Hearty Vegan Curry

HEARTY VEGAN CURRY

My kids and I have been giving ourselves a good giggle singing that old school song “Back to life, back to reality”!  Well, I think many of us might be feeling that way with the holidays over and the New Year upon us.  I honestly can not believe it is 2019 as the year flew by.  I think we all might agree that 2018 was a year of much learning, transitions and at times struggle.  There were many deep lessons learned and I know I’m personally stepping away and into 2019 with a tremendous amount of new found knowledge and strength.

That being said, as we all attempt to get back into the “reality” of it all, I know we all could use some delicious, quick meals.  Meals that really taste good, don’t require a lot of time and bring some ease into the home.  This hearty vegan curry is all of that and the best part is, it takes 30 minutes to make.  You can adjust the spinach to a different veggie if you are not a fan of spinach or even leave it out.  It is very versatile and below I give extra chef tips on additions that can be added for this dish before serving it.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did and the extra time saved which hopefully will leave more room for gathering and connecting.  I know I finished off 2018 feeling immense gratitude for my family and the cherished blessings of time together.  Every time we can pause our busy lives to gather for a family dinner, I think we remember the importance of this sacred time.  No one ever looks back and says, “I wish I had less time.”  We all wish we had more and family dinner can be an easy way we can stretch the days.  Much love, oxoxo Chef Emery

 

EQUIPMENT

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Medium to large stock pot with lid

INGREDIENTS

1 tbs unrefined coconut oil 

1 tbs fresh ginger minced 

2 cloves garlic peeled and minced 

1 medium yellow onion peeled and minced 

2 tbs fresh cilantro washed and minced 

2 – 15oz cans of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed 

1 -7 oz jar of tomato paste 

1 -13.5oz can of coconut milk 

1/2 cup filtered water 

1 tsp chili powder 

1 tsp smoked paprika

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper 

1 tbs real maple syrup

5-6 cups fresh spinach washed 

METHOD 

Take a medium to large stock pot and add coconut oil, then place your heat on your stove top to medium.  Once hot, add the ginger, garlic, onion and fresh cilantro.  Sauté for 5-8 minutes till onion is translucent, then add garbanzo beans, tomato paste, coconut milk, filtered water, chili powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper and maple syrup.  Bring to a quick boil then reduce to low and cook for 5 minutes.  Now add the spinach and then place the lid on the pot.  Cook for another 20 minutes so that the spinach wilts and all the flavors can come together.

We are serving ours over a brown rice and basmati mix which is optional but really makes this dish so nice.  Extra additions that can be added to fancy it up would be flaked coconut, raisins and a cucumber raita just to name a few.  Enjoy from my kitchen to yours!

 

MY NEW COOKBOOK

For more easy, delicious recipes like this, my new cookbook Empowerful can be ordered at the below link.

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535032588&sr=1-1&keywords=Empowerful+book

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me and your favorite recipes on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery

Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

Hi there! The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.  Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit.  Thank you!

 

Seasonal Holiday Cranberry Sauce

SEASONAL HOLIDAY CRANBERRY SAUCE

We are all getting into the spirit of holidays and I really love this time of year.  It always has this cozy feeling and I get really excited about all the traditional holiday recipes.  I have to say cranberry sauce is one of my favorite additions to the thanksgiving table and the color alone of these gorgeous vibrant seasonal cranberries get me every time!  It is not limited to Thanksgiving either, be sure to use this at Christmas or with any holiday roast!  There is a reason too that cranberries are in season this time of year as the are packed with powerful antioxidants and rich in vitamin C making them a powerful immunity booster.  We sure could use all the help we can get during flu season with all the holiday hustle and bustle and I’m always amazed how nature supports us.

I absolutely love this recipe because the tartness of the cranberries is paired with a touch of citrus.   I also like to cut the sugar in half as I really don’t think cranberry sauce needs all that sugar and it allows the true flavor of the cranberries to reveal themselves while still not becoming to tart.  This recipe is super easy, delicious and quick and in my opinion and so much better than the cranberry sauce that comes in a can.  I also like to double the recipe and then tie the glass containers with a bow to give out as gifts or to bring to a party.

