Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons

You may have noticed a slight shift as the summer season comes to a close .  Nature has shown its abundance and now it is harvest time.  We get to take in all of the beautiful bounty and you may notice feelings of reflections or a desire to be a bit more inward as this shift takes place.  What have you grown, nourished and harvested for yourself recently?  This was a question I was asked recently as the seasons shift.  We are deeply connected to nature and I’m always amazed at how we physically and emotionally align with the changing seasons if you just pause to notice.  You may also noticed a desire to gravitate towards more warming foods or grains like warm oatmeal. The idea of a cold smoothie which seems more desirable in summer may begin to fade. Our bodies are highly intelligent and they speak to us if we slow down to listen.  I suggest listening and watch how your body comes into balance.

I was feeling just this way so I made this vegan gluten free Qia oatmeal (I absolutely love their oatmeal as it’s full of seeds like chia, pumpkin seeds) with fresh organic bananas, seasonal nectarine, a dollop of unsweetened @so_delicious coconut yogurt for gut health . Then a sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon for blood sugar regulation which also has a myriad of other health benefits which I’ll include a valuable article below on this.

 

Easy Oatmeal Recipe 

This is so quick, easy to do and makes a fabulous nutritious breakfast on the go!  The versatile and options are endless and with school approaching most kiddos love this!  I can’t think of a better, brain nourishing breakfast for young minds.  This can also be made ahead by simply placing all the ingredients in a mason jar with a lid and soaking overnight in the refrigerator.

Equipment

Small saucepan or mason jar with lid

Measuring spoons

Ingredients

1 or 2 packages of Qia oatmeal https://www.naturespath.com/en-us/

1 cup filtered water or unsweetened hemp or almond milk (I used water)

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 banana sliced

1/2 nectarine sliced

1 tbs Ceylon cinnamon

1 tbs unsweetened so delicious coconut yogurt http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com

Method

Take a small saucepan and add oatmeal , water and a pinch of sea salt.  Bring to a quick boil then immediately recduce to low and cook another 3 minutes.  Remove from heat then add to bowl with your favorite fruit, nut butters (optional).

Here is the great article on the difference between Ceylon cinnamon and cassia. https://blog.paleohacks.com/ceylon-cinnamon/

Have a beautiful Day and please tag your favorite recipes of mine on Facebook and Instagram @chef_emery # and share this blog!

oxoxox – Chef Emery

Our Grocery Should Be a Safe Place

Our Grocery Store Should Be a Safe Place

Monsanto’s weed killing round up pesticide glyphosate which has been linked to cancer has been found in many of our children’s breakfast cereals and granola bars.  These harmful chemicals not only harm our bodies but the earth’s soil as well.  They have also been linked to the deprivation of our bees as over 915 million pounds of pesticides are sprayed on US Farmland each year!  You read that correctly, each year.  These harmful pesticides go up into the atmosphere which effects our climate and damages the health of our bees which play a crucial role in all of our survival.

The article released yesterday can be found here https://www.cbsnews.com/news/glyphosate-roundup-chemical-found-in-childrens-breakfast-foods/

Brands currently tested and effected or found to have glyphosate:

https://www.naturevalley.com

https://www.kindsnacks.com

http://www.quakeroats.com

https://www.generalmills.com

Corporate greed once again is rearing it’s ugly head and now it’s facing directly at our children’s health and well being and it’s not ok.  These are every day affordable cereals that most families purchase to feed their families and trust.  As a mother, we spend our whole life protecting and trying to keep our children safe and our food source should be a trusted place of nourishment.  It is a tragedy that companies such as Monsanto know that are responsible for damaging human health and yet corporate profits and greed are center stage.  Our food source should be safe and it is a fundamental human right that we all deserve.  You might be asking yourself so what do I do?

What do we do?  

Our purchasing power is a very powerful thing and we vote with our dollars .  Try stay away from processed foods and within your budget chose whole real foods that are ideally local and organic whenever possible.  Local foods that are minimally sprayed or not at all ideally, grow a garden and/or purchase organic foods when or as much as you can afford within your budget.  Also, look and purchase non gmo verified foods and products.  They will have a non gmo verified label on them.

