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So Ya Wanna Make Perfect Asparagus? Recipe: Asparagus with Spring Garlic and Sherry Dijon Vinaigrette

3 May

Working at the H St. NE farmers market has taught me one thing (among others): Spring opening days bring an ABUNDANCE of delicious asparagus. When I was younger, asparagus was on my worst-hated foods list (along with canned frosting). I, like so many other people, tried it overcooked once and never wished to relive the horror. Luckily, I stalked down asparagus perfection and now I am here to allay your fears of the stringy, mushy, fibrous myths that surround these blades of glory. (Canned frosting is still hated.)

You’ll want to be sure to get asparagus in season that seems stiff and snappable. If you bent it in half it would snap rather than bend into submission. Toss your limp stalks in the soup or to the dogs…or maybe the compost pile. The supplies you will need are a large pot, a skillet (non-stick or seasoned cast iron), and a large bowl filled with ice water.

First, you’ll need to rinse your asparagus in cold water and cut of the woody ends. If you have ever bitten into a stalk of asparagus only to find that your chewing is getting you nowhere and it is stringy and inedible — chances are that it is either OLD or the woody end was not properly cut.

In this picture, you can see approximately what I cut off to ensure that the woody part is removed. The top is asparagus that are cut and the left bunch still has the woody ends.

Next, I like to cut my asparagus into bite-sized pieces. You can opt to keep your stalks long or cut them smaller but just be sure that they fit comfortably into your pot of water.

Fill a pot with cold water and put in 3 large pinches of salt. I would guess that I use about 2-3 tbsp of kosher salt. Salting the cooking water helps to flavor the asparagus so that it is perfectly seasoned when it’s time to eat. Bring water to a boil and add the cut asparagus and stir frequently for about 4 minutes. I would start testing it at 3 minutes if you have cut smaller pieces and leave it in no more that 5 minutes. The asparagus should be perfectly tender and to the tooth.

Once your asparagus has reached its al dente point, immediately use tongs to place the asparagus into a bowl of ice water. This will shock in the bright green color and also stop it from cooking to preserve the perfect texture. 

Next, cut up the bottoms of four sprigs of spring garlic and a quarter of a large shallot.

spring garlic has a milder garlic flavor combined with green onion flavor

In a large skillet, heat about 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic.

Drain the asparagus from the cold water in a colander and pour it into the hot pan with shallot and garlic infused olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch more of salt and turn it in the pan for a minute or until glossy with the oil.

 

Pour the finished asparagus onto a plate and now it’s time to make the sauce. In a bowl, whisk together a tsp of dijon mustard and 1.5 tbsp. of sherry vinegar. Drizzle in about 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and whisk together until emulsified. Pour over the asparagus and enjoy!

As you can see, I served mine with a piece of baked salmon and a kale and red pepper stir fry and some left over Bhutanese red rice that I’d had in the freezer. An easily delicious Wednesday evening.

And for dessert, I made banana “ice cream” with a little bit of cherry jam, chocolate chips, and peanut butter mixed in.

xoxo,
the happenstance gourmande

Lacktard Speaks Out on Dairy & Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding

27 Apr

As a person who cannot handle her dairy, a “lacktard” if you will, I should be the poster child for veganism. Unfortunately, I love dairy. I love drinking milk, eating gelato, snacking on cheese, etc. Since the cleanse, I’ve really cut back on my dairy intake, which has helped me a lot. I can even feel the difference in my sinuses without dairy. The uncomfortable bloating and overall gastric distress that I experience whenever I consume dairy is almost enough to keep me away for good. Almost.

When you think about it, humans drinking animal milk is really weird…

Yesterday, I started reading an article in this week’s issue of The New Yorker discussing the trend of raw milk and the legal implications on farmers and distributors. I knew that raw milk was frowned upon, but I didn’t realize that it was ILLEGAL! The article discusses California primarily as this hotbed of illegal raw milking. With California’s bans on foie gras and raw milk, I can imagine some foodie speak-easy-type places popping up all over! Last year, I briefly worked for Virginia artisan raw sheeps’ milk cheese producer, Everona Dairy, at the Dupont Circle farmers market, and I have to tell you that the taste of raw dairy would definitely have me seeking out the bathtub gin equivalent of raw manchego.

If pasteurization and homogenization were created to protect us from the dangers of factory-farmed and commercially produced dairy, why exactly is it mandatory for ALL milk (with good bacteria) to be pasteurized — especially if I trust my local dairy farmer?

