zucchini slices over a medium heat in the oil for about 3 minutes.

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Kitchen Equipment
Pot for boiling the noodles Pot or Pan for the sauce Baking Dish Foil Colander Sauté Pan Stirring Spoon Mixing Bowl Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Spatula Oven

Presentation
I like garnishing the lasagna with pine nuts and sliced basil after it comes out of the oven. If I plate the lasagna as individual servings, I wait to do the garnish until after the lasagna is plated and served. If you do it beforehand, the pine nuts and basil fall into the lasagna and some of the clean look of the presentation is lost. Make sure that your knife is very sharp and wet it to keep it from sticking to the noodles as you slice into the lasagna.

Time Management
There are a few cheats you can make with this dish. The first is to use canned tomato sauce. My favorite one to use is the crushed fire roasted tomatoes from Muir Glen. They have excellent flavor and the right texture for the sauce. This saves both time making the sauce and dishes that you won’t have to clean. You can also get away with not baking the lasagna since there isn’t any cheese to melt. If you do that, make sure to cook the noodles until they are al dente.

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Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a dark green salad with roasted red peppers and pine nuts.

Where to Shop
All of the ingredients should be commonly available. Approximate cost per serving is $2.00.

How It Works
The noodles are slightly undercooked because as they bake, they will absorb some of the liquid from the sauce and veggies. By undercooking them in the pot, they turn out just right in the oven. Tofu is used because it has a good texture and a mild flavor. While it doesn’t taste like ricotta, it can have a similar feel. Lemon juice is used to add brightness to the tofu cheese while olive oil gives it the richness of cheese. The spinach, carrots, and zucchini are sautéed because they will not soften enough if they are just cooked in the oven and they are split into different sections of the lasagna solely for presentation. The lasagna is covered so that it does not dry out, which is also why sauce is spread on top of it.

Chef’s Notes
This is simply one variation on the basic lasagna. The important parts to concentrate upon are how the noodles are cooked, how a fresh sauce is made, and how to make the tofu ricotta.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1361.0 (340.3) Calories from Fat 241.6 (60.4) Fat 26.8g (6.7g) Total Carbohyd213.7g (53.4g)rates Dietary Fiber 23.5g (5.9g) Sugars 31.8g (8.0g) Protein 66.2g (16.5g) Salt 1334mg (334mg)
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Vitamin A 483% (120.8%) Vitamin B6 59% (14.8%) Calcium 52% (13%) Iron 118% (29.5%) Thiamin 56% (14%) Niacin 34% (8.5%) Folate 194% (48.5%) Phosphorous 62% (15.5%) Potassium 113% (28.3%) Zinc 33% (8.3%) Magnesium 106% (26.5%) Copper 73% (18.3%) Riboflavin 54% (13.5%) Vitamin C 183% (45.8%)

Interesting Facts
Lasagna is a dish that dates back at least as far as the late Roman Republic.

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Fiery Raw Lasagna
Type: Raw, Main, Italian Serves: 6 Time to Prepare: Four hours for soaking + 30 minutes of prep time

The “Pasta”… 3 zucchini or summer squash, sliced thinly 1 cup of water Juice of 2 lemons 2 tbsp. of olive oil (only 1 tsp. of olive oil remains after rinsing) The Filling… 2 cups of mushrooms 5 cups of baby spinach leaves The “Cheese*”… 1 cup of sunflower seeds, soaked 2 tbsp. of tahini 1/8 tsp. of salt 1/8 tsp. of white pepper * If you need to add water to get this to blend, start adding in 1 tbsp. of the marinade at a time while blending the “cheese” The Sauce… 1 cup of sundried tomatoes, rehydrated 4 tomatoes 1 tbsp. of olive oil ¼ cup of basil leaves 2 tsp. of oregano leaves 1/8 tsp. of salt ¼ tsp. of black pepper 1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper The Topping… Water as needed 1 tbsp. of pine nuts
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Ingredients

½ clove of garlic

Instructions

Making the “Pasta”…

Mix the water, oil, and lemon juice together. Slice the zucchini thinly. Soak the zucchini for at least two hours.

Making the Filling…

Slice the mushrooms thinly. Pulse the spinach several times in a food processor until it is coarsely chopped.

the spinach and mushrooms without cooking them. Rinse this thoroughly when the time is done. Making the “Cheese”… Soak the sunflower seeds for at least four hours. Drain them of the water. Blend all of the ingredients for the “cheese” together. Let this sit for at least thirty minutes for the flavors to combine. Making the Sauce… Rehydrate the sundried tomatoes in just enough water to cover them.

then place a weight on the spinach, allowing this to sit for at least two hours. This will wilt

Option: Place a layer of salt on the spinach and sliced mushrooms in a shallow bowl and

Blend all of the ingredients for the sauce together, adding enough of the sundried tomato water as needed for your blender to make a smooth sauce. Assembling the Lasagna… Remove the zucchini slices from the water. Line a small, square baking dish with cheesecloth. Make one layer of zucchini strips for the bottom layer. Spread a layer of the filling on next. Spread a layer of sauce on top of this.

Dab on the seed cheese and press it down with a wet spoon. Repeat this process until you are out of ingredients. If you have enough zucchini, make the topmost layer a layer of zucchini. Spread any remaining sauce over this. Top with the pine nuts. Allow this to sit for at least ten minutes. Carefully lift the lasagna out of the dish with the cheesecloth and serve. the plate several times over ten minutes or so.

Option: Skip the cheesecloth step, assemble this directly on the plate, and carefully drain

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Low-fat Version
Omit the seed “cheese” and you will still have an incredible tasting raw lasagna.

2 Mixing Bowls for soaking zucchini and seeds Blender or Food Processor Cutting Board Small Knife Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Spatula to spread the layers Small Square Baking Dish Cheesecloth

Kitchen Equipment

Presentation
The longer you can let the lasagna sit in the cheesecloth, the

“tighter” the lasagna will be, and that will look much better than a

wet lasagna. If you have some of the fresh herbs left over, you can also garnish the top of the lasagna with a few sprigs of those.

Time Management
Make sure to soak the seeds and zucchini at the same time. While they are soaking, put together get the square dish ready with the cheesecloth and get the kitchen equipment out. If you do that, the prep time can be cut down to about fifteen minutes as you’ll only have to blend the “cheese” and then layer the lasagna. the sauce and get the spinach and mushrooms ready. The sauce will get better as it sits. Then,

Complementary Food and Drinks
For a drink, set some water out with a couple sprigs of rosemary and a couple slices of lemon. For
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a side, carrot spears make a nice simple, quick side.

Where to Shop
I like to make my own sundried tomatoes, but if you buy them, check at Whole Foods for ones that haven’t had sulfur added to them to preserve them. For the greens, check out Trader Joe’s as they often have organic basil and baby spinach for incredibly good prices. The seeds, nuts, and tahini, I usually purchase at Sprouts, though Whole Foods works in a pinch. The rest of the ingredients should be fairly common. Price is about $2/serving.

How It Works
Starting off with the “pasta,” zucchini is used because it has a light color to it when sliced, it slices into big lasagna noodle like strips, and when soaked, becomes very soft. It also absorbs flavors very well. For the filling, the spinach is pulsed a couple times because large spinach leaves have an odd texture in the lasagna. If you salt the spinach and mushrooms and put a weight on them, the salt draws out some of the moisture and the weight helps by pressing it out. This creates a more cooked texture without actually cooking the ingredients. With the “cheese,” sunflower seeds are soaked to soften them so they blend into something creamy and they also have a nice, nutty flavor. Tahini is used because it is quite creamy and that helps with the texture. White pepper is used because its flavor has a lighter, aromatic quality than the black pepper, which would overwhelm the seed cheese. A bit of the marinade is used to round out the spread and help it blend better. This works better than water because it will already have some flavor in it similar to the zucchini noodles and that unifies the flavors in the lasagna better. Sundried tomatoes are used in the sauce to darken the flavor and make it thick. Because of that dark flavor, black pepper is used in this part of the recipe. Finally, when assembling the lasagna, a square baking dish is used to give shape to the lasagna. This is lined with cheesecloth because a lot of excess moisture will slough off the lasagna and the cheesecloth will allow you to lift it out of the dish and leave the excess moisture behind.

Chef’s Notes
Generally, I’m against making something that takes as long as this recipe because if I get in the mood for something, I want it then. However, if I know I will want this later in the day, I have no problem getting the ingredients started for it (soaking the seeds and zucchini, for the most part)
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because the actual labor involved in the recipe is minimal. If you don’t like spicy, you can simply omit the cayenne pepper in this recipe.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 2506.8 (417.8) Calories from Fat 891 (147) Fat 98g (16.3g) Total Carbohydrates 245.5g (40.9g) Dietary Fiber 96.6g (16.1g) Sugars 88.1g (14.7g) Protein 161.5g (26.9g) Salt 891mg (148.5mg)

Vitamin A 405% (67.5%) Vitamin B6 313% (52.2%) Calcium 147% (24.5%) Iron 290% (48.3%) Thiamin 669% (111.5%) Niacin 274% (45.7%) Folate 455% (75.8%) Phosphorous 475% (79.2%) Potassium 368% (61.3%) Zinc 232% (38.7%) Magnesium 573% (95.5%) Copper 659% (109.8%) Riboflavin 230% (38.3%) Vitamin C 869% (144.8%)

Interesting Facts
The Romans made a dish similar to the modern lasagna, without tomatoes, called a lasanum. Lasagna appeared in the first cookbook written in England.

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Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms
Type: Main Dish Serves: 2 Time to Prepare: 20 minutes

½ cup of hot water ¼ cup of dried wild mushrooms 1 clove of garlic, minced 2 tbsp. of sliced basil 1 tsp. of olive oil 3 cups of gnocchi ¼ tsp. of pepper 1/8 tsp. of salt

Ingredients

Instructions

Place the mushrooms in a small mixing bowl. Heat the water until it’s steaming. Pour the water over the mushrooms, allowing them to sit for about 10 minutes. Mince the garlic. Slice the basil. aside. Fill a medium-sized pot with water. Bring the water to a boil. Boil the gnocchi in the water until they float. Immediately remove the gnocchi. Mix the gnocchi with the mushrooms, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper, and serve. Over a medium heat, sauté the mushrooms and garlic in the oil for about 3 minutes and set them

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Low-fat Version
Instead of sautéing the garlic, add two cloves of minced garlic to the steaming water that is poured over the mushrooms. This will infuse the mushrooms with the garlic flavor. Do not sauté the mushrooms.

Raw Version
Raw gnocchi can be made by mixing two cups of almond flour and a pinch of salt with just enough water to form a thick dough. Form the dough into small balls and chill them for at least thirty minutes. Use chopped, fresh oyster mushrooms with a pinch of salt.

Kitchen Equipment
Pot Colander Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Small Mixing Bowl for the mushrooms

Presentation
Serve this on a small white plate. The starkness of the plate gives the dish a classy look and also emphasizes the colors of the basil and mushrooms. I use a small plate because gnocchi is rather filling, but if you use a large plate, the portion looks too small.

Time Management
It is important to get the mushrooms and garlic sautéed before doing the gnocchi because the gnocchi will cool down rapidly and you don’t want that to happen while you’re finishing up the other ingredients.

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Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a side of mashed roasted garlic, olive oil, and rosemary and a slice of fresh bread.

Where to Shop
You can make your own gnocchi or purchase vegan gnocchi at Sprouts and some conventional markets. I typically use a dried mushroom mix, which is available at most markets. However, you’ll get a better selection at a gourmet market. Approximate cost per serving is $4.00.

How It Works
Hot water is used to rehydrate the mushrooms because it works far quicker than room temperature water. I use dried mushrooms instead of fresh mushrooms because they have a heartier texture and their flavor has been intensified from the drying process. Gnocchi is boiled only until it floats because over-boiling the gnocchi causes them to become mushy and sticky.

Chef’s Notes
Gnocchi, mushrooms, and basil. It’s way too hard for that not to be good!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 882.0 (441.0) Fat 2.7g (1.4g) Calories from Fat 24.4 (12.2)

Total Carbohydrates 196.3g (98.2g) Dietary Fiber 6.5g (3.3g) Sugars 4.5g (2.3g) Protein 18.1g (9.1g) Salt 2584mg (1292mg) Vitamin A 16% (8%)

Vitamin B6 10% (5%) Vitamin C 1% (0.5%)
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Calcium 0% (0%) Iron 18% (9%) Thiamin 4% (2%) Riboflavin 16% (8%) Niacin 15% (7.5%) Folate 6% (3%) Phosphorous 6% (3%) Potassium 9% (4.5%) Zinc 11% (5.5%) Magnesium 7% (3.5%) Copper 56% (28%)

Interesting Facts
Porcini mushrooms are often part of a dried mushroom mix and are a famous Tuscan treat.

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Pasta alla Norma
Type: Main Dish Time to Prepare: 40 minutes Serves: 4

Juice of ½ of a lemon ¼ tsp. of salt 8 oz. of medium firm tofu, crumbled 1 small onion, diced 4 tomatoes, chopped ¼ cup of water 1 tsp. of olive oil ¼ tsp. of crushed red pepper ¼ tsp. of salt 2 eggplants, cubed 2 tsp. of olive oil 1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves 4 cups of macaroni or penne pasta Water for boiling the pasta 5 cloves of garlic, minced

Ingredients

Option: Use slices of Follow Your Heart’s vegan mozzarella instead of the marinated tofu Instructions

Cube the tofu. Dress it with the lemon juice and salt. Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. Dice the onion. Slice the eggplant. Mince the garlic. Slice the basil. Chop the tomatoes On a medium heat, sauté the onion in the 1 tsp. of olive oil until it is slightly browned. Add in the chopped tomatoes and ¼ cup of water. Add in the salt and crushed red pepper.
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Press on the tomatoes occasionally as they cook. Cook these until they turn into a sauce. Blend the sauce for a smooth tomato sauce. Bring enough water to a boil to cover the pasta by at least 4”. Add in the pasta and cook it until it is al dente. Bring the 2 tsp. of olive oil to a medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté the eggplant and garlic for another 3 minutes. Plate the pasta. Add the sauce next, followed by a few cubes of the marinated tofu, then the eggplant, and then a couple tbsp. of sliced basil. Add in the eggplant and sauté it until it is soft and a bit browned.

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Kitchen Equipment
Pot for the sauce Large Pot for the pasta Colander for the pasta Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Saute Pan Spatula Bowl for the marinated tofu Measuring Spoon

Presentation
I like to save a whole basil leaf and raise it out of the finished dish. It’s an easy way to give the pasta an elegant look.

Time Management
Start the marinade and then start bringing the water to a boil. While it is coming to a boil, begin the sauce. This will allow you to cook both the pasta and sauce at the same time. While those are cooking, slice the eggplant. This will allow you to work on the eggplant while the sauce finishes cooking.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a dry red wine and a fresh slice of garlic bread.

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Where to Shop
All of the ingredients for this recipe should be fairly common. When shopping for the eggplant,

make sure the skin is tight and unblemished. Price per serving is approximately $2.50.

How It Works
Browning the onion creates a sweet base for the sauce. Chopping the tomatoes allows them to water with the tomatoes steams the tomatoes as they cook, decreasing the amount of time they take to soften. This pasta is often served with a slightly tangy and salty mozzarella, so marinating the tofu in the lemon juice and salt creates a bit of that traditional flavor, though it won’t have the lushness of the mozzarella.

become soft and release their juices much faster than they would if they were whole. Adding the

Chef’s Notes
I generally don’t eat pastas, but this was a nice treat and I particularly enjoyed the combination of

the garlic and eggplant with the deep, spicy flavor of the sauce. The simplicity of the fresh basil also added a great deal to the pasta.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1791.2 (447.8) Fat 44.9g (11.2g) Total Carbohydrates 271.4g (67.8g) Dietary Fiber 46.3g (11.6g) Sugars 45.2g (11.3g) Protein 75.4g (18.8g) Salt 1257mg (314mg) Vitamin A 145% (36.3%) Vitamin B6 96% (24%) Vitamin C 243% (60.8%)
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Calories from Fat 404.3 (101.1)

Calcium 111% (27.8%) Iron 125% (31.3%) Thiamin 108% (27%) Riboflavin 72% (18%) Niacin 107% (26.8%) Folate 198% (49.5%) Phosphorous 130% (32.5%) Potassium 129% (32.3%) Zinc 66% (16.5%) Magnesium 128% (32%) Copper 128% (32%)

Interesting Facts
This pasta was given its official name in the 1840s in honor of the incredibly popular opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini.

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Zesty Pasta Primavera
Type: Main Dish Time to Prepare: 40 minutes Serves: 2

1 small zucchini, sliced 1 small carrot, sliced 1 red bell pepper, chopped ½ of an onion, sliced thinly 1 tsp. of fresh rosemary leaves ½ tsp. of fresh thyme leaves 1 tsp. of olive oil 2 cups of pasta 8 cups of water 1-2 tsp. of salt 4 cherry tomatoes, halved Fresh pepper for garnish

Ingredients

Instructions

Slice the zucchini and carrot into medallions. Chop the red bell pepper. Slice the onion thinly into 2” strips. amount. Remove the rosemary leaves and thyme leaves from their stems until you have the appropriate

Toss the veggies and herbs with olive oil. Place these in a baking dish and cover it with foil. Bake them on 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Add in the salt and pasta. Once the pasta is done, drain it through a colander. Top each serving of pasta with the roasted veggies. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Top each serving with four cherry tomato halves. Garnish with fresh pepper.
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While they are baking, bring the water to a boil.

Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Large Pot Colander Baking Dish Foil Measuring Spoon Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon

Presentation
Place the pasta on a white plate and then add the veggies to the top. Give the pasta a sprinkle of fresh pepper for garnish and allow some of the fresh cracked pepper to sprinkle onto the clean parts of the plate. It’s a simple, but elegant touch to this easy dish.

Time Management
To save a few minutes of time, start heating your oven before you work on the veggies. Alternatively, if you don’t want to heat up your house, you can place the veggies in foil and throw them on the grill. If your grill is hot enough, it may even save you a few minutes of cook time.