EQUIPMENT:

Medium saucepan

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Microplane or zester for grating

INGREDIENTS:

Zest of one organic lemon

Zest one organic orange 

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Grated fresh nutmeg, the equivalent of 1 tsp (optional)

1 1/2 cup organic sugar

1 1/2 cup water

1 package organic cranberries 

METHOD:

Put all of the above ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil then let reduce for 30 minutes till the liquid reduces to about half and sauce is nice and thick.  Let cool and then store in glass containers and place in your refrigerator.  Can be kept in an airtight glass container for up to 7-10 days in your fridge.

For more easy, delicious recipes like this, my new cookbook Empowerful can be ordered at the below link.  It makes a great holiday gift too!!!

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535032588&sr=1-1&keywords=Empowerful+book

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me and your favorite recipes on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery !

Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

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Vegan Cannellini and Garbanzo Bean Meatballs with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

It is world vegan day today and it go me thinking about delicious vegan recipe ideas!  Even if your not a vegan, these are so yummy and even my kids surprisingly loved these wholesome bowls.  I really believe we all could benefit from eating at least 2-3 plant based meals during the week and dishes like this are a fun way to do it.  They are super versatile as you can add whatever sauté veggies or roasted veggies you love.  I made vegan rice bowls and piled it high with sautéed purple cabbage, mushrooms and kale along with some sliced avocado but there are endless options.  You could serve these meatballs over pasta or with sweet potatoes, squash, regular roasted potatoes or make falafel sandwiches or pita sandwiches and then pile high with these meatballs.  This fantastic red pepper sauce can also be used in a variety of ways.  It is lovely as a dressing for just about any veggie, salad or even over tofu.

Vegan Cannellini and Garbanzo Bean Meatballs with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Tools:

Measuring Spoons

Measuring Cups

Food Processor

Parchment Paper

Cookie Sheet

Large Sauté Pan

Ingredients:

For Meatballs:

2 tbs olive oil

1 1/2 onions peeled and sliced

4 cloves garlic peeled and minced

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper 

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp dried oregano 

2 tbs fresh cilantro washed and minced 

1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed

1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed 

Reserve 1/4 cup of the onion, garlic mixture once cooked for red pepper sauce 

For Red Pepper Sauce:

Juice of one lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper 

2 tbs Fresh cilantro washed 

1/4 cup of the remaining sautéed onions and garlic 

2/3 cup avocado mayonnaise 

2 large roasted red peppers 

2 tbs tahini 

1 small ripe avocado with pit removed and flesh scooped out 

Method:

Preheat oven to 375

Take a large sauté pan and add olive oil then place heat on your stove top to medium.  Then add onions, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and fresh cilantro.  Sauté approximately 10 minutes till onions are translucent and all of the flavors come together.  Set aside briefly.  Empty the cannellini beans and garbanzo beans into your food processor.  Now add the onion and garlic mixture into the food processor along with the beans.  Pulse continually till it forms a thick paste.  Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper then use an ice cream scoop or large spoon and form individual meatballs.  This recipe will make approximately one dozen.   Chef’s note:  the c0nsistency of the meatballs will be sticky.  Bake in the oven at 375 for 30-35 minutes till the meatballs are golden brown.  Turn the oven off and let meatballs rest the oven to stay warm while you make the red pepper sauce.

Using your food processor, add lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, fresh cilantro, remaining sautéed onions and garlic, avocado mayo, roasted red peppers, tahini and avocado.  Pulse until the sauce runs smooth and all of the ingredients come together.  I like to leave it in the food processor and pulse it one last time before I serve it over my vegan bowls.

Assemble the bowls whatever way you like over cooked rice, roasted potatoes, etc. and along with whatever your favorite veggies are then drizzle with this fabulous red pepper sauce.  Super delicious and makes fabulous leftovers and meal preparation for the week!