Anyways, since I have had a little bit of a dairy intense week, and feel a little more congested than I have in recent weeks, I thought I’d share a recipe for vegan chocolate pudding. It is amazing how with just a couple of fruits and some cocoa powder, a creamy pudding emerges!

Vegan Chocolate Banana Avocado Pudding (2 servings)

  • 2 small bananas
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tbsp. of good cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. good vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. raw turbinado sugar
  • pinch of salt

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor and chill for 20 minutes.

creamy and smooth just like a snack pack!

Serve in a champagne flute and top with strawberries, enjoy.

xoxo,
the happenstance gourmande

Bring on the Rain! (Recipe: “Saag-y” Weather Stewed Spinach and Tofu in Bell Pepper Sauce with Bhutanese Red Rice)

23 Apr

I don’t know about you all, but I couldn’t be more thrilled that the East Coast is getting drenched in inches of cool (read: cold) rain. While at the farmer’s market this Saturday, I overheard that my beloved honeycrisp apples were in peril. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to eating honeycrisp apples by the sackful at the end of summer. We tend to look at the weather with little regard for how it affects all the treats we look forward to eating (like strawberries that I heard will be making an appearance this week at markets), and only think about how we are able to break out our spring dresses early and never have had to locate our snow pants (not that we actually own snow pants in the District).

Miserable, rainy days are the perfect ones for trying out hearty and filling recipes. I caught wind of the idea to make a sauce with peppers and tomatoes with spinach from a friend, and after a little bit of planning, came up with a great recipe that is not only rich and warming, but is also 100% vegan. I took the idea of the traditional Indian dish, Saag Paneer (spinach with chunks of paneer cheese), to come up with an Indian/North African scented-dish that might just be one of the best things I’ve ever created. It also made my apartment smell like something from a gorgeous Delacroix — like my favorite Orientalist painting, Death of Sardanapalus. In efforts to try a new grain from the bulk bin at Whole Foods, I picked up some Bhutanese red rice which adds a great nutty depth to the dish. Also, the cashew butter in this recipe gives the stew a rich, full body that makes it taste decadent.

 

“Saag-y” Weather Stewed Spinach and Tofu in Bell Pepper Sauce with Bhutanese Red Rice

  • 3 bell peppers (1 yellow, 1 red, 1 orange)
  • 2 lbs. tomatoes (approx. 4 medium)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 3 heaping tbsp. of cashew butter

    Bhutanese red rice ready to be cooked

  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1.5 tbsp. Moroccan spice blend (or equivalent combination of chili powder, turmeric, garlic, cumin, black pepper, chili flakes, oregano, onion, coriander)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sweet basil
  • 1 sprig of fresh oregano (fresh oregano gives the dish a smokiness that cannot be achieved with dry)
  • 1.5 lbs. frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 package organic firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup Bhutanese red rice
  • 2 cups of water

In a blender or food processor, puree the peppers, tomatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic. (I had to do this in 3 batches to fit into my food processor.) Pour the sauce into a stock pot. Heat over medium-high heat and add the EVOO and cashew butter, stirring constantly until cashew butter is mixed into the sauce. Add in spices, tomato paste, and about a tbsp of kosher salt (remember to adjust the salt depending on the size of flakes — table salt is saltier bc the particles are smaller) and continue to stir the sauce as it thickens up. Taste the sauce and add additional salt if needed.

Drain the tofu and slice into cubes. Add the tofu, chickpeas, and spinach to the sauce. Bring to a bubble and turn heat down to a simmer. Make sure to taste the sauce after the spinach cooks since the additional water may require increased salt. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.

In a medium sauce pot, heat a tbsp. of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the rice. Stir around for 2 minutes. Add in water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 30-45 minutes, or until water evaporates. Let rice sit for 10 minutes. Serve the sauce over rice.

lots of leftovers for the week

I hope that you’ll put your food processors and blenders to good use and give this SUPER EASY recipe a try.

xoxo,
the happenstance gourmande

Recipe: This $%@! is Bananas (Raw Vegan Banana Ice Cream)

18 Apr

Last weekend, I had the absolute pleasure of hanging out with old friends that I hadn’t seen in years AND tasting one of nature’s magical best-kept hidden secrets: Banana Ice Cream. I love bananas so much. When I juice-cleansed, the main things I looked forward to eating were bananas, and I eat at least one a day. Usually two. Sometimes three. For any of you Weight Watchers out there, luckily bananas are now zero points.  But alas, I am not a Weight Watcher. I like to eat bananas, and peanut butter, and pistachios with wild abandon, and I’m pretty sure bananas would start to accumulate a point eventually.