Complementary Food and Drinks
This should be enjoyed with a glass of smooth, red wine and a side of roasted garlic bruschetta.

Where to Shop
All of the ingredients for this dish should be available at your local market.
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How It Works
The veggies are baked just enough to soften them and allow some of the flavors to mingle. The thyme and rosemary both provide deep flavors for the dish, with the rosemary adding a strong aromatic finish. The carrot, onion, and pepper are all sweet, which is a nice touch. Also note that each veggie has a distinct color, making this a pretty dish. Finally, the cherry tomatoes taste best when uncooked, so they are added at the end for a nice juicy finish.

Chef’s Notes
Traditional pasta primavera has two to three times the amount of oil in this recipe, but I prefer to use as little oil as possible. It allows the flavor of the veggies to really shine through!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 535.6 (267.8) Calories from Fat 48.7 (24.3) Fat 5.4g (2.7g) Total Carbohydrates 103.0g (51.5g) Dietary Fiber 10.3g (5.2g) Sugars 13.5g (6.8g) Protein 18.8g (9.4g) Salt 618mg (309mg) Vitamin A 434% (217%) Vitamin B6 23% (11.5%) Vitamin C 468% (234%) Calcium 7% (3.5%) Iron 32% (16%) Thiamin 40% (20%) Riboflavin 21% (10.5%) Niacin 33% (16.5%) Folate 68% (34%) Phosphorous 32% (16%)

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Potassium 33% (16.5%) Zinc 17% (8.5%) Magnesium 30% (15%) Copper 29% (14.5%)

Interesting Facts
Primavera means “first green” and is the word used for spring.

Pasta primavera is traditionally low in fat, with a focus on fresh vegetables.

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Polpette (Italian Meatballs)
Type: Main Ingredient Time to Prepare: 30 minutes Serves: 30

2 slices of whole wheat bread ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. of regular soymilk 1 pound of Gimme Lean Sausage 1 cup of minced onions ¼ cup of chickpea flour 3 cloves of garlic, crushed 1 tsp. of poultry seasoning 1 tsp. of fennel seeds, crushed in mortar and pestle ½ tsp. of dried oregano ½ tsp. of dried basil ½ tsp. of salt ¼ tsp. of pepper

Ingredients

Instructions

Have ready a 6-quart Dutch oven or a deep 10 to 12-inch skillet filled with 3 to 4 inches of water. Break the bread into small pieces and put them into a medium bowl. Add the soymilk and stir with a spoon to coat the pieces well. Set aside for 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add the softened bread. Use your hands to mix and blend all the ingredients together thoroughly. Use a heaping teaspoon of the mixture to form 1-inch balls by rolling them between the palms of the hands. For 1 1/2-inch balls use a tablespoon for the mixture. Place the meatballs on a dish. When half the mixture is formed into meatballs, bring the water in the pot to a boil. Carefully drop the meatballs into the boiling water, and boil for 7 or 8 minutes. meatballs.
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Remove them with a slotted spoon to a clean dish and follow the same procedure with the remaining

Option: For super-soft meatballs, use 3 slices whole wheat bread soaked in ½ cup of regular
soymilk and add ½ cup of matzoh meal in place of the chickpea flour to the meatball mixture.

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Kitchen Equipment
Dutch Oven or Deep Skillet Large Mixing Bowl Measuring Cup Slotted Spoon Large Platter Measuring Spoon

Presentation
Not applicable.

Time Management
If time is limited, cook up a double batch of meatballs on the weekend and freeze them in a single layer on a metal tray. Once frozen, place them into a heavy-duty zipper-lock plastic bag so you can easily take out only as many as you need for a recipe.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Once cooked, the meatballs could morph into an Italian sub sandwich layered with roasted peppers and onions and topped with a flavorful tomato sauce. In the mood for total Italian? You meatballs, and you’ve got a great dinner. Need a great appetizer dish for a gathering? Make the meatballs tiny and serve them in a warm sauce of your choosing along with plenty of toothpicks. They make the perfect party nibble. can’t get much homier than meatballs and spaghetti. Cook up a nice thick tomato sauce, drop in the

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Where to Shop
Both the Gimme Lean and chickpea flour can be purchased at Whole Foods and Sprouts while

the rest of the ingredients should be fairly common. Approximate cost per serving is $.20.

How It Works
The moistened bread binds together the Gimme Lean, creating a dense “meatball” dough, which is

heavily flavored with the garlic and herbs. The large amount of herbs is needed because both the bread and Gimme Lean, but particularly the bread, will cut flavors by quite a bit.

Chef’s Notes
Meatballs are good old-fashioned comfort foods that not only please the eye, the taste buds, and the tummy but also bring that unmistakable feeling of contentment one notices at the end of a hearty meal. Here’s a very tasty basic meatball recipe that could take on a multitude of different sauces, dressings, and marinades along with a fun variety of veggie and condiment toppings. International themes. Meatballs make great pita stuffers and give you the opportunity to play with

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 712.6 (23.8) Fat 4.5g (0.2g) Total Carbohydrates 98.2g (3.3g) Dietary Fiber 6.7g (0.2g) Sugars 16.4g (0.5g) Protein 69.8g (2.3g) Salt 4524mg (151mg) Vitamin A 3% (0.1%) Vitamin B6 16% (0.5%) Vitamin C 14% (0.5%)
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Calories from Fat 40.6 (1.4)

Calcium 19% (0.6%) Iron 19% (0.6%) Thiamin 23% (0.8%) Riboflavin 20% (0.7%) Niacin 16% (0.5%) Folate 40% (1.3%) Phosphorous 18% (0.6%) Potassium 118% (3.9%) Zinc 10% (0.3%) Magnesium 22% (0.7%) Copper16% (0.5%)

Interesting Facts
Meatballs have been around since at least the time of the Roman Republic and probably much farther back.

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Lemon Roasted Fennel
Type: Main Dish Time to Prepare: 45 minutes Serves: 4

1 bulb of fennel 1 tsp. of olive oil 1/8 tsp. of salt 2 lemons, sliced 2 cups of small pasta (bow-tie, ziti, etc.) ¼ cup of sundried tomatoes, sliced 1 tbsp. of chopped parsley leaves ½ tsp. of freshly ground pepper

Ingredients

Instructions

Cut the fennel in half. Lightly rub the two halves with olive oil. Place them in a baking dish. Dress them with salt and pepper. Slice the lemons. Spread the lemons on the fennel. Cover the baking dish. Bake the fennel and lemons on 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Once it is done baking, start the pasta. Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it floats and immediately remove it from the water. Slice the sundried tomatoes. Chop the parsley. Toss the pasta with the sundried tomatoes and parsley. Spread the pasta out onto two platters. Place a fennel half on top of each set of pasta.

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Low-fat Version
Instead of rubbing olive oil onto the fennel, add a thin layer of water to the bottom of the baking dish. This will create steam as the fennel bakes which will keep the fennel moist, which is the purpose of the olive oil.

Raw Version
Instead of using cooked pasta, shave pieces of yellow squash until you have about 4 cups of

squash shavings. Because the lemons won’t bake onto the fennel, they won’t release the right amount of juice by simply laying them on the fennel, so sprinkle the fennel with the juice of one lemon.

Kitchen Equipment
Baking Dish Foil Pot Colander Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Knife Cutting Board

Presentation
Make sure to serve this with a sharp knife on a platter that can be cut upon. Each platter serves two and each person will need to cut their own fennel. If you feel that is too much work for you each platter with fennel fronds. guests, slice the fennel for them before plating it and then dress

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Time Management
Make sure not to start the pasta until the fennel is done. If you cook it too early, it will be room temperature by the time the fennel comes out of the oven.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with an appetizer of chickpea dip flavored with hot red peppers. This complements the citrus of the lemon and strong fennel flavor.

Where to Shop
Make sure that the fennel looks crisp and white, not off-color. You can also check the fronds to ensure that they are a deep green, which is a sign of freshness. For sundried tomatoes that are not packed in oil, check the produce section of your local market. Approximate cost per serving is $1.50.

How It Works
The fennel is baked long enough to become slightly soft, which also allows it to absorb the lemon

juice which is released as the lemons bake. The fennel is rubbed in oil so that it remains moist, for flavor, but also for color.

which is also why the baking dish is covered. The sundried tomatoes and parsley are not only used

Chef’s Notes
This is one of the first Italian recipes I ever taught in one of my classes. The students looked wary at first, but as soon as they tasted it, the dish was an instant hit.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 890.8 (222.7) Calories from Fat 76.0 (19.0) Fat 8.4g (2.1g) Total Carbohydrates 172.7g (43.2g)
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Dietary Fiber 11.8g (3.0g) Sugars 5.1g (1.3g) Protein 31.0g (7.8g) Salt 997mg (249mg) Vitamin A 26% (6.5%)

Vitamin B6 26% (6.5%) Vitamin C 30% (7.5%) Calcium 14% (3.5%) Iron 27% (6.8%) Thiamin 24% (6%) Riboflavin 17% (4.3%) Niacin 27% (6.8%) Folate 25% (6.3%) Phosphorous 50% (12.5%) Potassium 43% (10.8%) Zinc 24% (6%) Magnesium 41% (10.3%) Copper 44% (11%)

Interesting Facts
Fennel was sometimes a tool of the gods in Greek mythology. The most common type of fennel sold is Florence fennel.

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Carciofi alla Romana (Roman-style Artichokes)
Type: Main Dish Time to Prepare: 60 minutes Serves: 2

2 artichokes Juice of 2 lemons ½ tsp. of salt Enough water to cover the base of the artichokes ¼ of a red onion, diced 1 tsp. of olive oil ½ cup of rice Pinch of saffron 1 cup of water ¼ tsp. of salt 1 Roma tomato, diced 2 tbsp. of chopped mint leaves Juice of ½ of a lemon 2 cloves of garlic, minced ½ cup of red wine

Ingredients

Instructions

Cut the artichokes in half along the length (you will need a heavy serrated knife for this). Leave the long stems on the artichokes. Pull the hard leaves off the outer part of the artichokes. Fill a pot big enough to hold both artichokes with the lemon juice, wine, salt, and enough water to cover the base of the artichoke up to the stem. Bring the liquid to a boil. Place the artichokes upside down in the liquid (stem side up). Boil the artichokes for 40-15 minutes, replenishing water as needed. While they are boiling, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté the onion over a medium heat in a pot with the oil until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, rice, and saffron and continue sautéing these for another minute. Add the water, lemon juice, and salt to the pot and bring the liquid to a simmer.
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Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook the rice for 15 minutes. While it is cooking, dice the tomato and chop the mint leaves. Uncover the pot and stir the rice, cooking it until all of the liquid in the pot is gone. Remove the rice from the heat. Immediately stir the diced tomato and mint into the rice. Remove the artichokes from the boiling liquid. Remove the chokes of each artichoke. Remove the stems of the artichokes. Stuff the artichokes with the rice and serve.

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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil from the recipe, don’t toast the rice, and simply boil the onion, garlic, and saffron in the water instead of sautéing them.

Kitchen Equipment
Large Pot to hold the artichokes Heavy Serrated Knife Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Pot with Lid Spoon Stirring Spoon

Presentation
I chose a fairly decorative, classy looking plate so I wouldn’t have to garnish the artichokes much. If you use a white plate, dress the plate with extra mint leaves and sprinkles of crushed red pepper.

Time Management
Start the artichokes boiling before you start working on the rice stuffing and don’t start the rice until about 25 minutes into boiling the artichokes. That way, the rice will still be warm by the time you finish prepping the artichokes to be stuffed.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve these with the same wine which you used to boil the artichokes. It will create a unified taste
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throughout the meal.

Where to Shop
Look for large artichokes because they will have more stuffing space. Trader Joe’s has one of the best prices on saffron and you can pick up the rice while you are there. The rest of the ingredients should be incredibly easy to find. Approximate cost per serving is $4.00.

How It Works
The artichokes are cut in half so that they make a nice cup to hold the stuffing. This also gets rid of the spiky parts of most of the leaves. The artichoke then boils in a highly acidic solution made from wine and lemon juice so that it becomes tart. The rice is a basic rice recipe with a nice mix of tartness and creaminess, the tartness from the lemon juice and the creaminess from the rice. so that they remain fairly fresh. Saffron is used to dye the rice and the tomato and mint are added in at the very end of the recipe

Chef’s Notes
I had never had an artichoke that wasn’t served steamed with a side of butter or margarine until I started exploring authentic Italian cuisine. I love the flavor the artichoke acquires from the lemon juice and wine!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 527.1 (263.6) Calories from Fat 37.7 (18.9) Fat 4.2g (2.1g) Total Carbohydrates 107.0g (53.5g) Dietary Fiber 13.1g (6.9g) Sugars 5.0g (2.5G) Protein 15.4g (7.7g) Salt 1975mg (988mg)

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Vitamin A 23% (11.5%) Vitamin B6 22% (11%) Calcium 13% (6.5%) Iron 22% (11%) Thiamin 18% (9%) Niacin 22% (11%) Folate 35% (17.5%) Phosphorous 33% (16.5%) Potassium 30% (15%) Zinc 17% (8.5%) Magnesium 47% (23.5%) Copper 35% (17.5%) Riboflavin 13% (6.5%) Vitamin C 103% (51.5%)

Interesting Facts
The most common artichoke served is the globe artichoke. Artichoke plants grow up to about chest height with the artichoke sitting at the top of the plant on a long, thick stem.

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Melanzane Ripiene di Riso (Eggplant stuffed with Rice)
Type: Main Dish Time to Prepare: 90 minutes Serves: 2

The Eggplant 2 eggplants 2 tsp. of oil (used after the eggplants are stuffed) The Rice Stuffing ¼ of an onion, diced 1 clove of garlic, minced 1 tsp. of olive oil Pinch of saffron ¼ cup of white wine ¼ tsp. of salt The “Egg” Stuffing 4 oz. of extra firm tofu ¼ tsp. of salt ½ tsp. of turmeric 1 tsp. of olive oil The Sauce 3 tbsp. of chopped mint leaves 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped ¼ of an onion, diced 1 tsp. of olive oil 1/8 tsp. of salt ½ tsp. of fresh thyme The Garnish 3 tbsp. of sliced basil leaves ¼ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper ½ cup of veggie stock ½ cup of Arborio rice

Ingredients

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Instructions

Prepping the Eggplant

Bake the eggplants on 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool until you can handle them.

Gently slice off the ends of each eggplant. Starting about 1” from an end, slice the eggplant open in the middle, stopping about 1” from the other end. Gently scoop out some of the seeded area, creating a pouch in each eggplant. Set the eggplants aside. Making the Rice Dice the onion. Mince the garlic. Sauté the onion in the oil over a medium heat until it is soft. Remove the onion from the pot. Add the rice into the pot and toast it for 5 minutes, stirring it slowly the whole time. Add the onion back into the pot, along with the garlic and saffron. Sauté all these ingredients for another 3 minutes. Bring this to a simmer and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low. Allow the rice to cook for 20 minutes. Making the “Egg” Stuffing Crumble the tofu. Mix the tofu with the salt and turmeric. Sauté this over a medium-high heat in the oil for about 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat. Making the Sauce Chop the tomatoes and dice the onion. Sauté the onion in the oil over a medium heat until it is soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and thyme to the pan. This can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. As soon as the tomatoes have mostly softened, remove them from the heat so they do not overcook. Smash the tomatoes as they cook so that they fall apart and turn into t sauce. Immediately mix the fresh mint leaves into it. Add the white wine, veggie stock, and salt to the pot.

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Assembling the Stuffed Eggplants Combine the rice and tofu. Stuff the eggplant pouches with the rice and tofu mix. Bring 2 tsp. of olive oil to just above a medium heat. Sauté the eggplants on both sides for 3-4 minutes per side (some of the stuffing may spill out, but that’s ok). Dress the stuffed eggplants with the sauce and sliced basil leaves.

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Low-fat Version
Omit the oil from the rice and simply toast the rice and then add in the un-cooked onion with the veggie stock. Do not pan-fry the eggplants after they are stuffed, omitting the oil from that part of the recipe, as well. Omit the oil from the sauce and add all of the sauce ingredients to the pan at the same time along with ¼ cup of water, simmering everything over a medium heat until the tomatoes soften.

Raw Version
To make the raw version, slice the eggplants in half along the length. Salt the eggplant halves and place a weight on them. Let them sit for about 2 hours. Hollow out a bit of each eggplant half. To make the rice stuffing, use 2 cups of cauliflower that has been crumbled in a food processor. Mix saffron. Instead of the tofu “egg” stuffing, mix ¼ cup of cashew butter with the cauliflower. The tofu is used to bind the rice in the cooked recipe and the cashew butter will do the same in the raw version. Salt and pepper the stuffing to taste. Stuff the eggplant and then dress it with fresh, chopped tomatoes and sliced basil. this with ¼ cup of diced red onion, the mint leaves, olive oil, a pinch of turmeric, salt, and a pinch of

Kitchen Equipment
Oven Knife Cutting Board 2 Sauté Pans 2 Pots, one with a lid Stirring Spoon Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Spatula

Presentation
This looks best on a white plate, but you will need to garnish the plate in addition to the eggplants. Sprinkle some extra basil
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and/or sauce on the plate so you don’t have a nice-looking eggplant surrounded by start whiteness. Make sure to serve the eggplant with fairly sharp knives as regular dinner table knives tend to just smash the eggplant down and force all the stuffing out of it.

Time Management
Start baking the eggplant before doing anything else. Next, start on the rice and once the rice is cooking with the pot covered, move on to the tofu “egg” stuffing. The eggplant, rice, and tofu eggplant time to cool before you start stuffing it. should all finishing cooking right around the same time. You can then work on the sauce, giving the

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a side of Tuscan toast. It’s perfect for any of the excess filling. A mild merlot goes quite well with this, as well.

Where to Shop
Trader Joe’s has small boxes of Arborio rice for an excellent price, though you can also find it in bulk bins at Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Central Market.

