Vegan & Gluten-Free Mashed Potatoes

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I thought it was only fitting to have a potato recipe for today (it's so cliche). One of my favorite foods as a child was my grandpa's mashed potatoes and I still get excited when he makes them for me. He has some sort of magic way of doing it so that they are as creamy and fluffy as possible. This recipe is a more "rustic" version, with a few lumps and bumps, but they are still pretty smooth. I like to leave the skins on, but if you prefer you can peel the potatoes for a smoother mash.

Vegan, Gluten Free Mashed Potatoes
Serves 4-6


2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
3 tbs Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Dried Sage (optional)
Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
Sea Salt, to taste

1. Wash and scrub the potatoes and cut off any brown spots or eyes.

2. Cut the potatoes into large chunks and steam until fork tender. You could also bake, which can take awhile or boil. Be careful if you choose to boil, that the potatoes are not cut too small or get too soft. Boiling can lead to watery mashed potatoes, which is why I choose steaming.

3. Place the potatoes, unsweetened almond milk and oil in a large bowl. Add the sage, rubbing it between your fingers. Mash with an electric mixer or potato masher until your desired texture. They won't be totally creamy, but will have a little rustic, lumpy texture to them.

5. Crack black pepper and sea salt on top if desired. Serve with gravy, shredded "cheese", vegan butter or enjoy plain.

I topped mine with Road's End Organic Savory Herb Gravy


Italian White Bean & Kale Soup - Gluten Free and Vegan

I love soup, especially on drizzly days like we've been experiencing in Portland lately. Although "drizzly" does not even begin to describe it... because it has been pouring buckets. The crazy (usual) weather was making my soup-pot look mighty attractive and within no time I had visions of carrots, celery and beans dancing around in my head. I was dreaming up something warm and hearty, something brimming with leafy kale and italian herbs, something to make me forget all about the rain and be thankful for soup weather.

White Bean and Kale Soup
Serves 4

2 tbs Canola Oil
1 cup Yellow Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Celery Stalks, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 Large Carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
32 oz Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
14.5 oz Italian Diced Tomatoes
14.5 oz Cannelloni Beans
4 cups Kale, chopped and packed, tough stems removed
1/2 tsp Dried Sage
1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary
1/4 tsp Paprika
Blacker Pepper, to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, heating until fragrant, about another minute.

2. Add the carrots and celery, sautéing for 5 - 10 minutes until tender.

3. Add the broth, tomatoes and beans (both undrained) and kale. Add the sage, rubbing it between your fingers, rosemary and paprika. Stir to combine.

4. Bring the soup to a boil then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies are cooked enough.

5. Crack fresh pepper to taste and serve.

I have been on a kale kick lately, so I knew I wanted a soup with this powerful green as the star ingredient - and I think it shines.


Gluten Free Vegan Pad Thai

I have a confession to make. A few weeks ago, in a fury of hunger and a low blood-sugar inducing bad mood, I ate a vegan pad thai and it was sick, gross, nasty. It tasted like it was made with ketchup. I forgot to ask if the sauce had sugar in it, but it did. It was so sugary gross. I couldn't eat it and I was so sad. Ever since then I have been determined to try and make my own. And by golly, I did.

Another confession; this is not an authentic pad thai. One reason being that I could not find any tamarind at the last minute, but I don't care. It is pleasing to the taste buds and works for me as a pad thai. It was also exciting to put together and felt like a true accomplishment in the vegan, gluten-free world of recipes. In fact, Andrew (whom one would think doesn't express excitement due to his quiet, calm and unassuming nature - quite a stark contrast from myself) kept exclaiming that it was really good and how much he liked it and telling me "good job babe!". And that my friends is how I know I have struck gold.

Gluten-Free Vegan Pad Thai
Serves 2-3


8 0z. Flat Rice Noodles
8 oz Tempeh, cubed (optional)
2 tbs Canola Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 cups Broccoli Florets (or 2 bunches)
1 Carrot, sliced thin
8 Green Onions, whites and greens separated
5 tbs Agave Syrup
4 tbs Gluten Free Tamari (San-J brand)
2 Limes, 1 for garnish and the other for 2 tbs juice
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (1 tsp for more heat)
2 cups Bean Sprouts (+ more for garnish)
1/4 cup Roasted Peanuts, chopped

1. Cook the rice noodles according to the package, drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

2. Heat oil in wok or large pan over medium heat, adding the garlic and sautéing until fragrant, about one minute.

3. Add the tempeh, broccoli, carrots and the white green onions. Saute for a few minutes.

4. Add the tamari, agave syrup, lime juice, red pepper flakes.

5. Add the noodles and bean sprouts.

6. Stir to combine and cook until the veggies are heated and tender, but still with some crunch in them.

7. Serve with a garnish of bean sprouts, lime slices and crushed peanuts.

Nom, nom, nom.