Apple-Picking & Apple Burritos!


Now that September is coming to an end, I can FINALLY fully embrace fall.

I snickered when Shipyard Pumpkin was out before my pool closed. I groaned in disgust when all things Halloween and autumn started popping in local stores.

But now’s the right time. The weather is fully cooling off, I’ve bought myself some fabulous new boots, broken out the sweaters and of course, gone pumpkin and apple-picking.

Apple-picking is somewhat of a tradition (OK, it’s only our second year) among the girls at work and we returned to the orchards this past weekend. Arikka and I were ambitious with our apple recipes and we each brought home a whopping 12.2 pounds of apple, to which we paid a mere $15. It’s always a fun experience and picking the apples is just as fun as eating them.

One of my co-workers, Peter, actually came up with the idea for these apple burritos when he’d had one too many beers at Red Sox game. It turned out to be brilliant though and these burritos are perfect for breakfast or dessert. How awesome is it when a drunk idea actually turns out to be a sober success?!

4 whole wheat tortilla/burrito wraps

2 apples of your choice, peeled and sliced

1/3 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tbsp water

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp sea salt

  • In a saucepan, cook apples in orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and sea salt over medium heat for 2 minutes
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook, partially covered for 5 more minutes
  • Add cinnamon and nutmeg and cook on medium heat for a few more minutes, stirring continuously
  • Add cornstarch and water and pecans and stir together for another minute, so that most of the liquids are gone and the mixture is sticky
  • Remove from heat, add maple syrup and pecans and stir until combined
  • Wrap up into burritos and serve!

(cool tree at the orchards at Tougas Farm)




Tempeh & Corn Chili


File this one under “food that looks so much like real meat it’s creepy”.

I an enamored this this chili. It’s hearty and spicy, and the mix of corn, beans, tempeh and veggie gives it such a wonderful texture. So many flavors in one little bite!

The end result of the crumbled tempeh resembles ground hamburger meat, which is something I generally don’y enjoy. But once in awhile, I don’t mind the faux-meats, and in this dish it’s especially delicious. This stew really wouldn’t be the same without it.

3 cups diced tomatoes

2 cups fresh or frozen corn

2 green bell peppers, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 cup cooked black beans

1 cup vegetable broth

1 8 oz. package tempeh, crumbled or diced

1 cayenne pepper minced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chipotle hot sauce

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp black pepper

  • Saute onion, peppers and cayenne pepper in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat for minutes
  • Add tempeh, salt, paprika and black pepper and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring
  • Add corn and black beans and cook for 2 more minutes
  • Add tomatoes, veggie broth and hot sauce and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to meat/low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes


Chickpea Gravy


Gravy. Yet another dish I HATED even during my pre-vegetarian life.

It always smelled funny and looked like dirty water to me. I skipped over any gravy at the Thanksgiving table and just didn’t want any brown mess tampering with my delicious potatoes.

That being said, I had read some recipes for chickpea gravy that sounded scrumptious. I was also prepping to make some smashed potatoes (stay tuned for that recipe) and figured this might be the prime time to give vegan gravy a go.

And I’m SO thrilled that I did. The aroma, creamy consistency and savory spices made for a melt-watering sauce. It was actually really easy to make and barley to 15 minutes to whip together. A must try!

4 cups vegetable broth

1/3 cup chickpea flour

1/3 cup cooked chickpeas

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp black pepper

  • In a frying pan over medium heat, cook olive oil and garlic for 2 minutes
  • Add chickpea flour, salt, paprika, dry mustard and black pepper and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring
  • Add chickpeas and 1 cup veggie broth and continue stirring over medium heat for 3 minutes
  • Add another cup veggie broth and cook for 3 more minutes
  • Repeat until broth is gone
  • Once gravy is absorbed and creamy, pour into blender and pulse until chickpeas are blended


Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Peppers


Who knew cilantro pesto would be just as delicious as the basil version? This pasta salad is great cold, and if you sub the whole wheat pasta for some zucchini/squash noodles, it’d be completely raw!

1 lb whole wheat organic pasta of your choice, cooked

1 large bunch fresh cilantro

2 bell peppers of your choice, chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 large cucumber, seed, peeled and chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, diced

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

  • Toss together pasta, bell peppers, tomatoes and red onion
  • Pulse cilantro, jalapeno, walnuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt and black pepper in a food processor until blended
  • Slowly pour in olive oil and continue pulsing until creamy
  • Mix in cilantro pesto with pasta and let chill in the fridge for a bit




Raw Beet Ravioli Stacks with Basil Pesto


Raw food is highly photogenic. They showcase the veggies at their peak of freshness, in their most glorified state. These beet ravioli stacks are gorgeous to look at, and delicious to eat.