When I first tasted the banana ice cream, extruded from a Champion juicer, I was FLABBERGASTED. I could not believe that there was no added milk, or sugar, or heavy cream added to this frozen treat. The taste was mildly banana and very sweet. The texture was IDENTICAL to frozen custard — super cool and creamy. Now, since I do not have a fancy pants Champion juicer, and my Breville does not have a homogenizing attachment nor the capability, I prayed to the fruit gods that my Cuisinart would whip up something similar. Prayers were answered.

First you’ll need to start with very ripe bananas. Make sure that they have lots of brown spots. (They can be so ripe that you wouldn’t want to eat them anymore.) Peel them and break them up and put them in the freezer. My bananas that I used were not super ripe, but I just couldn’t wait a day longer to try this recipe. I popped them in the freezer before work, and by dessert time, I was in monkey-business.

Raw Banana Ice Cream with Toasted Walnuts and Coconut

  • 4 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup of raw walnuts (from the bulk section of your grocery store)
  • 1/4 cup of raw, unsweetened coconut
  • raw honey (optional)
  • cinnamon

Spread walnuts on baking sheet and bake in preheated 450 degree oven for 5-8 minutes or until fragrant and toasted. Set aside and let cool. Spread coconut on the same baking sheet. Toast in 450 degree oven for 3-5 minutes, making sure to stir every minute. Remove when golden brown. Set aside and let cool. Place broken, frozen bananas in a food processor and pulse until broken down.

Process for a couple of minutes until smooth making sure to stop the process to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. At this point you will have a delightful, very soft banana ice cream (like a soft serve). I would recommend sticking the bowl into the freezer for 30 minutes to let it refreeze, set up, and become a HäagenDazs ice cream consistency. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon, toasted nuts, and coconut, and drizzle with a little honey. Enjoy!

xoxo,
the happenstance gourmande

Recipe: Vegan No-Pasta Zucchini “Noodle” and Vegetable Lasagna

16 Apr

I’m not sure about you, but one of my favorite things is a cheesy casserole. I have major “chunking” issues — you know, you eat a chunk here, and a chunk there, and then the next thing you know, a quarter of the casserole is gone. There is something about cold pasta and congealed cheese that I cannot resist. Super appetizing, right?  Well, after a beautiful weekend of drinks (finally tried a Jack Rose cocktail at Jack Rose in Adams Morgan), exercise (killer bootcamp on Saturday morning), and delicious treats at Sticky Fingers, a vegan bakery and cafe (that just happens to be a Cupcake Wars winner), I decided that I wanted to make a lasagna that would be guilt-free when the inevitable chunking began.

I love squash and eggplant, and knew that baking these veggies with tomato sauce is already a sure-fire delight, but thought I would try to jazz it up with some vegan staples. After my mayonnaise making, I learned that silken tofu is a great substitute for something creamy. One of the best parts of lasagna is the creamy spinach and ricotta layer, but by using silken tofu, I was able to achieve a similar texture and taste. Also, wheat farina (otherwise known as Cream of Wheat) not only makes a tasty breakfast when mixed with ground flax seed, but also serves as a tasty cheesy layer when mixed with some nutritional yeast.

portabella cap post and pre-gills scraping

Just as a couple of other notes before we get to the goods, I’d like to share a great trick for making eggplant. When you sprinkle eggplant with salt and let it rest for 15 minutes, it begins to release a lot of its water which helps with cooking to reduce the spongy texture that many people hate about my aubergine friend — you can use this trick for any eggplant whether it’s graffiti or deep purple, fried or baked. Also, the gills of portabella mushrooms not only look alien/deep sea-esque, but also have a very weird taste for me that I hate AND discolor anything that they touch. By scraping these gills away, you can be sure to have a beautiful lasagna and only taste the meaty umami of those big UFO mushrooms.

No-Cheese No-Noodle Cheesy Vegan Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

  • 1 package organic silken tofu
  • 1 16 oz bag of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2.5 tbsp wheat farina
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 heaping tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 lb. zucchini
  • 1 lb. eggplant
  • 3 portabella mushroom caps
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • garlic powder
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup EVOO

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Thaw spinach and squeeze out excess juice in a clean dish towel. In a medium bowl, mix together the silken tofu, drained spinach, carrots, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 3-4 large pinches of salt (enough to salt all slices) and let the eggplant sit for 15 minutes. Cut zucchini in half, and slice each half into four long planks. Wipe mushroom caps clean and remove the gills from underneath with a spoon. Slice into 1/4-1/2 inch slices and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the wheat farina and water and a pinch of salt. Heat in microwave for 1 minute. Stir and then heat for 30 more seconds, or until thickened. Stir in nutritional yeast.