How It Works
The eggplant is baked intact so that it stays moist while it softens in the oven since the skin of the

eggplant will trap the steam released from the flesh of the eggplant. The rice is fairly basic, using Arborio rice for stickiness. Since the rice is on the sticky side, it tends to feel heartier and also

more easily stay stuffed into the eggplant. This recipe is traditionally made with egg, but the tofu scramble works incredibly well, serving to further bind all the ingredients and add some extra density to the stuffing. Turmeric is used mostly for color, but also for a bit of earthy tanginess. The more easily cut and also adding a touch of extra flavor to it. eggplant is finished off in the frying pan in order to slightly crisp the skin, giving it a texture that is

Chef’s Notes
This is definitely one of the more complex recipes I do, so I only make it for very special occasions.
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Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1184.6 (592.3) Fat 30.9g (15.4g) Total Carbohydrates 196.2g (98.1g) Dietary Fiber 36.2g (18.1g) Sugars 40.8g (20.4g) Protein 30.5g (15.3g) Salt 2088mg (1044mg) Vitamin A 134% (67%) Vitamin B6 75% (37.5%) Vitamin C 91% (45.5%) Calcium 37% (18.5%) Iron 78% (39%) Thiamin 105% (52.5%) Riboflavin 27% (13.5%) Niacin 64% (32%) Folate 46% (23%) Phosphorous 50% (25%) Potassium 67% (33.5%) Zinc 29% (14.5%) Magnesium 63% (31.5%) Copper 65% (32.5%)

Calories from Fat 277.8 (138.9)

Interesting Facts
Eggplant is part of the nightshade family. Eggplant is a fruit.

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Arancine
Type: Appetizer/Side Time to Prepare: 60 minutes Serves: 12

½ of a yellow onion, diced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 tsp. of olive oil 1 ½ cups of Arborio rice 1 pinch of saffron ¼ cup of dry white wine ½ tsp. of salt ¼ cup of dried wild mushrooms Optional Fillings: shredded carrot, roasted red pepper, zucchini Warm water Oil for frying 3 cups of veggie stock (or more if needed)

Ingredients

Instructions

Making the Risotto Dice the onion. Mince the garlic and set it aside. Over a medium heat, sauté the onion in 1 tsp. of olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add in the garlic and continue sautéing the onion and garlic for 1 minute. Remove the onion and garlic from the pot and set them aside. Add in another tsp. of olive oil, the rice, and the saffron to the pot. Toast the rice over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes. While it is toasting, warm the veggie stock. Once the rice has toasted, add the white wine and 1 cup of veggie stock. Stir continuously until most of the liquid is absorbed. liquid is mostly absorbed. rice.
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Ladle in ½ cup of veggie stock at a time, stirring the rice slowly, but continuously until the

Once you are down to the last cup of veggie stock, add the onion, garlic, and salt to the

Continue adding liquid to the rice and stirring until the rice is al dente (you may need to go over 3 cups of liquid; check by tasting the rice). Making the Filling While the rice is cooling, warm enough water to cover the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms in the water and allow them to rehydrate. Once they are rehydrated, dice the mushrooms. Assembling the Arancine Press a layer or risotto in your palm about ¼” thick. Place about 1 tsp. of the mushrooms in the center of the rice in your palm. Press another layer of rice on top of the layer in palm with the filling. Squeeze the rice closed into a ball, trying to get the rice fairly tight. Set this aside and repeat this until you are out of filling or out of rice. Add enough oil to a Dutch oven, fryer, or wok to cover one of the arancine. Bring the oil to 375 degrees. Drop in a few arancine at a time (the amount will depend on the size of your frying device; I typically do 4-5 at a time for a large wok). Fry the arancine for about 5 minutes. Remove the arancine and allow them to drain of any excess oil. Repeat this until all the arancine are fried. Once the rice is done, spread the rice out about ½” thick on a baking sheet.

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Low-fat Version
Cover a baking sheet with wax paper and place the arancine on the wax paper. Bake the arancine at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, rotating them about 13 minutes into baking. Be gentle with the arancine when you rotate them.

Raw Version
You can make some really tasty raw arancine using spicy sprouts mixed with just enough almond

butter to make the sprouts stick together. For every cup of sprouts you use, you only need 1-2 tsp. of almond butter. Form the raw arancine in your palm as you with the risotto version and use any or all of the following for the filling: chopped Brazil nuts, salted zucchini, shredded carrot, spinach, and/or basil.

Kitchen Equipment
Pot (enameled pot works best) Knife Cutting Board Stirring Spoon Small Pot for the veggie stock Measuring Cup Baking Sheet Frying Pot of Pan Frying Basket Plate Paper Towels Measuring Spoon

Presentation
Simply serve these on a plate or platter and if you want extra adornment, sprinkle on some freshly cut parsley.

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Time Management
These are best served just a few minutes out of the fryer, but if you must warm them up, bake them in the oven at 325 degrees for 10 minutes and make sure to cover them so they don’t dry out.

Complementary Food and Drinks
A few of these go a long way, so don’t serve them with anything too heavy. My favorite set to serve them with is an orange and red onion salad, a slice of bread with olive oil, and half a stuffed eggplant.

Where to Shop
Arborio rice can be purchased at Trader Joe’s, and out of the bulk bins at Sprouts, Whole

Foods, and Central Market. You can also buy it at conventional markets pre-packaged, but it tends to be more expensive. Dried wild mushroom packets can be purchased at most stores. Approximate cost per serving is $.75.

How It Works
The first part of the recipe is a basic risotto recipe, made creamy by the constant battering of the rice while it simmers in the liquid. The onion is removed from the pot before the rice is added so that the onion does not overly brown and overwhelm the rice. The finished risotto is spread on a baking sheet in a thin layer so that it cools both evenly and quickly. Dried mushrooms are used through the starchiness of the risotto. because they intensify in flavor when they are dried and the flavor of the mushrooms needs to shine

Chef’s Notes
I first saw the recipe for arancine on Molto Mario and quickly figured out how to adapt them to be vegan.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 944.8 (78.7)
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Calories from Fat 177.1 (14.8) Fat 19.7g (1.6g) Total Carbohydrates 177.8g (14.8g) Dietary Fiber 7.3g (0.6g) Sugars 5.4g (0.4g) Protein 14.2g (1.2g) Salt 2882mg (240mg) Vitamin A 60% (5%) Vitamin B6 23% (1.9%) Vitamin C 7% (0.6%) Calcium 2% (0.2%) Iron 48% (4%) Thiamin 77% (6.4%) Niacin 44% (3.7%) Folate 177% (14.8%) Phosphorous 21% (1.8%) Potassium 7% (0.6%) Zinc 18% (1.5%) Magnesium 14% (1.2%) Copper 38% (3.2%) Riboflavin 11% (0.9%)

Interesting Facts
Arancine are often made from the previous night’s left-over risotto.

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Bruschetta
Type: Side Serves: 12 Time to Prepare: 25 minutes

3 Roma tomatoes, diced ¼ cup of thinly sliced basil 1/8 tsp. of salt ¼ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper 12” long loaf of thin Italian bread, sliced 1 tbsp. of olive oil 1 large clove of garlic, slightly smashed 3 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar

Ingredients

Instructions

Light your grill and allow the flames to die down. While you are waiting for the flames to die, start making the bruschetta topping. Dice the tomatoes. Slice the basil. Over a medium-low heat, reduce the balsamic vinegar until you have only 1 tbsp. of the vinegar (this works best by quickly removing the pan from the heat just before the balsamic vinegar has finished reducing). Once the vinegar has cooled, mix it with the tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper. Slice off the ends of the loaf of bread. Slice the bread into 12 or so pieces. Lightly brush each side with olive oil. Gently press on the garlic clove until it just starts to split. Rub each slice with the garlic clove. Grill the bread until it is toasted on both sides (about 30 seconds to 2 minutes per side, depending on how hot your grill is). Top each slice of grilled bread with the tomato and basil mix.

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Low-fat Version
Do not brush the bread with olive oil. This means you need to pay extra attention to it to make sure it does not burn.

Raw Version
Mix the tomatoes and basil with 1 tbsp. of raw vinegar sweetened with ½ tsp. of sweet agave nectar. Serve it over flax seed crackers.

Kitchen Equipment
Grill Tongs Brush Platter to hold the sliced bread Measuring Spoon Mixing Bowl Pan Stirring Spoon Knife Cutting Board

Presentation
Arrange the bread on a platter and garnish it with extra sliced basil. For a nicer presentation, drizzle the platter with more balsamic reduction from a squirt bottle.

Time Management
Once the bread goes on the grill, you will need to pay particular attention to it because the
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difference between toasted and burned is about twenty seconds.

Complementary Food and Drinks
My favorite two items to serve with bruschetta are fava bean dip and grilled porcini mushrooms.

Where to Shop
Trader Joe’s has an excellent assortment of thin, vegan breads and it is ok to substitute French

bread for Italian bread. While you are there, you can also pick up a large container of organic basil. The same items can be found at Fresh & Easy. Keep in mind that the better the vinegar is, the better this will taste. Your vinegar should have a smooth, sweet taste to it. Approximate cost per serving is $.35.

How It Works
The bread is brushed with oil partly to infuse it with flavor by lightly frying it as it grills, but also to keep the bread from burning too quickly. The balsamic vinegar is reduced so that it thickens and better coats the basil and tomatoes.

Chef’s Notes
This is one of many bruschetta toppings, but there’s a reason it is a classic.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1354.3 (112.9) Calories from Fat 267.9 (22.3) Fat 29.8g (2.5g) Total Carbohydrates 230.0g (19.2g) Dietary Fiber 14.5g (1.2g) Sugars 10.8g (0.9g) Protein 41.6g (3.5g) Salt 3241mg (270mg)
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Vitamin A 31% (2.6%) Vitamin B6 18% (1.5%) Vitamin C 39% (3.3%) Calcium 37% (3.1%) Iron 77% (6.4%) Thiamin 148% (12.3%) Riboflavin 80% (6.7%) Niacin 105% (8.8%) Folate 219% (18.3%) Phosphorous 51% (4.3%) Potassium 27% (2.3%) Zinc 28% (2.3%) Magnesium 36% (3%) Copper 48% (4%)

Interesting Facts
Bruschetta should properly be pronounced broos-KET-uh. Bruscare is the Latin root word for bruschetta, which means to roast over coals, and is also the root word for terms like brisket and brusque.

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Fava Bean Bruschetta
Type: Appetizer Serves: 4 Time to Prepare: 15 minutes

4 slices of 4” wide bread 1 tsp. of olive oil 4 oz. of fava beans, rinsed 1/8 tsp. of cumin 1/8 tsp. of salt ½ tsp. of paprika 1 tsp. of water 1 tsp. of lemon juice 1 tsp. of olive oil 1 sprig of rosemary 1 clove of garlic, minced

Ingredients

Option: 1 roma tomato Instructions

Light the grill. Slice the bread. Brush the slices with oil. Mince the garlic. In a small pan, combine the fava beans, olive oil, water, salt, cumin, and paprika. Cook this over a medium heat until the beans are soft, mashing them while you cook them. Cut the rosemary sprig into four parts. Toast the bread with the rosemary sprig placed on it. As it gets dark grill lines on the bottom, flip the bread and replace the rosemary cuts. Mix in the fresh lemon juice into the finished bean paste. Spread the fava bean paste on the finished bruschetta.

Option: Dice the roma tomato and cook it into the bean paste. If you do this, omit the water.

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Kitchen Equipment
Grill Brush Tongs Small Pan Measuring Spoon Small Spatula to spread the fava bean paste Small Knife Cutting Board

Presentation
I like to set aside a couple fresh rosemary sprigs and lay those atop the finished bruschetta. The green looks very striking against the finished dish.

Time Management
Since the beans can take a few minutes to develop, it is easier to manage the beans and then move on to toast the bread. That way, neither the beans nor the bread will burn.

Complementary Food and Drinks
This is a heavier bruschetta, so serve it with something that won’t get overwhelmed by the texture. Try this as a side with a portabella stuffed with barley as the centerpiece.

Where to Shop
Fava beans are not typically available at the more common markets. However, you should easily be

able to find them at any Middle Eastern market and most gourmet stores will carry them, as well. I’ve also seen them in Whole Foods.
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How It Works
The oil is in the bean paste to help lubricate the pan so the beans don’t stick as well as the garlic.

It also moistens it, along with the water and lemon juice. Otherwise, it would be too dry. Toasting the rosemary sprigs on top of the bruschetta imparts a subtle rosemary taste. The lemon juice lightens the final dish.

Chef’s Notes
This bean spread is a variation on foul madamas, a Middle Eastern fava bean dish. Remove the lemon juice, however, and it becomes a Tuscan dish. It amazes me how closely the cuisine of the two regions can be related!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 355.9 (89.0) Fat 11.4g (2.8g) Calories from Fat 94.4 (23.6)

Total Carbohydrates 51.3g (12.8g) Dietary Fiber 6.2g (1.5g) Sugars 2.0g (0.5g) Protein 12.2g (3.0g) Salt 667.3mg (166.8mg) Vitamin A 0% (0%)

Vitamin B6 5% (1.3%) Vitamin C 4% (1%) Calcium 11% (2.8%) Iron 19% (4.8%) Thiamin 21% (5.3%) Riboflavin 16% (4%) Niacin 17% (4.3%) Folate 39% (9.8%) Phosphorous 18% (4.5%)
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Potassium 8% (2%) Zinc 9% (2.3%) Magnesium 13% (3.3%) Copper 15% (3.8%)

Interesting Facts
Fava beans are sometimes called broad beans or horse beans. know the wine with which they should be paired!

Fava beans were mentioned at the end of Silence of the Lambs, and if you remember that, you

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Peperone Ripiene di Riso e Funghi (Stuffed Peppers with Rice and Mushrooms)

Type: Main Dish Time to Prepare: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

2 green bell peppers 1 tomato, diced 2 cloves of garlic, minced ½ cup of chopped oyster mushrooms 2 tsp. of olive oil ¾ cup of rice ½ tsp. of salt 1 ¼ cups of water

Ingredients

Instructions

Roast the bell peppers whole on 375 degrees for 15 minutes. When the peppers are done, cut them in half along the length. Scoop out any seeds and gently cut out the whitish membranes. Set the peppers aside. Dice the tomato. Mince the garlic. Chop the oyster mushrooms. Over a medium-high heat, sear the oyster mushrooms in a pot with the oil until you see parts of the mushrooms turn brown (about 5-7 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and rice and sauté these for about 3 minutes. Add in the water, salt, and tomatoes. Bring the water to a simmer. Cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low. Cook the rice for 20 minutes. Stuff the peppers with the rice mix.
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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil and bake the chopped oyster mushrooms on a metal baking sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Do not sauté the rice and garlic, but instead, simmer the water and then add the rice and garlic to it.

Raw Version
Use 2 cups of ground cauliflower for the rice. Salt the mushrooms and place a weight on them, allowing them to sit for thirty minutes. Rinse them after this time and add them to the ground them. cauliflower along with all the other stuffing ingredients. Stuff the raw peppers after de-seeding

Kitchen Equipment
Oven Knife Cutting Board Small Pot with Lid Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Spoon

Presentation

Make sure that the various ingredients in the stuffing are showing so that your diner can see exactly what tantalizing goodies await them in their stuffed pepper!

Time Management
Cut all the ingredients for the rice, but don’t start cooking the mushrooms and rice until the
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peppers are in the oven. The peppers will finish before the rice, giving you time to allow them to cool, cut them, and de-seed them just as the rice stuffing is done.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a stew of garbanzo beans, tomatoes, garlic, and greens.

Where to Shop
Oyster mushrooms are becoming more common, but are not always available at the average market. Try you local Asian market or Whole Foods for these gems. The other ingredients are easy to find. Approximate cost per serving is $1.00.

How It Works
The peppers roast just long enough to get rid of the raw taste and soften them enough that they are easily cut, but not so long that they completely collapse. This makes them easy to stuff and keep their shape. The oyster mushrooms are seared until parts are brown because searing oyster mushrooms gives them an incredibly rich taste that they otherwise would not have. The rice is toasted to give it a nutty flavor.

Chef’s Notes
This is just a very basic rice stuffing recipe, designed to allow for easy additions of other

ingredients, like nuts and beans.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 696.5 (174.1) Fat 10.5g (2.6g) Total Carbohydrates 136.0g (34.0g) Dietary Fiber 7.2g (1.8g) Sugars 9.2g (2.3g) Protein 14.5g (3.6g)
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Calories from Fat 94.5 (23.6)

Salt 1183mg (296mg) Vitamin A 40% (10%) Vitamin B6 47% (11.8%) Vitamin C 62% (15.5%) Calcium 4% (1%) Iron 20% (5%) Thiamin 23% (5.8%) Riboflavin 23% (5.8%) Niacin 39% (9.8%) Folate 12% (3%) Phosphorous 31% (7.8%) Potassium 32% (8%) Zinc 19% (4.8%) Magnesium 24% (6%) Copper 40% (10%)

Interesting Facts
Oyster mushrooms are termed so because of the shape the mushroom reaches at maturity. A green bell pepper is an unripe red pepper.

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Focaccia alla Genovese
Type: Bread Serves: 6 Time to Prepare: 3 hours (includes time for the dough to rise)

1 tsp. of yeast 1 tsp. of sugar 2 tbsp. of warm water ½ cup of olive oil 2 cups of flour (whole wheat pastry flour is optimal) 1 tsp. of salt 1 cup of water 1 tbsp. of minced sage leaves Extra water

Ingredients

Option: 2 tbsp. of olive oil Instructions

Mince the sage leaves. Combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast together. Combine the flour and salt together. Add the water and olive oil to the water, sugar, and yeast mixture. Stir the wet mix into the dry mix (you should end up with a very soft dough.) Add the sage leaves to the dough mix, but don’t worry about having it thoroughly mixed into the dough. Knead the dough with the sage leaves until it no longer sticks to your hands. Roll the dough into a ball. Lightly oil the dough and place it in a bowl. Cover the bowl. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours. Fold the dough in on itself and form it into the shape you wish (usually a rectangle.) Lightly oil the dough again. Cover the dough. Allow the dough to rise for another 30 minutes.
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Spread the dough onto a baking stone or into a baking dish until it is about ¾” thick.

