Heather Crosby / Yumuniverse’s new book Pantry to Plate is full of plentiful plant forward recipes and she provides a unique layout in her cookbook. If you fall under the category of “what should I make?” or “how do I make this?” then Pantry to Plate is the book for you. It provides templates for basic recipes like cereals, sushi (yes, sushi), and this hearty citrus + berry granola. Full of gluten free grains + seeds + tea, it’s definitely worth it to make it yourself and add whatever your heart desires
This is the first time I have made granola! I’ve never had much of a fancy for granola (which was typically store-brought) so when I decided to go the homemade route my curiosity was piqued. Oh my goodness does it pay off and the best part is that granola is so quick and simple to make. The longest part is the baking portion. The best part is nibbling it by the handful. Homemade granola + tea has my heart. In my humble opinion (when it comes to granola) nothing can best the fresh flavor and texture from preparing it yourself and savoring it moments after..
When I saw that this recipe uses tea, I wanted to make it even more. Tea can add so much flavor and versatility in the kitchen. I also had a lone orange nestled in the fruit bowl that was promptly zested and elevates the citrus fragrance in this granola. It adds such beautiful color and vibrancy to the granola + easily swappable with whats in your pantry!
I veganize this recipe by swapping out honey and using Grade B Maple syrup. I had bulk dried cranberries + cherries in my own pantry that I used in place of freeze dried strawberries. In place of olive oil I used coconut oil. The final swap was buckwheat for sunflower seeds!
Simple will always win in my book. Because there are sometimes you want to develop and devour something in a pinch. Therefore I like these cookies a lot. These are simple, plant based, and filling almond based cookies. I’d like to think they are quite nutritious too but I’m not a nutritionist so I can’t totally make that claim. But just trust me y’all.
For these cookies I made coconut butter icing and I experimented with some natural food dyes in the form of tea powders. Tip: I highly recommend using tea in powdered form to create vibrant colors. With the Wild Foods Curr Berry Tea (Organic Hibiscus, Elderberry, Red Currant & Cranberry), I did use it in liquid form because I didn’t have a grinder to process the tealeaves + berries. If you have a grinder, I highly recommend using it to make some pretty colors.
And so returns the beautiful matcha powder. Two vibrant colors: Wild Foods Wild Matcha #2, which was also used in a refreshing Matcha Chia Fresca, and Blue Chai’s dreamy blue matcha powder. Both are organic and the Green Tea Matcha adds an energizing flavor while the Curr Berry definitely gives some berry flavor
Now that it is winter, I wanted create a warming, rich delicious pasta dish. I went to the farmers market and on intuition picked several items that I wanted to used, including the cutest plump kumatos and oyster mushrooms. Kumatos are beautiful brown-red tomatoes that are incredibly sweet and burst will flavor you can eat them as is if you desired.
Cooking, for me, has become a type of therapeutic activity. When I step into the kitchen i remove myself from anything on my mind and devote myself completely to culinary alchemy. It might sound a little odd but I believe in positive intention and as my mother says: Its an experience, learn from your steps. Heeding her advice, I think its best to do things mindfully – simple acts like enjoying the season and what it has to offer.
This recipe was made for my mother in mind. She loves the addition of wine in cooking but I wanted to make a completely plant based dish full of nutrients and flavor. There in mind came a bolognese sauce which I know she enjoys. For this dish I made my own tomato sauce based and oh-my-gosh making your own tomato sauce is infinitely better than the store brought. I also mixed in some lightly sautéed oyster mushrooms to give it texture and “meatiness.” This decadently tasting and make sure get a good red wine because it adds so much distinct flavor.
Banza is an amazing chickpea-based pasta that has a taste similar to wheat except it is completely gluten free. Its has bite and fares favorably well when it comes to nutrition on its own (14 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber & half the carbs of regular pasta, GMO-free and it’s vegan) The pasta was also named one of Time Magazines 25 Best Inventions of 2015. Feel free to check out their shop for a variety of styles although the pasta is beginning to show up in more natural food stores which is great! I love the flavor of the pasta and that it holds up so well. I have a few more recipes in the works using this amazing brand. Follow Banza on Twitter & Instagram!
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped mushroom of choice (I used baby bella)
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
3/4 cup of chopped organic kumato, or a cherry/grape tomato or diced tomato
1/2 cup of organic red wine like Pinot Noir
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary, remove from stems and finely chop the leave
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4th cup pasta water, water or no sodium veggie broth
pinch of white or black pepper
- To save time and speed clean up chop up all veggies and place them on a cutting board or plate
- Heat a saucepan or dutch oven on medium heat and add olive oil, add the diced yellow onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and then add the mushrooms
- Cook until onion and mushrooms have lightly brown and softened
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan then add 3/4 cup of chopped kumato or tomato of of choice, eggplant, carrot and mince the garlic, rosemary and dried oregano, extra pinch of salt and pepper
- Continue cooking on medium heat until the all the veggies soften, stir and add a little more olive oil if needed, about 15-20 minutes
- Remove veggies from saucepan, transfer to a blender and pulse but dont overdo it, you want a little texture but make sure veggies get processed. Taste to to see if you need more salt, pepper, or want to puree it more
- In another pot, begin cooking the Banza pasta (I used Rotini) or pasta of choice, cook according to the box instructions and drain.
- Meanwhile in the saucepan, add the red wine with the heat turned up to medium high, you want the red wine to reduce by half. This can take up to 10 minutes. After the wine has reduced, lower to medium low heat and add the veggie sauce you blended back into the saucepan and 1/4 cup of water or veggie broth. Stir while it simmers for about 10-15 minutes.
- This is optional but after I finished the sauce, I chopped several oyster mushrooms and lightly cooked them over medium heat with olive oil and salt + pepper
- Add the pasta to a serving dish and ladle the sauce. Serve accordingly, and top with the cooked oyster mushrooms