These are fantastic ways you can support farmers and companies who care for the health and well being of our land, nature and planet .  Every time we do this we are essentially voting and saying no to companies that are not supporting our wellbeing.  Also, when we chose local foods, they have traveled less and are more nutrient dense which is better for our own personal health and environment.  We have the power to say no to Monsanto by reading labels and looking for key ingredients such as “high fructose corn syrup” and products that have corn derivatives like maltodextrin which is also a form of corn.  If a product is not organic and not non gmo verifited , you can be guaranteed that it is made with Monsanto corn so just say no.  Every time we purchase a product with Monsanto corn we are supporting a company that knows it is intentionally damaging our human health as well as our planet’s health.

This is wrong and it makes me furious.  Monsanto is compromising our food source which is one of the most important parts of our general survival. This is very serious and we all need to be paying attention so lets get started.  We have the power to make a difference and it starts with our own action.  I believe we can.

Valuable Resources

For more information on corn additives or derivatives of corn go here:

http://www.livecornfree.com

I personally eat local organic corn and purchase products with organic corn but the above link will help guide you when reading labels in pre packaged foods that are not organic.

Find a local coop in your region in the below link as they generally carry more local, seasonal foods:

http://www.coopdirectory.org

The links below is a valuable resource for products that meet the standards of Non GMO Verified Products:

https://www.nongmoproject.org

The below website is helpful for those concerned about exposure to pesticides and includes a shoppers guide:

https://www.ewg.org

As an organic chef and mother, this is a topic that is dear to my heart.  I hope to always advocate and be an activist in the well being of our planet’s health and the quality of our food source.  We all deserve this.

”The more we pour the big machines, the fuel, the pesticides, the herbicides, the fertilizer and the chemicals into farming, the more we knock out the mechanism that made it all work in the first place.” – David R Brower

-Chef Emery

www.chefemery.com

Instagram: chef_emery

 

 

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Zuchini Muffins

It is that time of year where summer is beginning to come to an end and kiddos are going back to school. It is bittersweet indeed and I don’t know about you but I’m not quite sure where the summer actually went!  Ours literally flew by and I’ve already been in the mode of school supply shopping, new sneakers, etc. and all the good stuff that comes along with back to school.  I have to say I actually always love this time of year because it is like a reset that almost feels like a new year.  Fresh start, new teachers and time to get back into routines of earlier bed times, meal planning and the daily rituals that make us feel balanced.  I find this time of year it is important to have some solid recipes that help with this transition and in my opinion, this is one of them.

This recipe is so easy, quick and makes wonderful meal prep for the week.  I especially love one in the afternoon with a good cup of tea but more importantly it is an amazing opportunity to use up all that glorious produce!  Nature is in full bloom right now and there is more than ample zucchini to go around and to be honest its hard to know what to do with all of it.  All you garden growers know what I’m taking about!  We can only make so many zucchini boats, soups, zucchini noodles and by now I’m sure you’ve already persuaded as many friends as possible to take some please!  I love zuchini don’t get me wrong and it has a myriad of uses but one of my favorites is this delcious dark Chocolate zucchini muffin recipe.  It is a great excuse to to eat chocolate and hey get your veggies too!  The recipe is very easy to follow and is really delcious and moist.  I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!

Equipment

One large bowl

One medium bowl

Measuring spoons and cups

A one dozen muffin tin

Ingredients

3 eggs

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs unrefined coconut oil, melted

1 tsp real vanilla extract

1/2 cup real maple syrup

1 cup buttermilk or unsweetened non dairy milk such as almond or hemp

2 cups zucchini, washed then shredded (press excess water out with a towel)

2 cups gluten free baking flour, I used Pamelas  http://www.pamelasproducts.com

Chef’s Note * If using alternative flour, please add 1 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbs Dark Chocolate Chips

Method

Preheat your oven to 375

Take a large bowl and crack all three eggs into the bowl, then add olive oil, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, maple syrup and buttermilk.  Use a fork or spatula to fully combine then add shredded zucchini.  Fold the zucchini in till fully combined, then set mixture aside briefly.  