Take a small amount of water (3-4 tbsp.) and sprinkle it on the top and sides of the dough, gently smearing the dough with the water (it’s ok if depressions in the dough form and collect excess water.)

Option: Combine the oil with the water and sprinkle that on the dough.
Bake the bread for 25 minutes on 400 degrees. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes.

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Kitchen Equipment
2 Mixing Bowls Whisk Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Baking Dish or Stone Towel to cover the dough Knife Cutting Board Oven

Presentation
I like to cut these into large rectangles, which are the perfect size for a generous serving of focaccia and makes a nice accompaniment to a meal.

Time Management
The amount of labor in this recipe is fairly small, but the resting time and baking time is just the opposite. That means this bread needs to be started well ahead of serving time. Use the down time in the recipe to make something else or just relax. You can make a large batch of the bread, but cover the left over bread with plastic wrap to keep it fresh. Note that you can use a bread the bread. mixer to get the dough to the right consistency, but you will probably lose some of the softness of

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a chilled glass of white wine and/or with a light soup.

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Where to Shop
I prefer to use whole wheat pastry flour which I get at Sprouts or Whole Foods. It should also be

available at Central Market and most stores with a bulk section. The other ingredients should be fairly common, with most of them available in the baking aisle of your local market.

How It Works
Allowing the dough to rise accomplishes several things. First, it gives time for the yeast in the bread to ferment, creating a small amount of alcohol which then flavors the bread. Second, the yeast releases acid glutamathione, which relaxes the gluten in the dough, making it more tender. Finally, this relaxation of the gluten allows the dough to absorb more surface water, making it less the outside while it is rising. The first rise gets the dough ready for shaping since the texture will be less sticky and then the second rise gives the dough some volume before it goes into the oven. sticky. It is both oiled and covered to keep it moist. Without that, the dough will develop a crust on

Chef’s Notes
I love the extra flavor that the whole wheat pastry flour gave to the focaccia bread. Next time I make it, I may add some garlic to it along with the sage.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1876.4 (312.7) Calories from Fat 994.1 (165.7) Fat 110.5g (18.4g) Total Carbohydrates 194.8g (34.5g) Dietary Fiber 6.8g (1.1g) Sugars 4.7g (0.8g) Protein 25.8g (4.3g) Salt 2331mg (388mg) Vitamin A 0% (0%) Vitamin B6 6% (1%)
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Vitamin C 0% (0%) Calcium 4% (0.7%) Iron 64% (10.7%) Thiamin 98% (16.3%) Riboflavin 62% (10.3%) Niacin 74% (12.3%) Folate 76% (12.7%) Phosphorous 27% (4.5%) Potassium 8% (1.3%) Zinc 12% (2%) Magnesium 14% (2.3%) Copper 18% (3%)

Interesting Facts
Focaccia was traditionally cooked over the remnant ashes of the family hearth.

Focaccia recipes abound throughout the villages of the province of Liguria in Italy.

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Macco di Fave
Type: Appetizer Serves: 4 Time to Prepare: 1 hour 15 minutes plus time to soak the beans

The Fava Puree 2 cups of dried fava beans 1 red onion, diced 1 small bulb of fennel, diced 1 tbsp. of tomato paste 2 cups of water (enough to cover the dried beans in a small pot) 4-6 sundried tomatoes ½ tsp. of salt ½ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper The Garnishing Sauce 1 cup of broken vermicelli 1 tbsp. of tomato paste 2 tbsp. of olive oil ¼ tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes 1 cup of toasted bread crumbs

Ingredients

Instructions

Making the Fava Bean Puree

Soak the fava beans overnight and then discard the water. Dice the onion and fennel. Combine the tomato paste with the water. In a small pot, add the beans, onion, fennel, tomato paste/water, and the sundried tomatoes. Bring the beans to a low simmer and simmer them for an hour, until they are completely soft. Puree the cooked fava bean mix, adding water as needed to create a thick bean dip. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cook the vermicelli until the pasta is soft (about 5-8 minutes). Stir the vermicelli into the dip.

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Making the Garnishing Sauce Combine the tomato paste with the olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook this over a medium heat for about 1 minute. Top the fava bean puree with the sauce. Sprinkle toasted bread crumbs over the top and serve immediately.

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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil from the recipe.

Raw Version
You can use sprouted fava beans in this recipe. Blend about 12 sundried tomatoes with the beans, salt, pepper, 2 tsp. of olive oil, ½ cup of fennel, ¼ cup of red onion, and enough liquid to create a bean dip. Top this with sliced sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, and a bit of extra olive oil.

Kitchen Equipment
Bowl to soak the beans Pot Blender Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Stirring Spoon Small Mixing Bowl Pan Measuring Spoon

Presentation
Don’t add the bread crumbs until just before serving this, or they will absorb the tomato sauce and lose the contrasting color they provide.

Time Management
You can shorten the cook time down significantly by using canned fava beans. If you do this, you
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only need to simmer the onion, fennel, and beans together for about twenty minutes.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with toasted bread or toasted pita. It makes a great precursor to any sort of rice dish.

Where to Shop
Fava beans can be purchased at most Middle Eastern and Asian markets and some upscale $1.50.

markets. The other ingredients should be commonly available. Approximate cost per serving

How It Works
The fennel gives the beans a licorice –like taste while the onion adds sweetness. The tomato paste and sundried tomatoes add depth of flavor. The beans should be soaked overnight so they will cook much quicker when all the ingredients are simmered. Salt is added at the end because salt tends to toughen protein when they are cooked together.

Chef’s Notes
I thought this recipe would be reminiscent of ful maddamas, a Middle Eastern fava bean dish, but this ended up being very different, with an incredibly smooth, rich taste.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1511.8 (377.9) Calories from Fat 334.5 (83.6) Fat 37.2g (9.3g) Total Carbohydrates 230.8g (57.7g) Dietary Fiber 40.1g (10.0g) Sugars 20.2g (5.1g) Protein 63.5g (15.9g Salt 2333mg (583mg)
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Vitamin A 25% (6.3%) Vitamin B6 42% (10.5%) Vitamin C 42% (10.5%) Calcium 49% (12.3%) Iron 88% (22%) Thiamin 117% (29.3%) Niacin 71% (17.8%) Folate 196% (49%) Phosphorous 104% (26%) Potassium 82% (20.5%) Zinc 53% (13.3%) Magnesium 88% (22%) Copper 103% (25.8%) Riboflavin 67% (16.8%)

Interesting Facts
Fava beans are also called broad beans. Fava beans are used in Chinese, Middle Eastern, North African, and southern Italian dishes.

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Piselli alla Toscana (Tuscan Peas)
Type: Side Dish, Italian (Tuscan) Time to Prepare: 20 minutes Serves: 3

1 onion, diced 1 tbsp. of olive oil ½ tsp. of sugar ½ tsp. of crushed red pepper ¼ tsp. of salt 2 cups of fresh or frozen green peas 2 tbsp. of fresh mint leaves 1 tbsp. of tomato paste

Ingredients

Instructions

Dice the onion. Sauté the onion in the oil over a medium heat until it is slightly browned. Add in the tomato paste, sugar, crushed red pepper, and salt and stir it all together. Sauté the onion and tomato paste mixture for another minute. Add the peas to the pan and stir everything together. Cook the peas until they are soft (about 10 minutes). Remove the peas from the heat. Immediately mix the fresh mint into the peas.

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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil from the recipe and sauté the onion over a medium-high heat for about 3 minutes and then add in a thin layer of water. Keep sautéing the onion, replenishing the water as needed, until it is soft.

Raw Version
To make the tomato paste mix, take 6 sundried tomatoes and blend them with the oil, salt, and ½ onion, peas, and mint.

tsp. of minced hot red pepper. Dice ¼ of an onion and mix together the tomato paste blend, the

Kitchen Equipment
Pan Knife Cutting Board Stirring Spoon Measuring Spoon Measuring Cup

Presentation
If you would like to do a fancy presentation, serve this on a bed of lettuce and prop a sprig of fresh mint on the top of the peas. However, I like to serve it as is.

Time Management
You can cheat on this and use frozen peas, which will reduce the cook time by about eight minutes.

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Complementary Food and Drinks
I like eating this dish in the early afternoon, so I often serve it with some sort of sandwich. It goes particularly well with an open-faced eggplant sandwich with the bread toasted.

Where to Shop
You may need to head to a farmers’ market, Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Central Market to get

fresh peas as they are not commonly available in most grocery stores. My favorite tomato paste to use is the organic one by Muir Glen. Approximate cost per serving is $1.50.

How It Works
The onion provides most of the sweet, pungent base of the sauce, a sauce which is only meant to lightly coat the peas. This is why there is very little sauce used and the sauce is more like a tomato, oil, and onion paste than a real sauce. Sugar is used in the sauce to make the peas just a bit sweeter, but also so the sugar can quickly caramelize and darken the flavor of the dish.

Chef’s Notes
This was the first Italian recipe I made for this issue and was instantly hooked.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 434.0 (144.7) Calories from Fat 134.0 (44.7) Fat 14.9g (5.0g) Total Carbohydrates 57.4g (19.1g) Dietary Fiber 17.4g (5.8g) Sugars 24.8g (8.3g) Protein 17.6g (5.9g) Salt 1203mg (401mg)

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Vitamin A 49% (16.3%) Vitamin B6 34% (11.3%) Vitamin C 213% (71%) Calcium 11% (3.7%) Iron 28% (9.3%) Thiamin 55% (18.3%) Niacin 34% (11.3%) Folate 51% (17%) Phosphorous 35% (11.7%) Potassium 30% (10%) Zinc 26% (8.7%) Magnesium 29% (9.7%) Copper 31% (10.3%) Riboflavin 26% (8.7%)

Interesting Facts
Tuscan cuisine is known for being one of the healthier styles of Italian cooking, with an emphasis on fresh veggies and greens.

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Zucca Gialla in Agrodolce (Sweet & Sour Acorn Squash)
Type: Main Dish Time to Prepare: 60 minutes Serves: 2

1 acorn squash 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly 2 tsp. of olive oil 3 tbsp. of sweet agave nectar 3 tbsp. of red wine vinegar ¼ tsp. of salt ¼ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper 3 tbsp. of sliced basil 2 tbsp. of fresh mint leaves

Ingredients

Instructions

Bake the squash, whole, at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow the squash to cool for about 10 minutes. While it is cooling, slice the garlic and basil and set them aside. Peel the squash as best as possible. Cut the squash into chunks. Bring the oil to a medium heat in a pan. Add the squash and sauté each side for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic when you cook the second side of the squash. Add the sweet agave nectar and then immediately add the red wine vinegar. Cook this until the sauces glazes onto the squash (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Remove the squash from the heat. Immediately dress it with salt, pepper, sliced basil, and mint leaves. Once the squash has cooled, cut the squash open and scoop out the seeds.

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Low-fat Version
Do not sauté the squash in the oil and simply skip to the step where you glaze the sauce onto the squash. Omit the fresh garlic and add 5-6 cloves of roasted garlic, instead.

Raw Version
Raw acorn squash can be a bit hard to use raw, so I suggest going with yellow squash (aka agave nectar together for the sauce. Omit the garlic.

crookneck squash or summer squash). Slice the squash and then mix apple cider vinegar and raw

Kitchen Equipment
Oven Bowl to hold the squash while it cools Knife Cutting Board Sauté Pan Spatula Measuring Spoon

Presentation
This can be served as a main dish or as an appetizer. The picture shows how I plated the squash as an appetizer. If you plate it as a main dish, garnish the sides of the plate with extra sliced basil and sprinkles of paprika.

Time Management
If you want to save yourself the trouble of peeling the squash and deseeding it, you can often find peeled, cubed butternut squash at stores like Fresh & Easy. If you use that, bake the squash for
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20 minutes in a covered baking dish.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a glass of red wine that has a medium level of tannins. It will provide a nice contrast with the sweetness of the sauce.

Where to Shop
All of the ingredients should be available at your local market except for the sweet agave nectar. That can be purchased at Fresh & Easy, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Central Market. The first two stores listed will have the best price on it. Approximate cost per serving is $1.25.

How It Works
The squash is baked just long enough so that it is soft enough to cut and peel, but not so soft that it will fall apart in the sauté pan. Make sure to leave the squash whole so it does not become dry in the oven. The squash is then sautéed to slightly caramelize the sugar in it and then the agave and thicken before the vinegar is added. nectar is added just before the red wine vinegar. This gives the agave a few seconds to caramelize

Chef’s Notes
I first saw a version of this recipe in a cookbook put together during the late Roman Empire!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 469.7 (234.8) Fat 9.4g (4.7g) Total Carbohydrates 92.8g (46.4g) Dietary Fiber 13.5g (6.8g) Sugars 48.0g (24.0g) Protein 3.4g (1.7g)
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Calories from Fat 84.9 (42.4)

Salt 594mg (297mg) Vitamin A 43% (21.5%) Vitamin B6 32% (16%) Vitamin C 60% (30%) Calcium 17% (8.5%) Iron 25% (12.5%) Thiamin 35% (17.5%) Riboflavin 3% (1.5%) Niacin 15% (7.5%) Folate 16% (8%) Phosphorous 16% (8%) Potassium 40% (20%) Zinc 4% (2%) Magnesium 37% (18.5%) Copper 15% (7.5%)

Interesting Facts
Agrodolce means sweet & sour, or rather, sour & sweet!

Squash in sweet & sour sauce is a very Sicilian style recipe.

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Zucchini in Sweet Tomato Sauce
Type: Side Dish, Sicilian Time to Prepare: 25 minutes Serves: 4

2 zucchini, sliced ½ tsp. of olive oil ¼ tsp. of salt 2 cloves of garlic, sliced 4 tomatoes, chopped ¼ cup of chopped parsley 1 tsp. of olive oil 2 tbsp. of raisins 2 tbsp. of pine nuts 2 tsp. of capers ¼ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients

Instructions

Over a medium heat, sauté the zucchini in the olive oil and salt until it is soft (about 4-5 minutes). Remove the zucchini from the pan and set it aside. Slice the garlic. Chop the tomatoes. Chop the parsley. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté it over a medium heat in 1 tsp. of olive oil for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, raisins, and capers to the pan. Press on the tomatoes as they cook so they release their juice quickly. Once the tomatoes have turned into a sauce, return the zucchini to the pan with the sauce. Continue cooking this for 2-3 minutes. Remove it from the heat. Immediately add the parsley and pepper. Continue sautéing all these ingredients until the tomatoes are soft.

Slice the zucchini into rounds about ¼” thick.

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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil in all parts of the recipe. Steam the zucchini for 10 minutes. When you make the sauce, add the tomatoes immediately to the pan with the garlic instead of sautéing the garlic beforehand.

Raw Version
Blend all the sauce ingredients, except for the capers, until you have a thick tomato sauce. Add in instead of the salt, adding them to the blended sauce, chopped. Serve this over sliced zucchini.

¼ tsp. of salt and omit the capers. You can also substitute raw, organic black olives for the capers

Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Sauté Pan Stirring Spoon or Spatula Measuring Spoon Plate or Bowl to set aside the zucchini

Presentation
Sprinkle a few extra pine nuts on top of this recipe to give it a a touch of green.

simple, elegant look. You can also garnish it with extra parsley for

Time Management
To save some time, you can work with two pans at once, cooking the zucchini and tomato sauce at the same time.

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Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a side of rice mixed with raisins, parsley, and pine nuts to create a unified flavor throughout the meal.

Where to Shop
All of these ingredients should be fairly common, though I suggest shopping at stores that have pine nuts for sale from bulk bins. You can also find a good price on pine nuts a Costco. Approximate cost per serving is $1.00.

How It Works
The sauce is basically a tomato reduction which is infused with sweetness from the raisins and

saltiness from the capers. The garlic is sautéed briefly beforehand to release more of the volatile oils from the garlic into the sauce, but it is only sautéed for a minute so that it does not become bitter. The parsley and pine nuts are added at the end so that they maintain their fresh feel.

Chef’s Notes
I enjoyed the mix of sweetness and saltiness in the sauce, which made it far more interesting than a basic tomato sauce.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 450.0 (112.5) Calories from Fat 178.8 (44.7) Fat 19.9g (5.0g) Total Carbohydrates 57.8g (14.45g) Dietary Fiber 13.0g (3.3g) Sugars 33.5g (8.4g) Protein 10.0g (2.5g) Salt 791mg (198mg)

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Vitamin A 108% (27%) Vitamin B6 38% (9.5%) Calcium 11% (2.8%) Iron 23% (5.8%) Thiamin 29% (7.3%) Niacin 28% (7%) Folate 44% (11%) Phosphorous 41% (10.3%) Potassium 71% (17..8%) Zinc 18% (4.5%) Magnesium 49% (12.3%) Copper 48% (12%) Riboflavin 19% (4.8%) Vitamin C 81% (20.3%)

Interesting Facts
Zucchini is one of the few strains of squashes that evolved outside of North America, having mutated from a type of summer squash.

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Basic Pesto
Type: Accent Time to Prepare: 5 minutes Serves: Varies

1 cup of basil ¼ cup of olive oil 1/8 tsp. of salt 1 clove of garlic ¼ cup of pine nuts

Ingredients

Instructions

In a food processor, place the pine nuts, then the garlic and salt, then the oil, and then the basil. Press down the basil. Pulse the ingredients about five times to get them mixed a bit. Blend the ingredients until they well combined, leaving a little coarseness.

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Kitchen Equipment
Measuring Spoon Measuring Cup Food Processor

Presentation
Find a small, white serving dish, about 3 to 4 inches in spoon. That’s if you’re going to serve it separately. Usually, pesto is either placed in small mound on top of another recipe or spread on top of it.

diameter and place the pesto in that with a small serving

Time Management
If you do not serve this fresh, cover it with a thin layer of olive oil to keep the basil from oxidizing, cover it with plastic wrap, and store it in your refrigerator.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Pesto is incredibly versatile. It can be mixed into a soup, thinned out to make a sauce, tossed with veggies, spread on top of something, or be served as a dollop. It can even be used as a dip! One classic recipe with which you can try this is bruschetta. Also, try thinning it out a bit and using it as a thick pasta sauce, lightly coating the pasta.