For more easy, delicious recipes like this, my new cookbook Empowerful can be ordered at the below link:

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535032588&sr=1-1&keywords=Empowerful+book

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me and your favorite recipes on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery !

Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

Hi there! The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!

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

Hi there! The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!

 

 

Organic Cumin & Chili Veggie Burgers


“Cooking is a continual opportunity to connect with your senses.  When we touch, taste, smell and explore through the beauty of food, the soul is elevated and comforted.  I dare say it might be one of the most beautiful ways to extend love and nurture others”

I try to incorporate at least 2 to 3 plant based meals a week into our dinner rotation.  As a chef, it keeps my creativity in bloom as the opportunities are endless in terms of imagining ways of bringing a variety of vegetables into interesting, delicious meals.

When I created this recipe in particular, it stirred from a place of wanting a really delicious veggie burger that didn’t crumble or taste like sawdust. I hate to say that but many veggie burgers just fall short in terms of flavor and consistency.  This however is not your typical veggie burger and this recipe is a huge success in our house.  My kids absolutely love these and they are a lot of fun too as they can be dressed up in so many ways.  Think pickles, sauerkraut, roasted poblanos, cheese, red onion, lettuce, micro greens, sautéed onions and mushrooms.  The options are endless.  I also love that I can get two meals out of this recipe which is fantastic on busy days when you just need to get dinner on the table fast.

Chefs note ** You will need a food processor for this recipe.

2 tbs organic olive oil

1/2 half of an organic onion peeled and minced

2 cloves organic garlic peeled and minced

1 tbs ground cumin

1 tbs ground chili

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 cup raw organic walnuts

2 cans organic pinto beans or kidney beans drained

2 organic eggs

1 cup gluten free bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs  (please have extra set aside to reach proper consistenacy)

 

In a large skillet, place heat on medium and add olive oil.  Add onion, sea salt and black pepper and cook approx. 7-8 minutes till golden brown then add garlic, cumin, chili and walnuts.  Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Once cooked, set aside briefly.

Take your food processor and make sure the chopping blade is inserted in the center.   Add the drained canned beans, eggs and the walnut/onion mixture.  Purée on high until combined then add bread crumbs and continue to pulse till ingredients are fully mixed. Using a spatula, remove the bean mixture from the food processor into a large bowl.  Add approx. 1/2 cup additional bread crumbs till the mixture is not super sticky and you can form the mixture into individual burgers using your hands.  This recipe will yield a total of 8 burgers.  I double wrap the additional 4 burgers in eco friendly plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

Once your ready to cook the burgers.  Take a large skillet and add 1 tbs of oil, then place your heat on medium.  Brown on one side then flip the burger to the other side  (approx. 4 minutes per side).  Serve on buns or over a salad with your favorite fixings.

Enjoy! – Chef Emery oxoxox

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️

Two Beautiful Vegan Cheeses

I’ve been playing around a lot lately with nut cheeses and its super easy, plus so delicious.  They are incredibly versatile as they can be coupled with salads, spread for crackers or a fabulous sandwich spread.  You can make a fancy vegan “cheese” platter with dried fruit, local honey, crackers, pickles, olives just to name a few ideas.  Also, fresh herbs, spices and dried herbs can be adjusted to your liking for this recipe.

As an organic chef, I feel a responsibility to bring a variety of recipes to the forefront with a mindfulness about the larger impact food has on our earth’s soil and the health of our climate.  This will always be my larger work.  I hope you enjoy these recipes.

 

“WE DO NOT INHERIT THE EARTH FROM OUR ANCESTORS, WE BORROW IT FROM OUR CHILDREN”  –  Ancient Native Proverb

 

Chefs Note**

You will need a food processor to make both of these recipes.