In a 13×9″ glass pan, spread 1/3 cup of marinara sauce on bottom. Layer zucchini across the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/4 cup of marinara sauce over the zucchini. Spread spinach, tofu, carrot mixture on top of the zucchini and tomato sauce.

Next, add the eggplant in a single layer, making sure to let the excess water drip from each eggplant slice.

side view before heading to the oven

Top eggplant layer with the nutritional yeast and wheat farina. Layer the remaining zucchini on top and sprinkle sliced mushrooms on top of the zucchini. Pour the rest of the marinara sauce over the vegetables. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Drizzle the top of the lasagna with 1/4 cup of good EVOO and sprinkle torn basil leaves and oregano leaves on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake covered at 375 for 45 minutes. Uncover the lasagna, turn heat to 400, and let bake uncovered for another 35-45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Let sit for 15 minutes and enjoy.

I have to admit, as this bad boy sat on my counter and settled into itself, letting all the flavors and veggies get comfortable with one another, I chunked away. Here’s a picture of the finished product:

 And here’s what it looked like post-chunking:

yummy layers of "cheesy" goodness

xoxo,
the happenstance gourmande

Recipes: Kale and Roasted Beet Salad with Vegan Pistachio Pesto AND Chia Pudding Dessert

4 Apr

So after my amazing dinner at Barbuzzo, which I devoted a whole post to, I decided that I needed to recreate this delicious salad that I had. The salad was Roasted Beets with Kale, Grapefruit, and Goat Cheese with a Pistachio Pesto. The combination of the flavors was so incredibly different that I just had to veganize it and make it immediately. I would like to report that my first attempt to make the salad was a SUCCESS! Thankfully the cleanse left my taste buds in prime working order so that I could mentally take notes to plan what I might need to make this at home.

A typical pesto includes basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and lots of parmesan cheese. Not very vegan friendly. I swapped in a little bit of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor and extra nutrients (like B-12), and used some arugula for a peppery bite. Here is what I came up with and man…it is delicious.

Vegan Roasted Beet Salad with Kale Chiffonade, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Pistachio Pesto (serves 3 with lots of extra pesto leftover for spaghetti squash or pasta)

  • 2 handfuls of basil (about 1.5 cups packed)
  • 1 handful of arugula
  • 3/4 cup of roasted, salted pistachios (shelled — that means no shell)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp. of nutritional yeast powder (I found this in bulk at my local organic market)
  • 3 large pinches of kosher salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 lbs of small/medium beets (I found great ones at the Penn Quarter farmers market)
  • 10 leaves of kale
  • large ruby red grapefruit

Preheat oven to 425. Rinse beets, making sure to remove any excess dirt. (They live underground so fresh beets are dirrrty — like Christina Aguilera.) Pat dry with a paper towel, place on a foil-lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt, and drizzle with EVOO. Fold the aluminum foil around the beets to create a pouch. Roast in oven for 30-45 minutes, or until a fork slides easily into the beets. Once cool, the skin of the beets will easily slip off.

Add basil, arugula, garlic, pistachios, salt, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice to a food processor. Blend together until mixed into a puree and slowly stream in the EVOO while the food processor is running. When the mixture is thick and dense, but well-emulsified, scoop into a bowl and set aside.

Line up kale leaves and roll into a cigar shape. Slice even sections of the “cigar” which will leave you with a chiffonade cut. Here is a great tutorial if you need help with your knife skills. Place in a medium bowl, drizzle with vinegar, squeeze lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt. Set kale aside.

Slice wedges of grapefruit and remove the peel, seeds, and outer white pith. Squeeze the excess juice over the kale and cut the wedges of grapefruit into smaller segments.

Place a heaping teaspoon dollop of pesto atop the kale and mix together making sure to coat all of the greens. The pesto will be pliable with the addition of the vinegar and grapefruit juice, however if you find the pesto to be too sticky to coat the greens, add more grapefruit juice.

Place the kale on a plate and top with sliced beets and grapefruit and a small dollop of pesto. Enjoy. As you can see, I served my salad with crispy tofu nuggets. I’ll write up the recipe for that after I do some more tweaking.

Here’s a picture of a perfect bite. And you can see that lovely chiffonade of the kale. Trust me, the cut of your vegetables makes a HUGE difference in the way that your taste buds register them.

Not to toot my own horn..or Barbuzzo’s but, this salad is amazing — the sweet earthiness of the beets and the dark green flavor the kale is contrasted by the rich creamy and garlicy pesto and the sweet citrusy grapefruit.