Where to Shop
Trader Joe’s is absolutely the best commercial chain at which to purchase the basil. You can get a big box of organic basil there for just over $2.00. You can also get big bags of pine nuts at Costco for a very good price.

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How It Works
Pesto is fairly easy. It’s basically basil blended with fat to make it rich and the garlic is added for a hint of pungent bite. The pine nuts are the main fatty taste with the olive oil added in to smooth it out. The high fat content is one reason that pesto is served as an accent to a dish.

Chef’s Notes
Pesto is one of those fancy recipes that is actually fairly easy to make. Add this to a recipe and

you will be an instant gourmet chef to your guests!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 707.1 Fat 71.5g Total Carbohydrates 6.7g Dietary Fiber 4.7g Sugars 0g Protein 9.2g Salt 290.7mg Vitamin A 33% Vitamin B6 5% Vitamin C 14% Calcium 8% Iron 25% Thiamin 15% Riboflavin 5% Niacin 8% Folate 12% Phosphorous 20% Potassium 12% Zinc 12% Magnesium 29%
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Calories from Fat 643.5

Copper 23%

Interesting Facts
Pesto is derived from the verb pesta, which means “to crush.” Pesto originated in Genoa.

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Power Pesto
Type: Sauce Time to Prepare: 5 minutes Yield: 2 cups

3 cups of firmly lightly fresh basil leaves 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup of raw pine nuts 2 tbsp. of raw, unsalted sunflower seeds 2 tbsp. of vegan parmesan 1 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. of salt 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped

Ingredients

Instructions

Wash the basil thoroughly and shake out excess water or use a salad spinner. Strip the basil leaves from the stems and place them into the food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process for 1 to 3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. If the pesto seems too thick, thin it with a little extra virgin olive oil.

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Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Blender

Presentation
Not applicable.

Time Management
This is something that should be served fresh. If you absolutely must make it ahead of time, cover it with a thin layer of olive oil to keep it from turning color and oxidizing.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Need to perk up a salad? Just two or three leaves of chopped basil does wonders to complement

the greens.

Where to Shop
Trader Joe’s and Fresh & Easy have the best price on basil while Trader Joe’s and Costco

both have great prices on large amounts of pine nuts.

How It Works
The sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and oil serve to make the pesto creamy while the lemon juice

brightens all of the flavors. The garlic adds serious bite to it and the basil forms the bulk of the sauce.

Chef’s Notes
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Power Pesto is a lively sauce with a splash of lemon juice to give it a little extra tang that brings pasta to life. The recipe makes enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta with a little extra left over to serve over polenta, baked potatoes, or cooked grains. The pesto is one of my family’s favorite include 3 or 4 basil plants. pasta sauces in the summer when basil grows prolifically. If you plant a vegetable garden, be sure to

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 2345.9 Calories from Fat 2243.5 Fat 249.3 Total Carbohydrates 16.4g Dietary Fiber 8.3g Sugars 1.8g Protein 18.2g Salt 2527mg Vitamin A 146% Vitamin B6 17% Vitamin C 50% Calcium 35% Iron 39% Thiamin 19% Riboflavin 13% Niacin 17% Folate 36% Phosphorous 42% Potassium 27% Zinc 28% Magnesium 64% Copper 57%

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Interesting Facts
Pesto was originally made with a mortar and pestle. In fact, the words pesto and pestle are strongly

related.

Pesto is a Genoese invention.

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Sundried Tomato Pesto
Type: Accent Time to Prepare: 5 minutes Serves: Varies

1 cup of basil ¼ cup of pine nuts 1/8 tsp. of salt 1 clove of garlic 2 tbsp. of diced sundried tomatoes ¼ tsp. of balsamic vinegar ½ tsp. of freshly ground pepper 1/3 cup of olive oil

Ingredients

Instructions

Dice the sundried tomatoes. In a food processor, add the pine nuts, then the garlic, then the olive oil, then the salt and balsamic vinegar, then the basil and pepper. Pulse a few times and then blend it until it is slightly coarse. Stir in the sundried tomatoes.

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Kitchen Equipment
Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Food Processor Small Knife Cutting Board

Presentation
This pesto can be served on top of another recipe or on the side, but it really shines as a small dip. Serve it in a small white bowl with a spread knife surrounded with water crackers.

Time Management
This can be made well ahead of time and will last in the refrigerator for several days if it is covered. It is best when it is allowed to sit for an hour.

Complementary Food and Drinks
This goes very well spread on bruschetta as that will allow the intense flavor of the sundried tomatoes to come through.

Where to Shop
Trader Joe’s is the place to get the basil and Costco is the place to get the pine nuts. Alternatively, look for them in bulk bins. Make sure you get a good quality balsamic vinegar, too.

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How It Works
This works just like a traditional pesto with the addition of the sundried tomatoes and touch of

balsamic vinegar. The dark vinegar pairs well with the tomatoes and helps to bring out the intensity of their flavors. Mixing the sundried tomatoes in instead of blending them allows a nice red color to come through and also creates little bursts of flavor.

Chef’s Notes
It’s hard to go wrong with pesto, sundried tomatoes, and good balsamic vinegar. You can even take the ingredients without blending them and use them in another recipe to create great flavor.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 882.9 Calories from Fat 812.5 Fat 90.3g Total Carbohydrates 8.1g Dietary Fiber 3.5g Sugars 0g Protein 9.5g Salt 290.7mg Vitamin A 35% Vitamin B6 6% Calcium 8% Iron 27% Thiamin 16% Niacin 9% Folate 12% Phosphorous 21% Riboflavin 6% Vitamin C 24%

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Potassium 15% Zinc 12% Magnesium 30% Copper 24%

Interesting Facts
In Genoa, pesto is pronounced pestu.

Pesto has been around since the Roman Republic.

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Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce
Type: Sauce Serves: 6 Time to Prepare: 25 minutes

3 ½ pounds of Roma tomatoes (Italian plum) 1 medium onion, cut into quarters ½ of a green bell pepper, diced 4 to 6 cloves of garlic, crushed ½ tsp. of dried oregano leaves ½ tsp. of fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle ½ tsp. of dried rosemary, crushed in a mortar and pestle ¼ tsp. of dried marjoram leaves 1 tsp. of salt 2 to 3 tbsp. of cornstarch 2 to 3 tbsp. of water 2 sprigs of fresh basil leaves, chopped, or ½ tsp. of dried basil

Ingredients

Instructions

Coarsely chop the tomatoes in the food processor. If you prefer a smoother, less chunky sauce, process them a little longer to desired consistency. Pour the processed tomatoes into a large, deep skillet. Finely chop the onion in the food processor and add to skillet. 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer 12 to 15 minutes. Add salt and cook a few minutes longer, until the tomatoes and onions are completely broken down and the flavors are well married. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir to form a thin paste. Add the paste to the gently bubbling sauce a little at a time, stirring constantly for about 1 minute, or until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Adjust the seasonings if needed. Add bell pepper, basil, garlic, and herbs to the skillet and cook and stir over heat to high for about

Option: For a thicker sauce without using the cornstarch, simply continue cooking the sauce for
20 to 30 minutes more, or longer until it reaches the desired consistency.
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Raw Version
Use fresh herbs, half the onion, and blend all of the ingredients together, excepting, of course, the extra water and the cornstarch.

Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Pan Stirring Spoon Scale Measuring Spoon Mortar and Pestle

Presentation
Not applicable.

Time Management
This sauce requires little labor and you can walk away from it for most of the cook time, allowing you to clean or prep another recipe.

Complementary Food and Drinks
This goes well over any sort of pasta, makes a great lasagna sauce, and should be paired with a low-tannic red wine.

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Where to Shop
You can find a very good price on Roma tomatoes at Fresh & Easy and a decent price at

Sprouts. For organic versions, try Whole Foods. Approximate cost per serving is $.75.

How It Works
The onion adds a touch of sweetness to the sauce while the pepper gives it a full-mouth feel. The

herbs are a mix of savory flavors accented heavily with the aromatic fennel seeds.

Chef’s Notes
This is an easy, versatile tomato sauce to have in your repertoire of basics. When you've made this recipe several times, you may find yourself playing with the proportions of many ingredients to vary the flavors.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 394.7 (65.8) Fat 3.4g (0.6g) Total Carbohydrates 75.3g (12.6g) Dietary Fiber 22.0g (3.7g) Sugars 43.8g (7.3g) Protein 15.7g (2.6g) Salt 86mg (14mg) Vitamin A 41% (6.8%) Vitamin B6 102% (17%) Vitamin C 340% (56.7%) Calcium 53% (8.8%) Iron 88% (14.7%) Thiamin 53% (8.8%) Riboflavin 54% (9%)
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Calories from Fat 30.7 (5.1)

Niacin 59% (9.8%) Folate 56% (9.3%) Phosphorous 92% (15.3%) Potassium 93% (15.5%) Zinc 17% (2.8%) Magnesium 48% (8%) Copper 59% (9.8%)

Interesting Facts
Roma tomatoes are grown mostly in North America.

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Minestrone con Pesto
Type: Soup Serves: 6 Time to Prepare: 40 minutes

The Soup ½ red onion, diced 1 leek, sliced 1 zucchini, chopped 1 potato, chopped 2 tsp. of olive oil 4 cups of water 1 cup of small pasta ¼ tsp. of salt ¼ tsp. of black pepper The Pesto ¼ cup of pine nuts 1 clove of garlic 1/8 tsp. of salt ¼ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper 1 tbsp. of olive oil 2 tbsp. of water 1 cup of basil leaves 2 cups of rinsed, cooked cannelloni beans 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped 3 stalks of celery, sliced

Ingredients

Instructions

Making the Minestrone Dice the red onion. Slice the celery and leek. Chop the zucchini, potato, and tomatoes. Over a medium heat, sauté the onion, celery, and leek in the oil until all of them are soft.
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Add the tomatoes next with ½ cup of water and cook them until they are soft, pressing on them as they cook (about 10 minutes). Add the remainder of the water. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes. Once that time has elapsed, add the potato, zucchini, salt, pepper, and pasta and cook the soup for another 5-7 minutes (until the chopped potato is soft). Stir the beans into the soup. Making the Pesto Add the following ingredients to a small blender in the following order: pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, water, and basil leaves. Puree all the ingredients until they turn into a paste. Top each bowl of minestrone with 1-2 tbsp. of pesto. Remove the soup from the heat.

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Low-fat Version
Omit the pesto and add sliced fresh basil to the soup as soon as it comes off the heat. Omit the olive oil and simply boil the leek, onion, celery, and tomatoes in the water for 30 minutes.

Raw Version
Blend half the onion, half the celery, the leek, and the tomatoes with the water to create the soup base. Omit the rest of the onion from the recipe and add the other half of the celery, the zucchini, and two cups of sprouted garbanzo beans to the soup base, along with the salt, pepper, olive oil, and pesto. Omit the pasta and potato.

Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Pot Stirring Spoon Blender

Presentation
This looks best in a wide bowl with a dark color. The dark color gives the soup a warming appearance while the width of the bowl forces more of the veggies to the surface, creating a bed for the pesto.

Time Management
You can make the minestrone well ahead of time, but the pesto should be made and served fresh.
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Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with bruschetta and a sweet salad.

Where to Shop
I generally purchase my basil at Trader Joe’s or Fresh & Easy. Both stores have large containers of organic basil for an excellent price. Look for pine nuts in places with bulk bins so you don’t purchase more than you need and don’t have to pay for packaging. The rest of the ingredients are fairly common. Approximate cost per serving is $1.50.

How It Works
The onion, celery, and leek are softened so that their flavors are more easily released into the

water, creating the base flavor for the soup. Potato and zucchini are added for heartiness while the pasta is added for texture. The pasta is only added at the end so that it does not overcook. This creates a fairly typical vegetable soup which is then made a bit creamy with the pesto. The pesto also gives the soup a very decadent taste.

Chef’s Notes
It was hard not to eat all the pesto before it went into the soup when I was making this recipe!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1743.4 (290.6) Calories from Fat 456.5 (76.1) Fat 50.7g (8.5g) Total Carbohydrates 253.4g (42.2g) Dietary Fiber 44.3g (7.4g) Sugars 25.9g (4.3g) Protein 68.3g (11.4g) Salt 2026mg (338mg)

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Vitamin A 134% (22.3%) Vitamin B6 91% (15.2%) Calcium 64% (10.7%) Iron 139% (23.2%) Thiamin 127% (21.2%) Riboflavin 55% (9.2%) Niacin 76% (12.7%) Folate 139% (23.2%) Phosphorous 126% (21%) Potassium 162% (27%) Zinc 83% (13.8%) Magnesium 146% (24.3%) Copper 140% (23.3%) Vitamin C 172% (28.7%)

Interesting Facts
Minestrone is traditionally a soup made from whatever left-over veggies were available, which means the recipe has many variations.

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Pappa al Pomodoro
Type: Soup, Italian (Tuscan) Time to Prepare: 30 minutes Serves: 6

1 onion, chopped or diced 2 lbs. of tomatoes 1 tsp. of olive oil ¼ tsp. of salt 1 loaf of rustic Italian bread (French bread can be used), cubed (about 6 cups) 2 cups of water 1 cup of loosely packed chopped basil leaves 1 tsp. of freshly ground pepper 1 tbsp. of olive oil 3 cloves of garlic, sliced

Ingredients

Option: 1 hot red chili pepper. Instructions

Chop or dice the onion and tomatoes. Slice the garlic. Sauté the onion over a medium heat in the oil until it is lightly golden.

Option: Add the chili pepper with the onion and sauté both.
Add the garlic, tomatoes, and water. Add the salt. Simmer this until the tomatoes are soft. Smash the tomatoes in the pot as they cook. Remove from the heat. Add in the basil, pepper, and extra olive oil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the bread and continue to simmer the soup until the bread has absorbed the liquid.

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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil from the recipe.

Raw Version
Forgo the bread. Blend the tomatoes and half the onion and garlic with the water. Add the salt, basil, pepper, and oil, stir everything together, and allow it to sit for an hour or so. You can thicken the soup with 2 cups of almond flour.

Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Large Pot Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Scale

Presentation
Make sure that you have enough basil in the soup so that it clearly shows up in the tomato and bread base. If you need to put in extra basil for this to happen, I doubt anyone would complain!

Time Management
You can make this soup in about ten minutes by using cans of crushed tomatoes instead of making your own tomato base. Just add in half the water called for in the recipe.

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Complementary Food and Drinks
I really like this soup served over rice and with a cup of slightly sweetened coffee.

Where to Shop
All of the ingredients for this are fairly common, though you will get an excellent price on the basil at Trader Joe’s and Fresh & Easy. This is particularly important since the soup uses so much basil. Approximate cost per serving is $1.00.

How It Works
The onion provides sweetness for the soup, but is sautéed first so that it softens, releases its

flavors, and melds with the tomato base. It is best to chop the tomatoes before they begin

simmering so that they will fall apart faster. The bread serves as the thickener for the soup, binding all of the ingredients. The basil is added at the very end so that there is just enough heat in the pot to get the basil to release quite a bit of flavor without destroying much of its fresh quality.

Chef’s Notes
This simple soup happens to be one of my favorite Italian dishes. The combination of bread, tomatoes, and basil is an easy win.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1520.4 (253.4) Calories from Fat 307.6 (51.3) Fat 24.2g (5.7g) Total Carbohydrates 256.9g (42.8g) Dietary Fiber 21.3g (3.6g) Sugars 21.9g (3.7g) Protein 46.3g (7.7g) Salt 3261mg (544mg)
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Vitamin A 121% (20.2%) Vitamin B6 39% (6.5%) Calcium 50% (8.3%) Iron 89% (14.8%) Thiamin 158% (26.3%) Niacin 115% (19.2%) Folate 234% (39%) Phosphorous 64% (10.7%) Potassium 56% (9.3%) Zinc 34% (5.7%) Magnesium 55% (9.2%) Copper 64% (10.7%) Riboflavin 87% (14.5%) Vitamin C 123% (20.5%)

Interesting Facts
Pappa al pomodoro basically means mush of tomatoes.

Tomatoes were unknown in Italian cuisine before the 18th century.

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Ribollita
Type: Soup, Italian (Tuscan) Time to Prepare: 45 minutes Serves: 6

½ red onion, diced 1 carrot, diced 1 leek, sliced 1 potato, chopped 1 zucchini, chopped 2 cups of cabbage, chopped 7 roma tomatoes, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 tsp. of olive oil 2 cups of vegetable stock 1 cup of cannellini beans 1 tsp. of freshly ground pepper 1 tbsp. of oregano leaves or rosemary leaves 1 tsp. of salt 1 tsp. of olive oil 1 slice of stale bread per bowl ½ celery stalk, sliced

Ingredients

Instructions

Dice the onion and carrot. Slice the celery and leek. Chop the potato, zucchini, cabbage, and tomatoes. Mince the garlic. soft. Add in the tomatoes, cabbage, garlic, and the vegetable stock. Bring this to a simmer and simmer it for 20 minutes. Simmer the soup for another 10 minutes.
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In your soup pot over a medium heat, sauté the onion, carrot, celery, and leek in the oil until they are

Add in the potato, zucchini, beans, pepper, oregano or rosemary, and salt.

Remove it from the heat. Stir in the olive oil. Place a piece of bread at the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the soup over the bread.

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Low-fat Version
Do not sauté the veggies in oil, simply simmer them with the stock. Also, omit the oil at the end of the recipe.

Raw Version
To make the soup base, blend the tomatoes with one of the cloves of garlic, 1 cup of water instead of the veggie stalk, half the onion, half the carrot, and half the celery. Omit the potato and use 1 cup of chopped cauliflower. Omit the bread entirely. Combine all of the ingredients and allow them to sit for at least 30 minutes.

Kitchen Equipment
Cutting Board Knife Stirring Spoon Pot Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon

Presentation
This is a simple, rustic soup, so go with a simple, rustic

presentation. An unadorned bowl works just fine, but if you want to get fancier, you can plate the soup bowl on a wooden platter and add a side of some extra bread to the platter. I also like to garnish this soup with a few pine nuts and a fresh basil leaf.