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients of the gluten free flour, cinnamon, unsweetened cocoa and sea salt.  Use a fork to combine the dry ingredients then add them to the wet zucchini mixture. Use a fork or spatula to fully combine the dry ingredients in.  Now add the chocolate chips and fold them through the batter.  Take a one dozen muffin tin and line with parchment paper muffin liners or grease the tin.  Use a large spoon to add the batter to the muffin tin.  Bake at 375 for approx 30-35 minutes.  Yields approx 1 dozen.

Enjoy and if you loved this recipe please share it and tag me @chef_emery #empowerful on facebook and instagram!

Oxoxoxo

-Chef Emery

 

Deconstructed Spring Roll Salad

Deconstructed Spring Roll Salad 

It has been so hot out there that the idea of even heating an oven seemed not only like a bad idea but not possible.  Up here in Maine we aren’t used to these warms temps but hey thank god for recipes like this!  Today was a typical crazy busy day between work, managing my children’s busy summer schedules, add the idea of cooking in this heat and I needed something quick, easy and delicious.  This magical deconstructed spring roll salad was born and viola, life was manageable again lol!

This was super easy to assemble, required zero effort from my oven (so all those who store their sweaters in their oven can put them back in there..you know who you are) and was so refreshing and delicious.  My kids really loved it to and I loved that there were leftovers that I could store in my favorite mason jar for my next days lunch.  Yes!  This would also make fabulous meal prep for your week as you could make multiple mason jars that you could grab on the go for lunches.  I also thought it looked so beautiful that it would be a fantastic show stopper for entertaining or for taking to your next BBQ or potluck.  Either way it is sure to please and I hope you enjoy it!

Serves 2-4

Equipment

Tea kettle for boiling water

One large bowl

One medium bowl

One small bowl

Fork or Whisk

Ingredients:

For Dressing:

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup sesame oil

3 tbs fish sauce

Juice of one lime

2 tbs real maple syrup

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For Salad:

2 packages of bean thread noodles soaked in hot water for 5-6 minutes till tender

1/2 large napa cabbage washed and chopped

1 red pepper washed, cored and diced

1 1/2 cucumbers washed, peeled and sliced

1 avocado washed, pit and skin removed then sliced

1 bunch fresh cilantro washed, stems removed

3 carrots washed, peeled and sliced into matchsticks

1/2 cup cashews or peanuts crushed ( I personally love @grandyoats nuts) https://www.grandyoats.com

 

The Method

Take a small bowl and add rice vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, sea salt and black pepper.  Whisk well and set aside briefly so flavors can come together.

Take your kettle and place your stove top to high heat till the water is hot but not boiling.  Take a medium size bowl and add bean thread noodles then pour the hot water over the noodles till just covered.  Let rest in the hot water for 5-8 minutes till the noodles become tender then strain immediately and set aside briefly.

Take your large bowl and add chopped Napa cabbage, then add red pepper, cucumbers, sliced avocado, fresh cilantro and carrots.  I like to lay the vegetables in bunches around the edge of the salad.  Then place the tender bean thread noodles in the center.  Now add crushed peanuts or cashews on top of the noodles.  Whisk the dressing one more time then pour over the whole salad.  Toss well.  Ideally let the salad marinate for 30 minutes so all the flavors can come together.  Serve immediately or store in individual mason jars which can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

Follow me on facebook at Chef Emery

https://www.facebook.com/Chef-Emery-156845695037946/?ref=bookmarks

Instagram @Chef_Emery for daily recipes and cooking inspiration.  Have questions or have a favorite recipe? Tag me #chefemery

Looking for more great easy, quick, delicious recipes like this?  Purchase my latest cookbook “EmPowerful”

Link Below:

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1533423204&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=empowerful+cookbook

Gluten Free Blueberry Cornmeal Oatmeal Crunch Muffins

Gluten Free Blueberry Cornmeal Oatmeal Crunch Muffins 

Up here in Maine, we wait all year for the bounty of local maine blueberry season.  We literally freeze them by the boat loads to stock up for winter so we can enjoy these delicious berries all season long.  If your not familiar with these special berries, they are incredibly small and delicate yet so sweet and flavorful.  My daughter especially likes to eat them in the morning on their own.  I personally love them in smoothies, tarts, breads, salads and you guessed it muffins!