 

Organic Raw Almond Cheese with Spinach and Tart Cherries

1 cup soaked raw organic almonds

1/2 cup organic caramelized onions

1 tbs organic avocado oil

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 cup organic washed spinach

1/2 cup organic dried cherries or cranberries can be used if you can not find dried cherries

2 tbs nutritional yeast

Place almonds in a medium bowl and fill with cold water covering the almonds.  Soak for at least two hours and ideally overnight.  Once almonds have soaked, your ready to make your cheese.  Take a medium saute pan and add 1 tbs of organic avocado oil.  Peel, wash and mince one medium yellow onion.  Place heat on medium and add minced onion, sea salt and black pepper.  Cook approx. 15 minutes till onions are translucent.  Separate the onions into two portions for each cheese ( as you will be using one portion of the cooked onion for each cheese recipe ) and set aside briefly.  Drain the water from the almonds and then add almonds to food processor along with half of the cooked onions, spinach, cherries and nutritional yeast.  Pulse until all the ingredients are fully combined then scrap the sides with a spatula and continue to pulse.  Once the ingredients are fully combined remove from food processor and use your hands to form into a cheese like shape on your favorite plate.  Refrigerate for one hour to let it fully set up.

Organic Raw Cashew Cheese with Cumin and Fresh Herbs

1 cup soaked raw organic cashews

1/2 cup organic caramelized onions

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 tbs organic cumin

3 tbs organic green onions washed and minced

3 tbs organic fresh basil washed and minced

the juice of one organic lemon

2 tbs nutritional yeast

Place cashews in a medium bowl and fill with cold water covering the cashews.  Soak for at least two hours and ideally overnight.  Once cashews have soaked, you can begin making the cheese.  Take the other portion of the cooked onions for the cheese and set aside briefly.  Drain the water from the cashews and then add cashews to food processor along with half of the cooked onions, cumin, fresh green onion, basil, lemon and nutritional yeast.  Pulse until all the ingredients are fully combined then scrap the sides with a spatula and continue to pulse.  Once the ingredients are fully combined remove from food processor and use your hands to form into a cheese like shape on your favorite plate.  Refrigerate for one hour to let it fully set up.

Enjoy! – Chef Emery oxoxo

 


 

Vegan Almond and White Miso Dressing

My life’s work is to use my pivotal role as a chef to spread greater awareness on the impact that sustainable food has on our own health and planet.  I also believe as a chef that food absolutely needs to taste delicious to sustain long lasting habits.  It just has to taste good, bottom line.  When we source food locally, organically and seasonally, it just tastes better because it is closest to it’s original, natural form.  Food and cooking can truly be one of the most beautiful ways to connect ourselves with nature and our planet.  Our bodies are highly intelligent too and view food as information for our DNA so when we eat this way, we just feel really good and are satiated naturally.

I love this recipe because it is so versatile.  It can be used to dress either a vegetarian, vegan, or paleo salad and is also a fabulous dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls or even for sandwich wraps!  Below are three ideas and easy ways to use this dressing.

Homemade spring rolls filled with organic persian cucumber, fresh mint, green onions and local non gmo tofu

Organic spring greens with local micro greens, fresh mint, watermelon radishes, hakurei turnips and local non gmo tofu salad

Organic local micro greens, fresh herbs, seasonal watermelon radishes, raw peanuts and local pasture raised poached chicken salad

Dressing Recipe:

1 generous tbs of organic white miso ( I personally love the company South River for miso )

2 generous tbs of organic unsweetened ground almond butter ( I love a company called Little Lad’s ) it literally has two ingredients almonds and sea salt.  That is what you want!

1/4 tsp sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 water approx. till dressing thins out

1 tsp real maple syrup

In a medium bowl, add all the above the ingredients then whisk with a fork. This dressing can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.  Enjoy!