Time Management
This soup gets better as it sits, so it’s ok to make a large batch to eat over the following few days. Make sure not to add the zucchini and potato until the end of the cooking process so that they don’t become so soft that they fall apart.
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Complementary Food and Drinks
Extra bread is always a great accompaniment to this meal. I particularly like Italian bread flavored with roasted garlic and rosemary.

Where to Shop
All of these ingredients should be readily available at your local grocery market. Approximate

cost per serving is $1.25.

How It Works
The carrot, onion, and celery form the base of the soup like many Italian and French soups.

These veggies are sautéed to deepen their flavors, which then infuses the tomato and veggie stock broth. The tomatoes are chopped so that they sauce up quickly (chopping them cuts the time this takes in half). The potato and zucchini are added towards the end so that they cook just long enough to become soft, but not fall apart. The final bit of oil is added at the end because fresh olive oil tastes much better than cooked olive oil.

Chef’s Notes
This soup was one of my first exposures to authentic Italian cuisine and is still one of my favorite dishes.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1348.1 (224.7) Fat 21.1g (3.5g) Calories from Fat 189.8 (31.6)

Total Carbohydrates 238.9g (39.8g) Dietary Fiber 41.7g (7.0g) Sugars 45.7g (7.6g) Protein 50.7g (8.4g)

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Salt 4683mg (781mg) Vitamin A 468% (78%) Vitamin B6 116% (19.3%) Vitamin C 472% (78.7%) Calcium 67% (11.2%) Iron 101% (16.8%) Thiamin 118% (19.7%) Riboflavin 61% (10.2%) Niacin 93% (15.5%) Folate 89% (14.8%) Phosphorous 91% (15.2%) Potassium 164% (27.3%) Zinc 51% (8.5%) Magnesium 97% (16.2%) Copper 104% (17.3%)

Interesting Facts
This soup is traditionally made with whatever veggies are available at harvest time. Ribollita means “reboiled.”

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Zuppa di Lenticchie alla Sicilia (Lentil & Escarole Soup)
Type: Soup, Sicilian Time to Prepare: 35 minutes Serves: 4

½ of an onion, diced 2 stalks of celery, diced 1 small carrot, diced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 3 tomatoes, chopped 1 potato, chopped 1 tsp. of olive oil 4 cups of veggie broth 1 ½ cups of lentils ½ tsp. of salt ½ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper 3 tbsp. of chopped parsley 1 small head of escarole, chopped

Ingredients

Instructions

Dice the onion, celery, and carrot. Mince the garlic. Chop the tomatoes, potato, and escarole. Sauté the onion, celery, and carrot in the olive oil over a medium heat until they are soft. Add the veggie broth and bring it to a simmer. Add the tomatoes, potato, escarole, and lentils. Allow the soup to come back to a simmer. Cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low. Cook the soup for 20 minutes. Remove it from the heat. Immediately stir the salt, pepper, and parsley into the soup.

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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil, start by adding the veggie broth and then follow that by adding all the veggies at the same time.

Raw Version
Blend all the veggies with 3 cups of water, but only use half the onion and garlic from the recipe. Combine this with the salt, pepper, parsley, and 2 cups of sprouted lentils.

Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Pot with Lid Stirring Spoon

Presentation

Garnish the top of the soup with extra parsley and choose a bowl with a light, colorful rim to accent the earthy colors of the soup.

Time Management
This soup will keep for a week in the refrigerator and it takes about the same amount of time to make a large batch of it as it does for a small portion.

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Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this in a bread bowl or with a side of sweet polenta.

Where to Shop
All of the ingredients for this soup are commonly available. Approximate cost per serving is $1.00.

How It Works
The onion, celery, and carrot combine to make a classic sweet base for most French and Italian soups, which will infuse the veggie stock as everything simmers in the pot. Veggie stock is used instead of water simply for extra flavor. The addition of escarole serves the same purpose that the salt tends to toughen lentils and beans if they are cooked together. use of spinach does in other lentil soups. Salt is added at the end of the cooking process because

Chef’s Notes
I like the combination of potatoes and lentils in a soup, so I knew I would like this version of a classic

lentil dish.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1516.0 (379.0) Fat 21..2g (5.3g) Total Carbohydrates 246.2g (61.6g) Dietary Fiber 105.2g (26.3g) Sugars 17.3g (4.3g) Protein 85.1g (21.3g) Salt 3582mg (895mg) Vitamin A 226% (56.5%) Vitamin B6 134% (33.5%)
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Calories from Fat 190.8 (47.7)

Vitamin C 142% (35.5%) Calcium 36% (9%) Iron 141% (35.3%) Thiamin 204% (51%) Riboflavin 56% (14%) Niacin 69% (17.3%) Folate 189%(47.3%) Phosphorous 158% (39.5%) Potassium 154% (38.5%) Zinc 111% (27.8%) Magnesium 121% (30.3%) Copper 117% (29.3%)

Interesting Facts
Sicilian cuisine is strongly influenced by Middle Eastern cuisine, both from trade and from returning Crusaders. Escarole is strongly related to the more well-known Belgian endive.

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Zuppa di Lenticchie
Type: Soup Serves: 2 Time to Prepare: 35 minutes

¼ of a red onion, diced 2 cloves of garlic, sliced 1 tsp. of olive oil 2 cups of veggie broth Optional Herbs and Spices: ¼ tsp. of turmeric, 1 tsp. of paprika, ½ tsp. of fresh thyme leaves ¾ cup of lentils ½ tsp. of salt ½ tsp. of freshly ground pepper ¼ cup of elbow pasta 2 slices of toasted bread

Ingredients

Option: Chili oil for garnish Instructions

Dice the onion.

Mince the garlic. Over a medium heat, sauté the onion in the oil until it is soft. Add the garlic and sauté this for another minute. Add in the veggie broth and bring it to a simmer. Add the lentils to the pot and bring the broth back to a simmer.

Option: Add any of the optional herbs and spices.
Cover the pot. Simmer the lentils for 15 minutes. Uncover the pot. Add the salt and pepper.

Add the pasta and simmer the pasta until it is done (adjust the heat if necessary).

Option: Drizzle the bread with chili oil after it is served.

Serve the soup, topping each serving with a piece of toasted bread.

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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil from the recipe and simmer the onion and garlic with the veggie broth instead of sautéing them.

Raw Version
Use 1 cup of sprouted lentils in 2 cups of almond milk that has sat with the onion and garlic for at least an hour. Stir in 1 tbsp. of olive oil, the salt, and pepper and the optional thyme.

Kitchen Equipment
Pot with Lid Stirring Spoon Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon

Presentation
The size of the toast you use should determine the size of the bowl. If you simply don’t have a bowl big enough to accommodate the bread, you can cut the bread to the shape of the bowl, though you’ll lose the nice crusty look of the bread.

Time Management
This soup doesn’t take too long to make, so there isn’t any time management advice for serving this immediately. However, if you plan on making a large batch and storing it for late, I suggest undercooking the lentils by about five minutes because they will absorb the rest of the water as they sit. This should keep their texture intact instead of becoming very mushy in the refrigerator.
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Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a salad of dark greens, pine nuts, shredded zucchini, olive oil, and fresh mint.

Where to Shop
All of the ingredients should be readily available at your local market. Approximate cost per serving is $1.00.

How It Works
The onion and garlic are sautéed so that they soften before being added to the broth, which allows them to heavily flavor the broth. Sautéing them also slightly caramelizes the sugar in both ingredients. Lentils generally take twenty minutes to cook, but the pot is uncovered at fifteen top to absorb any excess liquid, creating a thick soup. minutes so that the pasta and lentils will be done at the same time. Toasted bread is added to the

Chef’s Notes
I used veggie bouillon to make the broth of this soup and it turned out to be incredibly delicious,

more so than many other lentil soups. I also think it helped going light on the onion.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 806.9 (403.4) Fat 7.1g (3.6g) Total Carbohydrates 141.0g (70.5g) Dietary Fiber 6.9g (3.5g) Sugars 10.7g (5.3g) Protein 44.7g (22.4g) Salt 2673mg (1337mg) Vitamin A 41% (20.5%) Vitamin B6 45% (22.5%)
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Calories from Fat 64.2 (32.1)

Vitamin C 15% (7.5%) Calcium 18% (9%) Iron 73% (36.5%) Thiamin 103% (51.5%) Riboflavin 30% (15%) Niacin 32% (16%) Folate 204% (102%) Phosphorous 76% (38%) Potassium 43% (21.5%) Zinc 51% (25.5%) Magnesium 51% (25.5%) Copper 49% (24.5%)

Interesting Facts
Lentils are incredibly rich in iron and have been an important part of vegetarian diets for several thousand years.

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Fettuccine
Type: Main Serves: 6 Time to Prepare: 60 minutes

3 cups of flour ½ cup of water ½ tsp. of salt 2 tsp. of olive oil

Ingredients

Instructions

Take 2 ¾ cups of flour and mix it with the salt. Make a well in the middle. Pour into the well the olive oil followed by the water. Mix them together by hand. Flour a flat surface on which to knead the dough. Knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your hands. Allow the dough to sit for about 15 minutes. Roll the dough until it is about 1/16 of an inch. Cut the dough into ½” strips about 6” long. Alternatively, you can roll it through a pasta machine. Roll it through the large flat attachment first and then through the fettuccine attachment. Pour it into a colander and rinse it with cold water to remove the excess starch. Boil the pasta in lightly salted water for about 5 minutes.

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Kitchen Equipment
Rolling Pin Pasta Machine Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Pot

Presentation
Fettuccine is a good pasta to serve family style. That means putting it in one big serving bowl with a wooden pasta server and letting everyone take what they want from the bowl.

Time Management
Fresh pasta can take awhile to make, mostly because of the kneading process. That usually

means it’s not worthwhile if you are making a small batch (i.e. one serving.) However, the pasta will freeze well, so even if you are just making it for yourself, make enough for at least four servings and store the rest.

Complementary Food and Drinks
A good sauce to serve over fettuccine is a sticky tomato sauce. Brown ¼ of an onion, add a couple cloves of minced garlic, throw in about four or five tomatoes, add a pinch of cumin, salt, and crushed red pepper, and simmer it until it is saucy. Take some of the liquid and about 1 tsp. of corn starch and mix it together. Then, add it back to the pot and stir for about three minutes. Add in a tbsp. of olive oil after it’s off the heat and serve it fresh.

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Where to Shop
The best kind of flour to use is semolina flour, which is most easily purchased in places with bulk

bins. However, you can still go with white flour or a mix of whole wheat and white flour and those can be purchased at your local market. All of these ingredients can be found in the baking aisle save for the olive oil.

How It Works
The oil in the flour gives it a little bit of flavor, but mostly it assists in smoothing out the dough and a smooth dough is one that tends to stay together. Kneading the dough makes it elastic by activating the gluten in the grains of flour and forcing them to bond together. That’s what makes dough stick together.

Chef’s Notes
Fresh pasta is such a nice treat. Even if you don’t have a pasta machine, I suggest making it at

least once and using a knife to cut it just to see the difference between fresh and boxed. It’s amazing!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1413.7 (235.6) Fat 12.7g (2.1g) Total Carbohydrates 286.2g (47.7g) Dietary Fiber 10.1g (1.7g) Sugars 0g (0g) Protein 38.7g (6.5g) Salt 1170mg (195.0mg) Vitamin A 0% (0%) Vitamin B6 8% (1.3%) Vitamin C 0% (0%)
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Calories from Fat 114.1 (19.0)

Calcium 6% (1%) Iron 97% (16.2%) Thiamin 147% (24.5%) Riboflavin 93% (15.5%) Niacin 111% (18.5%) Folate 144% (24%) Phosphorous 41% (6.8%) Potassium 11% (1.8%) Zinc 18% (3%) Magnesium 21% (2.5%) Copper 27% (4.5%)

Interesting Facts
Fettuccine means “little ribbons.” Most Italian pastas are made from semolina.

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Gnocchi
Type: Main together) Serves: 8 Time to Prepare: 2 hours (1 hour and 30 minutes for the potatoes and 45 to put the gnocchi

2 pounds of potatoes 2 cups of flour ¼ tsp. of salt 1 pot of boiling water 1 pot of ice water 2 tsp. of EnerG egg replacer

Ingredients

Instructions

Measure the weight of the potatoes. Wrap them in tinfoil.

Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork. Bake them on 450 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Mix together the flour and salt. Let the potatoes cool for about 15 minutes and then peel them.

Put together the EnerG Egg Replacer. Combine the peeled potatoes, Egg Replacer, flour, and salt until you have a light dough. Roll the dough into a 1” diameter cigar shape. Cut the dough into ¾” slices. Turn each slice over and indent it with a fork. Get both boiling water and ice water ready. Boil the gnocchi until it floats. Remove them with a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to the ice water. Let them sit there for about 1 minute. If they cool down too much, you can warm them back up in the oven. It should not be crumbly and should have a little elasticity to it.

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Kitchen Equipment
Large Pot Bowl for mixing the dough Bowl for the ice water Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Fork for indenting pasta Knife or Fork for cutting the pasta Slotted Spoon for removing gnocchi from the boiling water

Presentation
Gnocchi should be presented in a big bowl with a serving spoon from which everyone can take some. Consider dressing it with some freshly chopped green herbs for a splash of green color.

Time Management
There is a lot of downtime while the potatoes bake, so consider putting together the sauce then. After the gnocchi are fully cooked, you can take a few minutes to warm the sauce back up and serve the gnocchi fresh out of the pot.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Gnocchi go well with the following sauces: red wine tomato sauce, pesto sauce, and mushroom sauce.

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Where to Shop
All of the ingredients to make gnocchi are easily available except for the EnerG Egg Replacer,

which can be found at Sprouts, Wild Oats, Whole Foods, and many other markets that have a healthy living section.

How It Works
The potato provides flavor and moisture with a starch that is ready to bind to the flour. That binding creates a tight dough. The extra starch from the Egg Replacer holds the dough together even more. Dunking them in cold water quickly hardens the hot gnocchi and keeps them from getting gummy.

Chef’s Notes
I first had gnocchi from a package I got from Trader Joe’s and, while that was great, this fresh gnocchi blows that away!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1680.5 (210.1) Calories from Fat 22.1 (2.8) Fat 2.5g (0.3g) Total Carbohydrates 370.8g (46.3g) Dietary Fiber 24.8g (3.1g) Sugars 9g (1.1g) Protein 43.8g (5.5g) Salt 622.4mg (77.8mg) Vitamin A 0% (0%) Vitamin B6 132% (16.5%) Vitamin C 189% (23.6%) Calcium 4% (0.5%) Iron 73% (9.1%)
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Thiamin 161% (20.1%) Riboflavin 71% (8.9%) Niacin 137% (17.1%) Folate 114% (14.3%) Phosphorous 63% (7.9%) Potassium 143% (17.9%) Zinc 30% (3.8%) Magnesium 59% (7.4%) Copper 99% (12.4%)

Interesting Facts
Gnocchi is pronounced “nyo-kee,” with a long “o.” Gnocchi is the plural of gnocchi, which means “lump.” In Tuscany, there is a variety of gnocchi called “Priest Stranglers.”

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Ravioli
Type: Main Serves: 6 Time to Prepare: 60 minutes

1 ½ cups of flour ¼ cup of water ¼ tsp. of salt 1 tsp. of olive oil

Ingredients

Instructions

Combine the salt and 2 ¾ cups of flour. Make a well in the middle. Pour in the olive oil followed by the water and mix it by hand. Lightly flour a surface on which to knead the dough with the remaining ¼ cup of flour. Knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your hands. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Roll the dough out until it is about 1/16 of an inch. Cut the sheet in half.

The Long Way…

Place very small mounds of filling spaced evenly in squares across one sheet. Lay the other sheet on top and cut the squares out with a pastry crimping tool.

The Medium Way…
attachment.

Use a pasta machine attachment by taking the two sheets and inserting them into the ravioli Place about 1 tsp. of filling in the pocket made between the two halves. Roll it closed (it will roll through the attachment, which will crimp and cut the ravioli as it rolls out the other end.)

The Fast Way…

Place a sheet of dough on a ravioli tray. Pat the dough down into the tray. Fill each divot, but do not go over the top plane. Place the other dough sheet on top. Roll along the top with a rolling pin (this will cut and crimp the ravioli along the ridges.)
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Kitchen Equipment
Pasta Machine

Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Bowl for mixing the dough

Presentation
Ravioli looks nice when tossed in a little olive oil and dressed with fresh green herbs or tossed in pesto. You can also mix in different dried herbs and veggies into the dough to make multi-colored ravioli. Just make sure the herbs and veggies are well blended. * The picture shows some with a mix and some with a dark sauce so you can see how the divots lie with the pasta.

Time Management
Make sure to get the filling prepped beforehand so the pasta sheets do not dry out. If they dry out, they may break apart when you add the filling.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Good fillings include the following: Better than Cream Cheese, sautéed mushroom pieces, roasted garlic, Shredded Follow Your Heart Monterey jack, sliced roasted red pepper, and sautéed zucchini.

Where to Shop
All of these ingredients can usually be found in the baking aisle of your local grocery market, although you will usually find a better price in bulk bins.
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How It Works
Ravioli takes a little more care than other pastas as they have to be filled and then the edges need to be thoroughly sealed so that the filling does not leak out while the ravioli boil. That’s where the crimping tool comes in. The crimping toll will press the edges into ridges and those ridges will the same thing as the edges will be forced into ridges by the tray. create more surface area that binds then a simple cut with a knife. Using a ravioli tray accomplishes

Chef’s Notes
Freshly made filling with fresh pasta topped with a fresh sauce is hard to beat. Try a mushroom filling with a light, spicy tomato sauce with pine nuts for a truly intense meal.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 706.9 (117.8) Calories from Fat 57.1 (9.5) Fat 6.3g (1.1g) Total Carbohydrates 143.1g (23.8g) Dietary Fiber 5.1g (0.8g) Sugars 0g (0g) Protein 19.4g (3.2g) Salt 585.1mg (97.5mg) Vitamin A 0% (0%) Vitamin B6 4% (0.6%) Vitamin C 0% (0%) Calcium 3% (0.5%) Iron 49% (8.2%) Thiamin 74% (12.3%) Niacin 56% (9.3%) Folate 72% (12%) Phosphorous 21% (3.5%) Riboflavin 47% (7.8%)

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Potassium 6% (1%) Zinc 9% (1.5%) Magnesium 11% (1.8%) Copper 14% (2.3%)

Interesting Facts
There is a ravioli recipe recorded on vellum dated 1290 A.D. In China, ravioli are called “Italian Jiaozi.”