This muffin recipe is so quick, easy and will not disappoint!  The sunflower seeds add this extra fabulous crunch and they are bursting with blueberry flavor.  I particularly love them as a snack on the go or for breakfast and they are next level toasted in your toaster oven with a touch of cultured grass fed butter https://www.organicvalley.coop

or smear of almond or cashew butter https://onceagainnutbutter.com

Serves 4-6 ( Makes 1 dozen muffins)

Equipment:

A One Dozen Muffin Tin

Two Large Mixing Bowl

One Small Mixing Bowl

Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons

A Wooden Spoon or Fork for Mixing

The Method:

3 eggs

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract @simpleorganicfoods

3 tbs unsweetened coconut yogurt @so_delicious http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com

1/2 cup real maple syrup

2 cups gluten free oats (I love qia by @naturespathorganic ) https://www.naturespath.com/en-us/

1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup cornmeal #nongmo

2 cups wild Maine blueberries

1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds (optional)

1 tbs coconut oil for greasing muffin tin

Take a large bowl and add eggs, olive oil, sea salt, vanilla extract, coconut yogurt, and maple syrup. Whisk well then set aside briefly. Take a small bowl and add oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, cornmeal and toss well with a fork then add to wet mixture combining well.  Now add blueberries and sunflower seeds (if using). Grease a one dozen muffin tin and add batter. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes till golden brown. Remove and cool. Serve with cultured butter, nut butter or simply on its own.  I love to cut one in half and reheat in my toaster oven for a grilled effect!

Tag your recipes #chefemery and for more great recipes like this, order my new cookbook “Empowerful” available now at Amazon and Amazon books.

Order here:

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1533423204&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=empowerful+cookbook

Enjoy from my kitchen to yours!!  Please follow me on instagram at chef_emery and if you loved this recipe please share it on facebook and instagram.

oxoxo

Chef Emery

Organic Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

There is a reason why the saying “April showers brings May flowers” exists and we have definitely been experiencing that except I don’t think Mother Nature meant snow ha!  It has been cold and dreary so I’ve been taking to heart Mick Jagger’s “you can’t always get what you want” as I hold tightly to the promise of spring in our not too distant future.

This leads me to my turkey meatball recipe as I’m still in comfort mood mode as a result of all this cooler weather.  Trust me know one is complaining in our house either as this is one of my husband’s and daughter’s absolute favorite meals of all time.  I love it too as it is incredibly versatile as the meat can be adjusted to pork or beef and this can be served over spaghetti squash to make it grain free or paleo as well as served over pasta or even used to make meatball subs!  My family especially loves it over spaghetti!  Regardless, I’ve been making this recipe for years and it is about time I share with you all.  This can be a made a day ahead too and it will just get better and better with time.  You can make your marinara from scratch if you have the time but to be honest on busy days with the kiddos, I use a jar of Rao’s marinara.  It honestly is so delicious and no body will ever know!

 

Ground Turkey Meatballs

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion peeled and minced

3 cloves fresh garlic peeled and minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 lb ground organic turkey

1 egg

1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (optional)

pinch of sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

3 tbs grated parmesan reggiano

1 additional tsp dried oregano

2 additional tbs extra virgin olive oil

2  jar Rao’s marinara

Take a large skillet with a lid and add olive oil, then place the heat of your stove top to medium.  Once hot, add minced onion and cook approx. 7-8 minutes till translucent then add garlic and dried oregano and cook 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest to cool.