Obviously I needed a sweet to go with this meal, and after my boss turned me on to chia seeds, I’ve been dying to use them. Chia seeds are a miracle food that originated in South America with the Aztecs and Mayans. They are known to give energy, provide sustenance, but most importantly they are a SUPER food. They are a complete source of protein and contain tons of fiber and are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids (which is something that vegans can have a hard time getting).

One of the most important things about chia seeds is that they are extremely hydrophilic, which means that when they are exposed to a liquid, they soak it all up and balloon in size. This makes them perfect for a pudding. I found some great looking recipes for Chia Seed Puddings, and obviously put my own spin on it to create something fabulous.

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding with Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Fresh Berries (makes 3 servings)

  • 1/2 cup of chia seeds
  • 2 cups of plain soymilk
  • 1 tsp. good vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of raw coconut, toasted (sprinkle on baking sheet and roast in 325 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until browned and fragrant)
  • 1 tbsp. sucanat
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of fresh berries
  • cardamom pod to grate over the top

Stir the chia seeds and soymilk together, and refrigerate for an hour until gelled and set. This is what it looks like when set.

When set, stir in sucanat and vanilla extract. Spoon into individual bowls and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, toasted coconut, berries, and a couple grates of cardamom. Enjoy.

xoxo,
the happenstance gourmande

Recipe: Vegan Bourbon BBQ “Pork” ‘n’ Beans & Cornbread

29 Mar

When the weather gets warm, one thing that I always crave is BBQ. Sadly, I wasn’t brought up in a place where BBQ reigns supreme, so I don’t really know the difference between Texas, Carolina, Low Country, etc. All I know is that if it’s smoked and covered in sauce, bring it on. With my foray into weekday veganism, you might think that BBQ is a flavor that I’d not be able to integrate into a Tuesday evening. Guess again!

If you’ve ever had seitan, you know that this faux meat product, made from wheat gluten and water, REALLY TASTES LIKE MEAT. Texturally, I wouldn’t take any bets on deciphering the difference between seitan and chicken. If you’ve ever had Whole Foods’ Vegan General Tso’s Chicken, you know what I’m talking about.

With some pantry staples, and a few extras (like the vegan God-send — Liquid Smoke) I created my Bourbon BBQ “Pork” ‘n’ Beans. The measurements are a little bit off because, when it comes down to it, it’s up to your taste buds how much smoke you want, how much Worcestershire you want, etc. I also used sucanat, which is the most natural of all sugars (dehydrated, evaporated pressed cane juice). After some research, I knew that agave nectar was OFF THE TABLE. Apparently, it is as bad for you as high fructose corn syrup. And unless you have diabetes and need to pay attention to your glycemic index, I would suggest staying away. Just say no to chemicals!

With an adventurous spirit, I decided to try millet (from my local organic market’s bulk section) to accompany my meal. Not a Smooth Move, Ferguson. The millet had a very strange taste. I think I will try it again, but cook in veggie broth instead of water.

Bourbon BBQ “Pork” ‘n’ Beans

  • 2 cans of tomato paste
  • 1 can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cans no-salt-added pinto beans
  • package of seitan strips, sliced (or make your own)
  • EVOO

And here are the ingredients to play with:

  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (conveniently left over from my bread baking)
  • 1.5 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 3 tbsp sucanat
  • 1/4 cup of Jim Bean bourbon
  • 1.5 tbsp Liquid Smoke
  • 2 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (note, this is not vegan because it contains anchovies — but it is pesco-vegan 🙂 )
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • pinch red pepper flakes

In a large saucepan, heat a couple of tbsp. of EVOO over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute until translucent. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir and simmer. Add in all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

What better way to accompany my vegan BBQ than some warm cornbread. I found this recipe and made a few tweaks and it was INCREDIBLE. The ground flax seed takes the place of an egg, and I cannot WAIT to use that substitution in other recipes.

Yummy Vegan Cornbread (adapted from Dana Sly’s Blue Ribbon Cornbread)

  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed

    see all the yummy flax seeds floating around

  • 6 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup of sucanat
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1 cup of soy milk with 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar mixed in for 5 minutes
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (not extra virgin — taste might be too strong)

Bring water to a boil in small saucepan. Add flax seed and simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Let cool for a couple of minutes while assembling other ingredients

In a large bowl mix together all of the remaining ingredients and add in the flax and water mixture. Pour into a lightly sprayed 9×9 baking dish. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

Hope you have fun with this meaty meal!

xoxo,
the happenstance gourmande