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Spaghetti
Type: Main Serves: 6 Time to Prepare: 60 minutes

3 cups of flour ½ cup of water ½ tsp. of salt 2 tsp. of olive oil

Ingredients

Instructions

Take 2 ¾ cups of flour and mix it with the salt. Make a well in the middle. Pour into the well the olive oil followed by the water. Mix them together by hand. Flour a flat surface on which to knead the dough. Knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your hands. Allow the dough to sit for about 15 minutes. Roll the dough until it is about 1/8 of an inch. Cut the dough into 1/8” strips about 6” long. Alternatively, you can roll it through a pasta machine. Roll it through the large flat attachment first and then through the spaghetti attachment. Pour it into a colander and rinse it with cold water to remove the excess starch. Boil the pasta in lightly salted water for about 5 minutes.

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Kitchen Equipment
Rolling Pin

Pasta Machine Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon

Presentation
Because spaghetti is small, it tends to slip away a little more than other pastas, so I like serving this one directly on the plate as opposed to family style. When topping it with a sauce, save some fresh herbs to dress the finished dish. That will give it a nice splash of color.

Time Management
Fresh spaghetti dough will freeze well, so this is something you can make well ahead of time and then spend a few minutes cutting it in the pasta machine and cooking it before guests arrive.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Sometimes, a very wet sauce can be troublesome to eat with spaghetti. I suggest coating it with olive oil, garlic, and a little bit of salt and pepper. Throw some basil in, too, if you’ve got it.

Where to Shop
Check out the baking aisle in your local market for all of the ingredients. You should even be able to find semolina flour there.

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How It Works
Semolina flour is finely ground, which assists in the pasta staying together. The oil smoothes out

the noodle. Running it through the pasta machine press both gets the noodle the right size and also forces the dough together, which helps it bind even better.

Chef’s Notes
Because the spaghetti strands are small, they are sometimes hard to pull apart when they come out of the pasta machine. Don’t worry about getting it perfect. If you can’t get some apart, throw them in the pot, anyway.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 1413.7 (235.6) Calories from Fat 114.1 (19.0) Fat 12.7g (2.1g) Total Carbohydrates 286.2g (47.7g) Dietary Fiber 10.1g (1.7g) Sugars 0g (0g) Protein 38.7g (6.5g) Salt 1170mg (195.0mg) Vitamin A 0% (0%) Vitamin B6 8% (1.3%) Vitamin C 0% (0%) Calcium 6% (1%) Iron 97% (16.2%) Thiamin 147% (24.5%) Niacin 111% (18.5%) Folate 144% (24%) Phosphorous 41% (6.8%) Riboflavin 93% (15.5%)

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Potassium 11% (1.8%) Zinc 18% (3%) Magnesium 21% (3.5%) Copper 27% (4.5%)

Interesting Facts
Spaghetti is the plural of spaghetto.

Spaghetti is a diminutive of spago, which means “twine.”

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Insalata d’Arance (Orange Salad)
Type: Salad, Italian (Sicilian) Time to Prepare: 10 minutes Serves: 4

3 oranges, peeled and sectioned 2 tsp. of olive oil 1/8 tsp. of salt ¼ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper 2 tbsp. of chopped flatleaf parsley 2 tbsp. of chopped basil

Ingredients

Option: 12 or so oil-cured black olives Option: 1/8 of a red onion, sliced Instructions

Peel the oranges, getting as much of the pith off of the inside of the oranges as you can. Separate the oranges into their sections. Slice the orange sections into bite-size pieces. Mix the oranges with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Chop the parsley and basil. Mix the basil into the salad.

salad.

Options: Mix in either of the optional ingredients when you mix the basil and parsley into the

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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil from the recipe.

Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Measuring Spoon Stirring Spoon

Presentation
The combination of basil, parsley, pepper, and oranges in this stand on its own.

salad is beautiful by itself, so I find that it’s best to let the salad

Time Management
This is best when eaten fresh as the oranges will lose their crisp texture after about thirty minutes.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve this with a side of black olives.

Where to Shop
All of the ingredients should be relatively easy to find as they are commonly available. Approximate cost per serving is $1.00.

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How It Works
The oranges and basil are the real stars of this salad, mixing fresh, sweet citrus with the fragrant

green of the basil. The olive oil acts as a small coating for the oranges and a smooth dressing for the salad while the pepper gives the salad a little spiciness to complement the sweetness of the oranges.

Chef’s Notes
This salad was one of my first exposures to Sicilian cuisine.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 284.8 (71.2) Calories from Fat 85.2 (21.3) Fat 9.5g (2.4g) Total Carbohydrates 46.2g (11.6g) Dietary Fiber 9.4g (2.4g) Sugars 32.1g (8.0g) Protein 3.7g (0.9g) Salt 302mg (76mg) Vitamin A 37% (9.3%) Vitamin B6 12% (3%) Vitamin C 367% (91.8%) Calcium 18% (4.5%) Iron 6% (1.5%) Thiamin 23% (5.8%) Riboflavin 9% (2.3%) Niacin 7% (1.8%) Folate 25% (6.3%) Phosphorous 6% (1.5%) Potassium 22% (5.5%) Zinc 3% (0.8%)

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Magnesium 12% (3%) Copper 11% (2.8%)

Sicilian cuisine has a heavy Greek influence, retaining some of that heritage from when it was a Greek colony over 2,000 years ago.

Interesting Facts

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Panzanella
Type: Salad Serves: 6 Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

1 medium sized loaf of rustic Italian or French bread, cut into small cubes (about 6 cups of bread cubes total) ½ cup of olive oil 3 tbsp. of red wine vinegar 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges or cubed 1 cucumber, peeled and diced ½ of a red onion, sliced ¼ cup of sliced basil ¼ tsp. of salt

Ingredients

Option: ¼ cup of chopped arugula instead of/in addition to the basil
1 tsp. of freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Cube the bread.

Mix the olive oil and vinegar together. Toss the bread in the oil and vinegar. Slice the tomato into wedges or cube it. Peel the cucumber and dice the cucumber. Slice the onion and basil. Combine all of the ingredients together.

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Low-fat Option
Omit the olive oil and add in 3 tbsp. of water to moisten the bread.

Kitchen Equipment
Serrated Knife to cut the bread Knife for the other ingredients Cutting Board Large Mixing Bowl to toss the bread, oil, and vinegar Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Whisk to combine the oil and vinegar

Presentation
I like to save a bit of sliced basil and sprinkle that over the top of the finished salad. This looks best on a plate with rustic designs or on a wooden plate.

Time Management
The longer this salad sits, the better it will taste as the bread will absorb not only the oil and vinegar, but the residual flavor from the basil and the juice from the tomatoes.

Complementary Food and Drinks
This goes well with Italian food, of course! Since it’s a fairly quick salad to put together and favors lunch time more than dinner, try pairing it with something else light and quick like a fresh gazpacho. I would not recommend pairing it with other starchy foods.
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Where to Shop
The bread can be found fairly fresh at most markets now, although a bakery will obviously have the best selection of bread from which to choose. The best place to get the basil is at Trader Joe’s buy them first, though. The rest of the ingredients are easy to come by. and your local farmers’ market will most likely have the best tomatoes. Ask for a taste before you

How It Works
The bread absorbs the surrounding flavors, softening it, but not to the point where it becomes mushy. This infuses it with flavor. The basil provides a crisp, aromatic quality to the salad (do not substitute dried basil in this one) and the vinegar lightens everything. The tomatoes provide a juicy bite and color while the cucumber gives the salad a cooling quality. Finally, the red onion is cut happens to mix well with vinegar. small so it disappears into the salad while still being able to impart its pungency. Red onion also

Chef’s Notes
This salad has been served for a couple thousand years, although it was only in the last few hundred that tomatoes were used. It was a great way to make use of bread that had become stale as the vinegar and oil would re-soften the bread and make it edible.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 2313.8 (385.6) Calories from Fat 1130.0 (188.3) Fat 125.6g (20.9g) Total Carbohydrates 250.7g (41.8g) Dietary Fiber 19.0g (3.2g) Sugars 21.8g (3.6g) Protein 45.3g (7.5g) Salt 3844mg (641mg) Vitamin A 75% (12.5%) Vitamin B6 35% (5.8%)
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Vitamin C 98% (16.3%) Calcium 45% (7.5%) Iron 83% (13.8%) Thiamin 157% (26.2%) Riboflavin 86% (14.3%) Niacin 110% (18.3%) Folate 232% (38.7%) Phosphorous 62% (10.3%) Potassium 50% (8.3%) Zinc 33% (5.5%) Magnesium 50% (8.3%) Copper 64% (10.7%)

Interesting Facts
Panzanella is a quintessential Tuscan dish. It is a favorite summer salad in Italy.

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Tuscan Cannellini Salad
Type: Salad Serves: 10 Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

2 (15-ounce) cans of white kidney beans (cannellini beans), rinsed and thoroughly drained 2 (15-ounce) cans of water-packed artichoke hearts, quartered 20 pitted black olives, coarsely chopped 16 pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped 2 red bell peppers, chopped ¾ cup of raw pine nuts 1 bunch of minced parsley ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice 2 tbsp. of soy sauce 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper Salt and pepper to taste Parsley for garnish Paprika for garnish 4 to 5 green onions, thinly sliced 1 (14-ounce) package of firm tofu, drained, rinsed, and crumbled

Ingredients

Instructions

In a large bowl combine the kidney beans, artichoke hearts, tofu, black and green olives, bell peppers, green onions, pine nuts, parsley, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, and cayenne. Mix well and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to an attractive serving bowl and garnish with a few sprigs of parsley and a sprinkle of paprika.

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Low-fat Version
Omit the olive oil and pine nuts from the recipe.

Kitchen Equipment
Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Colander Mixing Bowl Stirring Spoon Measuring Spoon

Presentation
Serve the salad in an attractive bowl and accompany it with crackers, salad, invite four or five guests and spoon each serving into individual lettuce-lined plates. pita wedges, or baguette slices. To enjoy the dish as a hearty lunch

Time Management
The recipe makes enough for a crowd and can be made a day ahead. If you should have any leftovers, it’s a good keeper.

Complementary Food and Drinks
Serve with tossed greens and a fruit salad.

Where to Shop
While all of these ingredients can be found at most grocery stores, it’s best to head to a store
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where you can purchase many of them in bulk. Whole Foods is great for this as they have pine nuts

in bulk and an olive bar so you can choose the best olives. Approximate cost per serving is $1.50.

How It Works
The heart of this salad is the mix of beans, artichokes, and olives with the crumbled tofu acting as a cheese, the pine nuts adding a crunchy texture, and the lemon juice and olive oil creating a bright dressing for the salad.

Chef’s Notes
Having a party and need a eye-appealing buffet salad? What better way to welcome your guests than with this Italian inspired salad that’s easy to assemble, colorful, and best of all—delicious!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 2785.6 (278.6) Calories from Fat 1192.6 (119.3) Fat 132.5g (13.3g) Total Carbohydrates 273.1g (27.3g) Dietary Fiber 82.0g (8.2g) Sugars 25.8g (2.6g) Protein 125.2g (12.5g) Salt 3462mg (346mg)

Vitamin A 189% (18.9%) Vitamin B6 114% (11.4%) Vitamin C 665% (66.5%) Calcium 176% (17.6%) Iron 259% (25.9%) Thiamin 125% (12.5%) Riboflavin 78% (7.8%) Niacin 66% (6.6%) Folate 221% (22.1%) Phosphorous 229% (22.9%)

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Potassium 205% (20.5%) Zinc 148% (14.8%) Magnesium 286% (28.6%) Copper 278% (27.8%)

Interesting Facts
Kidney beans are one of the most common beans consumed across the world.

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Cannoli with Ancho Cream Cheese
Type: Dessert Serves: 8 Time to Prepare: 60 minutes

Ingredients The shells…

¼ cup soy creamer

1 ½ tsp. maple syrup ¼ cup + 1 tbsp. raw sugar crystals 2 tbsp. canola oil 1/8 tsp. salt ½ tsp. vanilla extract 1/8 tsp. EnerG Egg Replacer 1 ½ cups of flour + more as needed Canola oil for frying

The filling…

2 anchos, rehydrated and minced 12 oz. of Better than Cream Cheese 3 tbsp. sweet agave nectar

The prickly pear cactus… Finishing ingredients…
Sweet agave nectar

4 prickly pear cactus fruits, sliced

3 tbsp. toasted pine nuts 1 tbsp. powdered sugar

Instructions Start by making the dough for the shells…

In a metal bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. In a blender, combine the rest of the ingredients. Blend them for about 1 minute until they are well emulsified. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well. tighter (it should feel like a soft bread dough.) Once the wet and dry ingredients form a dough, you can add more flour to make the dough

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Don’t over knead the dough. Let the dough sit for about 15 minutes. Cut out 4 inch circles. Wrap the circles around the cannoli forms. wrap. Wet your finger and run it along the seam of the wrap and press down gently to seal the On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/16 of an inch.

Set up a deep fryer or wok and fill it with oil until it will cover the shells. Turn it up to medium high. With a set of tongs, drop the wrapped cannoli form into the oil. Fry it until it is a light golden color and immediately remove it. Set it on a paper towel to drain the oil. Repeat with the other wrapped cannoli forms.

Making the filling…

Fill up a small pot with water. Turn it to medium low. While it is heating, deseed the anchos by removing the top stem and shaking out the seeds

through the hole that is created.

Place the anchos in the water and rehydrate them. They should turn a lighter color and the skin should smooth out. While they are rehydrating, place the Better than Cream Cheese and sweet agave nectar

in a blender.

Blend them on high for at least one minute.

Alternatively, you can place the Better than Cream Cheese and sweet agave nectar in a narrow, tall, metal bowl and use an immersion blender on it. Once the anchos have rehydrated, mince them very small. Stir the mince into the filling. Alternatively, you can blend it in. Slice the cactus fruit so that you have slices about 1/8 of an inch. Pump the immersion blender up and down to fluff up the filling.

Preparing the cactus fruit…

Lightly oil a sauté pan. Heat the pan up to a medium heat. Sauté the prickly pear fruit for about two minutes or until you see the colors smooth out. Place them on the plate, two or three per plate.

Toasting the pine nuts…

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In a sauté pan, toast the pine nuts on a medium heat until they start to develop light brown spots on them. This should only take 2 or 3 minutes. Set them aside.

Filling the cannoli…

Attach a wide star-shaped tip.

Place the filling in a piping bag (see Chef’s Notes for a cheat).

The setup…

Pipe the filling into the cannoli shell until it is filled. Arrange the prickly pear fruit on the plate. Lay the stuffed cannoli against the fruit. Drizzle sweet agave nectar across the plate, the cannoli, and the fruit. Sift a little bit of powdered sugar across the plate. Sprinkle some of the pine nuts around the plate.

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Kitchen Equipment
2 or 3 Metal Bowls Rolling Pin Blender Piping Bag with Star Shaped Tip 2 Sauté Pans Chefs’ Knife Measuring Cups Whisk Wok or Deep Fryer Sifter Measuring Spoons Spatula for the Prickly Pear Fruit A Knife or Large Ramekin to Cut the Dough

Presentation
When arranging the prickly pear fruit slices, spread them on top of each other instead of just placing them side by side or stacked right on top of each other. Lay the cannoli against the fruit. Take the bottle of sweet agave nectar and quickly move it from side to side to make the lines. This works if it has the squeeze tip. If it doesn’t, put the sweet agave nectar on a spoon and do nuts so they pine nuts give a nice contrast against the whiteness of the sugar. it that way. Put the powdered sugar on before the pine

Time Management
These take awhile to make and are fairly labor intensive. However, the shells and filling can be made ahead of time. If you make the shells ahead of time, serve this as a chilled dessert. The pine nuts and the prickly pear fruit definitely need to be served fresh. Start with the dough. Get the
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anchos rehydrated while the dough is resting. Get the filling ready after that. Once you are done with that, roll out the dough and make the shells. While they cool, you can toast the pine nuts and get the fruit sautéed. After that, they are quick to put together.

Complimentary Food and Drinks
This goes very well with a nice Riesling or even a lightly flavored cider like a pear cider.

Where to Shop
Anchos can sometimes be found prepackaged in gourmet food stores. However, the best place to shop is one that has a preponderance of Mexican foods. Anchos can often be found there in bulk bins. Note that they are often mislabeled as pasilla peppers. The pepper should be very, Replacer, and sweet agave nectar are most easily found at places like Whole Foods and Wild Oats. Pine nuts can be found at most places, including Costco. The rest of the ingredients can easily be found at the local supermarket. very dark, dry, and the skin should be shriveled. The Better than Cream Cheese, EnerG Egg

How It Works
The dough is tight enough so that it does not fall apart when it is deep fried, but soft enough so that it creates a lightly crisped shell. Using the immersion blender on the filling fluffs it up, making it lighter. There are several different types and levels of sweetness in the dessert. The filling is slightly sweet and the anchos have their own sweetness to them. The shells are fairly sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. The cactus fruit has a little bit of sweetness, but is more astringent. Putting some of the sweet agave nectar on top of the fruit helps that. Lastly, the powdered sugar adds sprinkles of intense sweetness to the dish. The prickly pear fruit is there to give the dessert a beautiful color contrast and a contrast in taste with its astringency. It also gives people something to talk about as most people have not tried it before. The anchos are there to add another flavor most people don’t associate with dessert, which is a chili flavor, making the dish even better because of its uniqueness.