Take a medium size bowl and add ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, sea salt, black pepper, parmesan reggiano, dried oregano.  Now add the cooled cooked onion, garlic and oregano mixture to the ground turkey.  Using your clean hands, combine all the ingredients fully.  Then, proceed to roll the ground turkey mixture into individual meatballs.  Once you have rolled all of your meatballs, take your skillet and add the last 2 tbs of olive oil.  Bring your heat to medium and once hot, add the meatballs.  Cook approx. 5 minutes then using a spatula or tongs, flip the meatballs to the other side and cook an additional 5 minutes (meatballs should be golden brown on each side).  Now add both jars of marinara sauce (make sure to add a little water (approx. 1/2 cup) to the jars to get all the sauce out and add to the pot as well.  Bring the heat of your stove top up to high heat very briefly till the sauce comes to a quick boil, then immediately reduce to low and place the top on your pot.  Cook approx. 20-25 minutes on low to finish cooking the meatballs and allow all the flavors to come together.  Serve the meatballs over pasta, over spaghetti squash or I have made meatball subs with this recipe as well.  The options are endless and don’t forget to add copious amounts of sprinkled parmesan reggiano.  Any way you serve this, it’s absolutely delicious and your family will thank you.

Enjoy and don’t forget to tag me @chef_emery on Instagram! Oxoxox

All my love from my kitchen to yours!

Chef Emery

https://www.chefemery.com

https://www.raos.com/product/marinara-sauce/

 

School Lunch Box Doldrums

 

We are more than halfway through the school year yikes and many of you have asked me for lunch box ideas.  I’m officially announcing that by no means am I an expert at this and I struggle just as much as everyone else.  It seems to be an even more daunting task considering that we may very well be in school through July at this rate with the cold weather (at least anyone living on the East Coast) lol.  I’m joking but realistically, I think my children will get out late June as long as the weather starts to cooperate.  Spring where are you?!

Regardless, even though most of my days are always centered around food as on organic chef, lunch boxes have always given me a bit of anxiety!  Seriously, after a long busy work day trying to figure out what the heck to put in them can be a nightmare.  Luckily, my eleven year old is finally at an age where he can basically pack it for himself with a little assistant.  Key word assistance because if I wasn’t “assisting”, there would most likely be nothing remotely healthy in there.  Double ha!!

Anyway, I bought these yumbox lunch boxes because I thought maybe if the food was separated into adorable little sections, my children would be much more excited about eating their lunches!  I suspected correctly!  They have religiously been coming home with completely empty lunch boxes and I have even been more excited to pack lunches lately too.  Yes you heard that correctly.  Hey, I might even be having a bit of fun myself.  I’ve always likened lunch box packing to folding laundry or vacuuming which rank high on my pet peeve list and this has put a new spring in my lunch box step.

Well let’s move on and get to the facts of why I chose this particular box.  Yumboxes are BPA free and this is a completely reusable lunch box which eliminates waste or use of single use plastic which I’m a huge advocate for.  I always am trying to discover and use products that are earth friendly and are lowering our personal contribution to plastic use.  I also like that these boxes are completely leak proof!  Yes, you heard that correctly which means you can put yogurt, applesauce, cottage cheese and it will not leak or mix or combine with the other compartments.  Brilliant if you ask me!  I got the Yumbox Tapas which is the largest Yumbox they make as my children are ages 8 and 11 and I wanted it to be a box they could have for a long time.  I also bought a bag for them to carry it in along with some Yumbox ice packs to keep everything cool.

Now to the super exciting part, filling it!  If I’m totally honest, my daughter’s is much easier to pack then my son’s as she will honestly eat any cut up fruit or veggie so bento boxes are awesome for that.  Things we love are Apple Gate’s salami or rolled up ham or sliced smoked turkey, organic horizon string cheese or sometimes we cube raw sharp cheddar and add some crackers.  We love Annie’s bunny crackers, snack mix as well as their gummies and fruit roll ups.  The Yumbox is super fun because it has a little center spot which generally is assigned for a treat.  My kids absolutely freak over this facet and I honestly think it is what inspired their love affair.  My daughter really loves the mini kind bars in chocolate peanut butter and I found those at target.  There adorable and just the right size.  This along with Buddha Bowl organic popcorn.  All the flavors are amazing but they especially love the chedder.  I personally love the coconut oil one as well as the ghee.  Both my kids are huge fans of the Made Good rice crispy bars.  My children are not gluten free so they really like Dave’s Killer Bread which is organic and comes in a variety of flavors.  The message behind their bread company is pretty incredible too.  My kids also freak out over YumEarth products too and that is one of their favorite choices as the treat in the center of the box.  I try to put as many fresh fruit and vegetables as they will allow along with a few good solid proteins and then a few snacks/treats.  We vote with our dollars so choosing brands that are organic, hormone, antibiotic free as well as mindful of their care and treatment of animals and the planet is important to me.