2 large beets, sliced super thin with a mandolin (you can use sweet potato slices too if they’re more accessible)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt


1 cup baby spinach

1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked for 4 hours

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper


1 large bunch fresh basil

1/4 cup walnut

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup water

1 clove garlic

  • Toss beet slices, olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt together in a ziploc bag. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour
  • For the filling, pulse all ingredients EXCEPT spinach and olive oil in a food processor for a few minutes
  • Slowly add in olive oil and pulse until chunky, but mixed
  • Rinse out food processor and pulse pesto ingredients EXCEPT for olive oil for a few minutes
  • Slowly add in olive oil and pulse until it reaches a creamy consistency
  • To assemble stacks, top one beet slice with a spinach leaf, then a tbsp or so of pumpkin seed mix, then repeat the layer and finish with another beet slice
  • Repeat until mixture is used (our beets were so big, we didn’t use all the slices) and top with basil pesto
  • Makes 10-12 stacks




Cheddah Broccoli Soup


Because there’s not actually real cheddar in this soup and even if there was, my Boston accent would pronounce it this way.

This “cheddah” soup is legit. I doubt ANYONE could taste the difference if I gave them a bad-for-you, sodium-riddled dairy version and paired it against this one. And this one’s got a teensy amount of salt, homemade veggie broth, fresh organic vegetables and that infamous Daiya cheese wedges.

I don’t know what in the hell Daiya did to make their cheese wedges so damn delicious, but it’s downright addictive. I was never a huge fan of their shredded cheeses, but their wedges are unreal. The flavors are somewhat similar, but the texture, consistency and melt-ability are indescribable. If you’re newly vegan and finding the transition to life without cheese difficult (I faced the same dilemma), then you MUST try this cheese. Trust me.

5 cups vegetable broth

4 cup finely chopped broccoli florets

1 package cheddar Daiya cheese wedges, shredded (or 2 cups of your fave vegan cheese shreds)

2 carrots, grated

2 cups coconut milk

1 yellow onion, chopped

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 cayenne pepper, minced

  • In a large saucepan, cook onion and cayenne pepper in olive oil over medium heat for 7-8 minutes
  • Add flour, salt and black pepper and stir together for 1 minute
  • Add veggie broth, coconut milk and nutritional yeast and bring to a boil
  • Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes
  • Add broccoli and carrots and cook at medium heat for 15-20 more minutes
  • Pour half of coup into a blender and pulse until creamy
  • Return all contents to medium heat, add cheese and cook on medium heat for 5-7 more minutes, or until cheese is fully melted





Raw Corn Tortilla Quesadillas


Amazing raw food strikes again.

These quesadilla tastes nothing like it’s actual dairy-filled, cooked counterpart, but it’s almost better. The raw version is on a whole different level, and has so much depth and flavor it’s ridiculous. The tortillas themselves were the hard part for me, but after visiting Rawbert’s Organic Garden in Beverly a few weeks ago, I was compelled to make some myself. They weren’t too difficult to construct, and luckily, corn was on sale at the farm that week. You can use any toppings/stuffings you’d like, but some version of “cheese” is necessary. And I definitely recommend throwing some avocados or guacamole in there too. Make sure to make the layers of tortillas thin on the dehydrator or they’ll come out too thick and won’t even fold (I learned that the hard way).



3 cups fresh corn kernels

2 cups chopped summer squash

1 cup ground golden flaxseed

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


1 cup raw cashews, soaked 6 hours

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt


2 tomatoes, chopped and mashed with a fork

2 avocados, mashed

1/2 cup red onion, minced

1/4 tsp black pepper


Shredded zucchini or summer squash

Chopped spinach

Diced bell peppers

  • For the tortillas, pulse corn and summer squash in a food processor until mix
  • Add remaining ingredients and continue to pulse until a sticky, creamy consistency is reached
  • Spread on dehydrator sheets (THIN!) and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 3-4 hours on EACH side
  • Meanwhile, blend all “cheese” toppings together in a blender until a creamy sauce is produced
  • Mix and mash together all ingredients for salsa
  • When tortillas are done, spread cheese on the bottom of one side, and top with desired toppings
  • Spread salsa on opposite side, and then fold together