Chef’s Notes
This recipe requires a lot of setup, but once everything is prepped, it goes very quickly. That’s
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why this dessert is best when made for 6 to 10 people instead of 2 or 3. This is also a particularly fun dish to make with friends as each person can be in the kitchen with their own job (one person can do the filling, one person prep the dough, etc.).

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses)
Calories 2268 (283) Fat 96g (12g) Calories from Fat 864 (108)

Total Carbohydrates 351g (44g) Dietary Fiber 21g (2.5g) Sugars 172g (21.5g) Protein 29g (3.5g) Salt 285mg (36mg) Vitamin A 138% (17%) Vitamin C 70% (8.5%) Calcium 19% (2%) Iron 21% (2.5%) Thiamin 106% (13%) Riboflavin 98% (12%) Niacin 64% (8%) Folate 84% (10.5%) Phosphorous 26% (3%) Potassium 42% (5%) Zinc 10% (1%) Magnesium 81% (10%) Copper 22% (2.5%) * This recipe is by no means healthy, but it is healthier than a regular dairy-based cannoli. I also think it’s important to treat ourselves to some decadence occasionally.

Vitamin B6 60% (7.5%)

Interesting Facts

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Anchos are the dried form of the poblano pepper, which is the pepper used in chili rellenos. In Spanish, ancho means “wide”. The cannoli originated in Sicily.

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Frangelico Balls
Type: Dessert Time to Prepare: 3-4 hours Serves: 48

The Frangelico Balls ½ cup of raisins 1/3 cup of Frangelico 1 cup of lightly toasted walnuts or pecans 24 thin vanilla tea biscuits 1 cup of nondairy chocolate chips 2/3 cup of vegan butter substitute 2/3 cup of powdered sugar, sifted The Coating (choose 1 or a combination) ½ cup of powdered sugar, sifted ½ cup of shredded dried coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) ½ cup of lightly toasted pecans or walnuts, ground in a food processor 1 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder sifted with ½ cup of powdered sugar

Ingredients

Instructions

Soak the raisins in the Frangelico in a small bowl for 1 to 2 hours. Process the walnuts in a food processor until just finely ground (take care that they do not become a paste). Add the tea biscuits and the soaked raisins and Frangelico to the walnuts in the food processor and process until finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Melt the chocolate chips and vegan butter substitute in a double boiler over gently simmering water. Stir. Microwave for 25 seconds longer and stir until smooth. If necessary, microwave for an additional 25 seconds. Add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the chocolate mixture to the raisin mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended.
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Alternatively, place them in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at medium power for 1 minute.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until the mixture can be easily molded (not too soft, not too firm). Roll into 1-inch balls. Place the coating of your choice on a plate or sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface and roll the balls in it until evenly covered. Store the balls in a sealed container in the refrigerator. For the best flavor, serve at least 24 hours after making. mixture before refrigerating it.

Option: For espresso Frangelico balls, add 1 ½ tsp. of instant espresso or coffee granules to the

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Kitchen Equipment
2 Bowls Food Processor Double Boiler Platter Plate or Wax Paper Wooden Spoon

Presentation
Serve these on a cake tray or stacked as a pyramid for optimum effect. The powdered sugar will highlight the balls the best out of all the optional coatings.

Time Management
There is a lot of downtime in this recipe, so take that opportunity to clean or work on another dish. This also goes much quicker if you have a partner or two to help you roll the Frangelico balls.

Complementary Food and Drinks
This is the perfect party dessert, so think of other classy finger desserts with which to serve these, like biscotti, semi-sweet cookies, and individual tarts.

Where to Shop
Kedem brand tea biscuits are a great tasting vegan tea biscuit for this recipe, especially because

you can get them in multiple flavors. Earth Balance makes an excellent vegan margarine while
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commonly available, though much less expensive if you purchase them from bulk bins. Approximate cost per serving is $.25.

How It Works
The filling is comprised of Franjelico-soaked raisins and ground walnuts, held fast by the ground tea biscuits and chocolate sauce, which mingle together to create an intensely flavored binder. This mix then refrigerates so that it will solidify and hold its shape when it’s rolled into balls and apart. They are then dressed with extra ingredients for texture and presentation. also so that it is cold enough to resist the warmth of a quick roll by hand without melting and falling

Chef’s Notes
Little balls of decadence!

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 2873.3 (59.9) Fat 153.8g (3.2g) Total Carbohydrates 306.3g (6.4g) Dietary Fiber 20.5g (0.4g) Sugars 197.8g (4.1g) Protein 30.0g (0.6g) Salt 265mg (6mg) Vitamin A 0% (0%) Vitamin B6 54% (1.1%) Vitamin C 6% (0.1%) Calcium 23% (0.5%) Iron 60% (1.3%) Thiamin 47% (1%) Riboflavin 51% (1.1%) Niacin 26% (0.5%)

Calories from Fat 1383.9 (28.8)

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Folate 28% (0.6%) Phosphorous 78% (1.6%) Potassium 46% (1%) Zinc 43% (0.9%) Magnesium 99% (2.1%) Copper 157% (3.3%)

Interesting Facts
Frangelico is an Italian hazelnut liqueur. The bottle of Frangelico intentionally looks like a Franciscan friar.

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Italian Cannoli Cake
Type: Dessert Time to Prepare: 60 minutes Serves: 12

The Cake

Ingredients
2 ¼ cups of sifted all purpose flour 2 tsp. of baking powder ½ tsp. of salt 1 cup of organic sugar ¼ cup of light brown sugar 8 ounces of soft tofu 1 ½ cups plus 1 tbsp. of soymilk 2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. of vanilla extract 1 tsp. of almond extract ½ cup of Earth Balance or dairy-free non hydrogenated margarine

The Filling ½ cup of golden raisins ½ cup of black raisins ½ cup of dried cherries 1 (18-ounce) package of firm tofu 1 cup of organic sugar ¾ tsp. of almond extract ½ tsp. of imitation rum extract ½ tsp. of vanilla extract 1 to 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to taste Pinch of salt ½ cup of vegan chocolate chips The Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate (2 squares) ¼ cup of soymilk ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. of light brown sugar 2 tsp. of organic canola oil
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1 tsp. of vanilla extract

Instructions

Preparing the Cake
Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and have ready a jellyroll pan lined with parchment.

Combine the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well. In a medium bowl cream the two sugars and the margarine until smooth and light. In the blender combine the tofu, soymilk, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and almond extract and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the tofu mixture to the creamed sugar a little at a time, stirring well to combine. Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring well after each addition to create a smooth creamy batter. spoon. Pour the batter onto the prepared jellyroll pan and smooth to the edges with the back of a

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly pressed.

Preparing the Filling

Cool completely, then cut the cake in half to create a two-layer dessert.

Combine the raisins and dried cherries in separate small bowls, pour warm water over them, and set aside to plump for 5 minutes. Drain the water and set aside. Drain the water from the tofu and break it into coarse chunks into the food processor. and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the tofu mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the chocolate chips and the reserved drained raisins. Add 2/3 of the cherries and reserve the remainder for the topping. Add the organic sugar, flavoring extracts, lemon juice, and salt, and process until smooth

Assembling the Cake

Mix well to distribute the raisins, cherries, and chocolate chips well.

Place one layer of the cake on a large round or square platter. over the sides.

Spread half the filling over the cake, spreading to the edges and allowing some to cascade Place the second cake layer over the filling and spread the remaining filling over the top. Melt the chocolate in a 1-quart saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly. Add the soymilk, brown sugar, canola oil, and vanilla extract and stir well.
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Preparing the Sauce

Sprinkle the remaining cherries over the top and drizzle the Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce over the top using a small spoon. plate in a design of your choice. With the leftover chocolate sauce, use the small spoon to drizzle sauce on the edges of the

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Kitchen Equipment
Jellyroll Pan Parchment Paper Oven Sifter Measuring Cup Measuring Spoon Spoon 4 Mixing Bowls Blender Platter Saucepan Stirring Spoon Spatula or Knife

Presentation
You can get the best chocolate lines by loading the chocolate sauce into a squirt bottle and quickly squeezing the sauce along the cake.

Time Management
Don’t start on the filling until the cake is baking. This way, you can work while there is some downtime from the cake being in the oven. Once the cake and filling have been properly assembled, only then should you start on the chocolate sauce because the chocolate sauce will thicken as it cools.

Complementary Food and Drinks
This is s very rich dessert, so don’t serve it after a meal that is too heavy. For a drink, go with
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coffee laced with a touch of frangelico.

Where to Shop
While most of these ingredients are commonly available, the vegan chocolate chips and Earth Balance margarine are most easily found at Whole Foods and Sprouts, with Whole Foods having the slightly better chocolate chip with their 365 brand. Approximate cost per serving is $1.25.

How It Works
The cake part of the recipe is a basic vegan white cake recipe with the margarine providing the fat to make the cake soft, the baking powder to make it fluffy, and the tofu to bind everything together. The filling is a sweet tofu cream mixed with chocolate chips, raisins, and cherries, all of which not done last so that it doesn’t thicken before being drizzled over the cake. Oil and sugar are used with the sauce to basically create a caramel chocolate sauce. only add a distinctive flavor, but also add quite a bit of texture to the filling. The sauce should be

Chef’s Notes
Delicious and oh! So Italian! This is a delicious vegan dessert you’ll have fun while assembling the recipe because the aromas alone will signal the great flavor reward that lies ahead. While the recipe appears to have many steps, each one is quick and easy. And you can even have fun decorating the top, sides, and even the platter that holds the cake.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 5058.3 (421.5) Fat 170.0g (14.2g) Calories from Fat 1530.1 (127.5)

Total Carbohydrates 7787.7g (64.9g) Dietary Fiber 27.9g (2.3g) Sugars 478.4g (39.9g) Protein 103.4g (8.6g) Salt 3772mg (314mg)
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Vitamin A 96% (8%) Vitamin B6 32% (2.7%) Vitamin C 9% (0.8%) Calcium 108% (9%) Iron 210% (17.5%) Thiamin 213% (17.8%) Niacin 102% (8.5%) Folate 115% (9.6%) Phosphorous 118% (9.8%) Potassium 123% (10.3%) Zinc 54% (4.5%) Magnesium 118% (9.8%) Copper169% (14.1%) Riboflavin 163% (13.6%)

Interesting Facts
A traditional cannoli is a fried pastry shell filled with a fluffy whipped cream.

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Poblano Gelato
Type: Raw, Dessert Serves: 6 Time to Prepare: 4 hours to soak the cashews + 1 hour for the gelato to set + 10 minutes of labor

2 cups of soaked cashews ¼ cup of raw agave nectar (if available) ½ tsp. cinnamon powder 1/8 tsp. of salt 6 poblanos 2/3 cup of almonds, coarsely chopped

Ingredients

Option: 2 tbsp. of green pumpkin seeds Instructions

Soak the cashews for at least four hours. Soak the almonds for one hour. other halves for blending. Deseed and remove the membranes from the poblanos. of the poblano halves. Freeze this for at least one hour. Load the gelato into the poblano halves. Blend together the cashew butter, raw agave nectar, cinnamon, almonds, salt, and one half of one Cut the poblanos in half along the length, saving the sides with the stem attached and using the

Option: Garnish with the pumpkin seeds.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick
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Kitchen Equipment
2 Mixing Bowls to soak the nuts Small Knife Cutting Board Measuring Cup Blender

Presentation
Serve this on a plate with raw cocoa powder sprinkled over it and a with pumpkin seeds and/or cinnamon. few dabs of sweet agave nectar. Alternatively, you can garnish it

Time Management
Make sure to soak the almonds while you are soaking the cashews. If you want to forgo the soaking, you can reduce the amount of prep time significantly. However, you will have slightly made in a large batch and will keep frozen for a couple days before losing flavor. grainy gelato. It will still taste great, but the texture won’t be as nice. This is something that can be

Complementary Food and Drinks
This is definitely a nice, exotic dessert, so serve it with a fancy main meal. Stick with the pepper theme, although go mild, perhaps with a red pepper coconut soup and a jicama croquette topped with your favorite seasonal veggies.

Where to Shop
I shop at Sprouts for these ingredients because the nuts and seeds are available in bulk. If you don’t have one of those stores near you, try Whole Foods since they have the nuts in bulk, as well.
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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick
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Raw agave nectar can typically be found at both stores.

How It Works
Soaking the cashews softens them enough that they can be blended into a smooth paste and they also add the creamy fat typically found in desserts, though this is a much better fat than say, dairy fat. The almonds soak for a bit less time so that they add some texture to the gelato instead of getting lost in the creaminess of the cashews. Poblano is used because peppers and sweets go well together and it happens to make a nice boat to hold the gelato. Cinnamon is used to give an aromatic quality to the gelato. A pinch of salt is added to the gelato because salt is the contrasting flavor to sweetness. When a hint of it is added, it forces the sweet flavor to the foreground.

Chef’s Notes
Nut based raw gelatos are certainly decadent, but I find it worthwhile to occasionally indulge in a treat like this.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 2726.4 (454.4) Fat 183.2g (30.5g) Calories from Fat 1648.7 (274.8)

Total Carbohydrates 199.9g (33.3g) Dietary Fiber 26.9g (4.5g) Sugars 70.2g (11.7g) Protein 69.6g (11.6g) Salt 346mg (57.7mg) Vitamin A 50% (8.3%)

Vitamin B6 91% (15.2%) Vitamin C 573% (95.5%) Calcium 39% (6.5%) Iron 137% (22.8%) Thiamin 53% (8.8%)
The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com
Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick
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Riboflavin 74% (12.3%) Niacin 49% (8.2%) Folate 79% (13.2%) Phosphorous 206% (34.3%) Potassium 68% (11.3%) Zinc 135% (22.5%) Magnesium 276% (46%) Copper 380% (63.3%)

Interesting Facts
Gelato is a dense Italian ice cream. called Poblano Sorbetto.

Gelato that doesn’t use dairy is called sorbetto, so perhaps this recipe should more properly be

The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com
Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick
A Tour of Italy February 2009|248

Rapid Tiramisu
Type: Dessert Time to Prepare: 3 hours Serves: 12

The Nutcakes... 1 ½ cups plain flour 4 oz. of vegan margarine 4 oz. of desiccated coconut or ground almond 6 oz. of golden caster sugar 2 heaped tsp. of baking powder 1 cup of soya or rice milk The Goodies... ½ pint of strong coffee 4 tbsp. of caster sugar 350g (12.3 oz.) of silken tofu 150g (5.3 oz.) of soya yogurt 2 vanilla pods ¼ pint (4 oz.) of sweet sherry Zest and juice of 1 orange 3 ½ oz. of best quality dark chocolate

Ingredients

Instructions

Making the nutcakes... Sift the flour. Rub in the margarine. Add the dry ingredients and milk a little at a time alternately. Putting together the tiramisu... In a medium deep bowl (8-10 inches in diameter) slice enough cakes to line the bowl. Arrange them to fit snugly together. Add 2tbs. of sugar to the coffee and pour it over the cakes covering well. While the cakes are soaking, whisk up the tofu and yogurt together with the remaining sugar.
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Recipe by Sandra Barnett of The Veggie Barn
A Tour of Italy February 2009|249

Bake in greased patty tins for 15 minutes at 180deg C (fan oven).

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pods and add these to the tofu/yogurt mix. While still whisking, pour in the sherry. the chocolate over the top. Finally decorate the top with a little finely grated orange and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Squeeze the orange juice over the cake lining then pour the mixture into the bowl and grate

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Recipe by Sandra Barnett of The Veggie Barn
A Tour of Italy February 2009|250

Kitchen Equipment
Sifter Measuring Cup Scale Mixing Bowl Baking Tins Deep Bowl Whisk Grater Small Knife Mixing Bowl for the tofu and soy yogurt Measuring Spoon

Presentation
Serve this in a white bowl to contrast the beautiful flavors of the dessert.

Time Management
Most of the time spent on this recipe is for chilling it, so take that opportunity to work on another recipe and do your clean-up.

Complementary Food and Drinks
A nice cup of espresso goes quite well with this dessert.

Where to Shop
The sugar may be hard to find, but you can substitute finely ground turbinado sugar for it. If you

want to use almond meal, you may need to go to Whole Foods to find it, but if you use the dried
The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com
Recipe by Sandra Barnett of The Veggie Barn
A Tour of Italy

coconut, that will be available even at conventional markets. For the chocolate, check out World

February 2009|251

Market (if you have one near you). They have an excellent selection of dark, vegan chocolates.

How It Works
The flour, sugar, and soya milk basically form a glue that holds together the coconut while the margarine provides fat to smooth out the flavors. This creates an absorbent base, much like the lady fingers in a traditional tiramisu. This absorbent base then takes in the flavor of the sweet coffee over which is added the creamy tofu/yogurt whip. This is then finished off with a bit of sherry to add more body to the dessert and everything is brightened by the orange zest.

Chef’s Notes
This version of the classic Italian dessert retains all the luxurious qualities of the original but

without the dairy ingredients. A real winner! These little cakes are great on their own and for use in making trifles and other dishes requiring a cake base such as this tiramisu.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 4314.7 (359.6) Calories from Fat 1986.2 (165.5) Fat 220.7g (18.4g) Total Carbohydrates 513.8g (42.8g) Dietary Fiber 31.5g (2.6g) Sugars 170.0g (24.1g) Protein 68.3g (5.7g) Salt 1408mg (117mg) Vitamin A 94% (7.8%) Vitamin B6 26% (2.2%) Vitamin C 75% (6.3%) Calcium 77% (6.4%) Iron 115% (9.6%) Thiamin 83% (6.9%) Riboflavin 100% (8.3%) Niacin 64% (5.3%)

The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com
Recipe by Sandra Barnett of The Veggie Barn
A Tour of Italy February 2009|252

Folate 89% (7.4%) Phosphorous 63% (5.3%) Potassium 39% (3.3%) Zinc 39% (3.3%) Magnesium 80% (6.7%) Copper 96% (8%)

Interesting Facts
Tiramisu means “pick me up.”

Tiramisu is a late 20th century invention.

The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com
Recipe by Sandra Barnett of The Veggie Barn
A Tour of Italy February 2009|253

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