Who knows how long this love affair will last but for now we are very happy.  I will provide links down below to all the websites that I have recommended.  Also, if your really feeling adventurous you can even decorate your lunch boxes daily with a variety of bento food picks and cut your sandwiches into funny little shapes.  Can you see my eyes rolling?!  I personally don’t have time for that but knock yourself out and big props to all the mommas out there that can do this.  I’m officially impressed and in awe.  Have fun with your lunch box adventures and tag me at Chef_Emery on Instagram as I would love to see your creations!  Lunch box packing can be much more fun than folding laundry and vacuuming!  I’m living proof of it, trust me!

Much love as always,

Chef Emery oxoxox

http://www.madegoodfoods.com/us/

http://YumEarth.com

Daveskillerbread.com

https://lesserevil.com

http://Applegate.com

https://www.organicvalley.coop

https://www.kindsnacks.com

http://www.annies.com

https://www.yumboxlunch.com

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Vegan Dark Chocolate “Almond Joys”

 

 

I absolutely love this time of year.  It really inspires me to think of creative ways to make treats that are absolutely delicious but good for you too!  I grew up loving this traditional candy bar as a child but as Rose-Marie Swift recently said, “We live in a world where chemicals are gods and naturals are ridiculed.” It got me thinking about how I could make a delicious version of the traditional “Almond Joy” favorite without all the extra ingredients that we don’t need.  I love how this recipe turned out because they are not too sweet and are the perfect combination of crunchy almonds, coconut flakes, sea salt and chocolate.

There are a little tricky to make because of the cocoa butter but if you have the patience,  they are well worth it and I think your up for the challenge.  I’ve been really enjoying one of these babies with a hot cup of tea in the afternoon and it really hits the spot!  I can’t wait for you to try them too.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Almond Joys

2 cups organic cocoa butter

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups unsweetened shredded organic coconut flakes

3 tbs organic real maple syrup

5 to 6 of your favorite dark chocolate bars for melting

16 organic almonds

Take a double boiler or two pots of the same size.  Place water in the pot that will be on the bottom, then place the other pot on top.  Add the cocoa butter and place heat on medium.  The cocoa butter will begin to melt slowly.  As it is melting, add a pinch of sea salt and the vanilla extract.  Once the cocoa butter is completely melted, add the coconut flakes, maple syrup and stir with a spoon till all the ingredients are fully combined.  Take a 8 by 8 by 2″ pan and line it with parchment paper.  Take the coconut, cocoa butter mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan evenly so that fills the whole pan.  Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes till the mixture becomes nice and firm.

While the mixture is getting firm, clean your double boiler or two pots and now once again place water in the pot on the bottom.  Place the other pot on top and add the chocolate, then place the heat on medium.  Let the chocolate completely melt. Then set aside.

Once the coconut, cocoa butter mixture is hard, remove it from the refrigerator.  Lift it carefully out of the pan keeping the parchment paper on the back.  Use a sharp knife and cut them into rectangular bars.  This recipe made 8 bars.  Place 2 almonds on top of each bar.

 

Now lets get to the tricky part because you need to work quickly because the melted chocolate will start to melt the cocoa butter in the bars!  Place a clean piece of parchment paper down next to your melted chocolate, then also have a spoon ready for your melted chocolate.  Use a spatula and place one of the rectangular bars at a time onto the spatula then very gently place it into the melted chocolate using a spoon to pour the chocolate over the top of the bar so that it is fully covered with chocolate. Then let is rest on the parchment paper and repeat till you’ve done this with all the bars.    I like to sprinkle additional sea salt on each bar but this is a preference.  Now quickly slide the parchment paper onto a firm flat surface like a cookie sheet and then place into your refrigerator and let chill for 30 minutes till hard.

Once hard, remove from refrigerator and use a sharp knife to cut around each one so that they are in nicely shaped rectangular bars.  Now use a firm spatula and remove each bar from parchment paper and store in an airtight glass container with a top in your refrigerator or at room temperature.  These will last in the refrigerator for at least 9-10 days and at room temperature for 5-7 days.

Enjoy with all my love from my kitchen to yours! – Chef Emery oxoxox

Share your pick of this recipe on Instagram and tag me at Emery5 !!!

 

Curried Vegan Red Dal

 

As the New Year approaches, I always spend time reflecting about my year with gratitude. What I’ve learned, how I grew, what I’m ready to let go of and what I’m ready to bring more of into the New Year. I hope that we can all agree that bringing more peace might be at the forefront of our own lives and the planet’s. I know personally that it is something that has been on my mind.

Specifically, I have been thinking a lot about how are our choices impact and effect our carbon footprint. We have more power than one might think. If we each individually made a commitment to using less plastic along with reusable water bottles, grocery bags, recycling, supporting local farms and food that has traveled less, we can make a difference. We vote with our dollars and we impact change one by one. One of my New Year commitments will be buying reusable fruit and vegetable bags so that I’m not putting my produce in plastic bags when grocery shopping. It’s just a small adjustment but can you imagine the effects if we all made an adjustment like this? I always recycle my current plastic bags but recycling is not enough because even with recycling, it takes a long time for plastic to break down. The solution really is using less plastic and purchasing less things that are adding to our carbon footprint.

Sustainable, organic local food has always been at the foundation of my work as an organic female chef. I truly believe this is one of the ways that we can build a foundation of health for ourselves and the planet. This paired with mindfulness for nature. The theory that what we take, we give back and are mindful when doing so. I love the French term “doucement” which means slowly or just a little. This is how I view my relationship with food and how I come to building my relationship with food as a chef. Personally, we’ve always eaten lots of fruits and vegetables and the majority of our diet is plant based. When we do supplement with meat, there is tremendous gratitude and understanding behind it. We eat it sparingly and only source meat from local farms where the animal was cared for and butchered in a mindful way. Food is meant to be nourishing and when we cook it with well sourced ingredients it just tastes different than that item that sat on the grocery shelves for weeks.

I wanted to share this recipe that we eat fairly regularly in our home. It’s fair to say its a staple. I want people to experience vegetarian and vegan recipes that are flavorful, delicious, easy to prepare and dishes that the whole family will enjoy. My kids absolutely love this curry dish and so do we! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Curried Vegan Red Dal

1 medium head of organic cauliflower washed and cut into bite size pieces

1 medium organic onion peeled and diced

1 tbs fresh organic ginger minced

2 cloves of fresh organic garlic peeled andminced

2 tbs mild curry powder (spicy curry powder may be used if that is your preference)

1/4 cup fresh cilantro washed and minced

1 1/2 cup organic red lentils

32 fl oz. organic vegetable stock or homemade stock

2 tbs sweet mango chutney (optional)

1/4 cup organic raisins

1 tbs organic coconut oil

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Take a medium stock pot with a lid and add coconut oil then place the heat on medium. Once the coconut oil melts, add minced onion, sea salt and black pepper. Sauté approx. 8 minutes till the onions are translucent then add minced fresh ginger, garlic, fresh cilantro and 1 tbs of the curry powder. Cook approx. 2-3 minutes then quickly add the red lentils and cauliflower. Stir quickly then immediately add the stock, the other 1 tbs of curry powder and the mango chutney. Bring the heat up to high till the curry just begins to start to simmer then immediately reduce to low. Add the raisins then place the top on the pot and let cook for approx. 10 to 15 minutes. Chef’s note ** the liquid will reduce.

I generally serve this with steamed basmati rice and you can make this fancy if serving to guests by offering optional toppings to add to their bowls of curry such as additional raisins, coconut flakes, mango chutney, fresh cilantro and even a spoonful of plain coconut yogurt to finish it off.

Enjoy!! – Chef Emery oxoxoxo

 

 

Gluten Free Holiday Biscotti

There is something really magical about the holiday season.  I was reading a Christmas story to my daughter tonight and it brought back so much nostalgia.  Do you remember how exciting it all felt?!  Something obviously gets stripped away a bit as we become adults but the traditions, the smells, the twinkling lights allow us to time travel back.  These traditions especially when centered around cooking are opportunities for deep connections with those we love.  I especially adore creating these memories with children as it leaves lasting imprints.  Cooking opens up their senses of smell, touch, taste and when this happens, these experiences become cherished gifts that they can pass on from generation to generation.  This sort of love saves the world.

Speaking of saving the world, this recipe is one of those!!  Biscotti have always been a holiday tradition in my family and it took me awhile to create a gluten free version that actually came anywhere close to the real deal.  These will definitely not disappoint and you can really make them your own as the dried fruit, chocolate and nuts can be adapted to your liking.  These make the most fantastic gifts.  I like to wrap mine in cookie bags and tie them with pretty ribbon and I always make sure to save some for us too!  My favorite holiday moments are enjoying one of these biscotti with a hot cup of tea while taking in the glorious smells of the kitchen.  I hope this recipe fills your home with beautiful aromas and happy bellies as well.  Happy Holidays!

 

Gluten Free Biscotti with Lemon Zest, Pistachios and Tart Dried Cherries dipped in Dark Chocolate 

Chefs Note ** This recipe is best with a standing mixer or electric beater.  You could use a fork if you did not have either of the following kitchen tools.

Preheat oven to 350

4 Cups Pamela’s Gluten Free Artisnal Flour

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

4  Organic Eggs

12 tbs Organic Grass Fed Butter at room temperature

Zest of One Organic Lemon or Orange

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 tsp Lemon Extract

1 1/4 Cup Organic Sugar

1 Cup Dried Organic Cranberries, Cherries

1/2 Cup Pistachios or Walnuts

3 Bars of your Favorite Organic Chocolate (I used Dark Chocolate) for melting

 

In a medium bowl, add gluten free flour, sea salt, baking power and then set aside.  Now take your standing mixer, electric beater or fork and place your softened butter in a large bowl.  Add the sugar and cream the butter and sugar together till fully combined by placing the beater on medium.  Now add vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon or orange zest.  Now beat in one egg at a time with the mixer on medium till fully combined.  Place the mixer on low and slowly add the flour a little at a time.  Be careful to not overmix the dough or it will become tough.  As soon as all the flour is added, gently add the dried fruit and nuts.  Mix on low till just combined.

Take a piece of parchment paper that is the correct measurement for your cookie sheet and lay it on a flat surface.  Divide the dough into two sections and use your hand to shape the dough into two evenly shaped logs.  Now move the parchment paper gently onto the cookie sheet and bake at 350 for approx. 20 minutes till it just becomes golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool for approx. 15 minutes then use a serrated knife and gently cut each log into individual biscotti slices.  Be careful so that your slices do not break.  Now gently transfer the slices back to your cookie sheet and continue to bake for an additional 30 minutes.  Make sure to set your timer for 15 minutes so that half way through the baking time, you flip the biscotti over so they can brown evenly on the other side.  Remove from the oven to let cool once baked.  Chef’s tip ** leave them in longer if you like crispier biscotti which is a preference for some.  I like mine true to the 30 minutes personally.

Take a double boiler or two pots of the same size.  Pour water in the bottom pot and then place the other pot on top.  Add chocolate into the top pot, then place heat on medium.  Take a spoon to occasionally stir the chocolate as it begins to melt.  Once it is fully melted remove the top pot with the melted chocolate.  Take each biscotti and dip the end in the melted chocolate then place on parchment paper or wire racks to continue to cool.  Once cooled, these biscotti can be kept in an airtight container for 7-9 days.

Tag me on instagram @emery5 if you make these!!  I would love to see them.

Much Love and Enjoy!  – Chef Emery oxoxox