“We can build lasting habits where we feel nourished, satiated and emotionally satisfied.  It just takes a little consistency, prep and most importantly fun” – Chef Emery

Never Underestimate the Power of Sheet Roasting

I can not say enough about how much I love sheet roasting as a chef.  It is a phenomenal way to quickly add depth and flavor to your meals with little effort yet is absolutely delicious.  Lately, I’ve been finding that food ( when and if I eat out ) is often over salted, over spiced, over sauced, overly sweet which covers up any room for the food to shine.  When we source food organically, locally, seasonally and sustainably, it really does not need a lot to taste absolutely delicious.  Sheet pan roasting is a wonderful way to easily do this!

Another reason I absolutely love roasting veggies is that it is so versatile.  In can be kept vegetarian by adding it to your favorite rice bowls or as a paleo recipe by pairing it with your favorite fish, grilled meat or roast.  I like to use lots of seasonal fresh herbs which are packed with wonderful nutrients and vitamins which adds a lot of dimension without extra salt, oil, etc.  I also have expressed before that organic fresh herbs have powerful properties that can be incredibly beneficial to our bodies and are a quick way to connect with nature.

Organic Tomatoes with Fresh Garlic, Local Shallots, Fresh Thyme, Herbs De Provence, Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Local Organic Fingerling Potatoes with Red Onion, Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Organic Cauliflower with Leeks, Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Preheat your oven to 450.  Then wash and slice the vegetables.  I pour 2 tbs of organic extra virgin olive oil over the whole pan of sliced vegetables.  Then add herbs of choice.  Get creative there are no wrong choices really.  You can use fresh cilantro, fresh dill, thyme, rosemary, fresh basil, fresh parsley.  Sometimes I like to add turmeric or curry powder.  I always then add 1 tsp sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast at 450 for approx. 25 minutes till veggies are golden brown.

The three recipes above are ideas but as I stated the options are honestly endless. Sweet potatoes roasted with shallots and cumin would be delicious or another favorite in our house is roasted brussel sprouts with cranberries.  Most importantly remember as Julia Child says, “You don’t have to cook fancy complicated masterpieces.  Just good food from fresh ingredients.”

The Heartfelt Cookbook

People often ask me how this cookbook got started.  Cooking has always been an intrinsic part of who I am from a young age. You can read more about my about story at www.chefemery.com .  For me, it is a meditative practice where I just get an inspiration and then I act on it.  I have always been inspired by nature and what is coming into season.  Sustainable, seasonal, organic food is really important to me.  I think our connection with real food and cooking can be one of the most rooted ways we can connect with nature and ourselves. Real food just tastes better, makes you feel better and it does this because it truly is a part of nature.  Our bodies were designed and meant to eat it.

A few years ago, my husband asked me why I wasn’t writing any of my recipes down.  I thought about the daunting task of doing this.  I then got thinking and particularly I got thinking about my children and their possible desire to have these recipes in print for their own future.  I truly believe cooking is one of the most amazing sensory experiences and a beautiful way for children to connect with nature. When kids are able to touch, taste and connect with food at home, these memories stay with them and leave a historical imprint.  I liken it to an old folktale that you remember and then pass down from generation to generation.  I know for me, food as always imprinted so many lasting memories and connections that will stay with me for my lifetime.

Well I did take my husbands advice and spent a complete winter writing down all of the recipes that had been swirling around in my brain for years.  Hence, The Heartfelt Cookbook was born.  I have two copies that will never be touched or sold as they are saved for my children for when they are all grown up.  I hope these recipes will be cherished and enjoyed in their own homes one day with rich memories.  I have always said may it fill your home with full bellies, delicious aromas and happy hearts.

It is my wish to do this for all people and my cookbook can be pre ordered now directly through me by submitting a from under contacts at www.chefemery.com .  They go fast so secure your copy now.  They are $45 which includes shipping within the United States.  I truly believe food should never taste “healthy”. It truly should be an experience that nourishes and connects us in a way that deepens our mind, body, and spirit.  We can all do this it just requires some tools.  As a chef, I am here to help with that.

Organic Fresh Basil Pesto

 

I have to say that I have had enough of all this cold weather and am ready for spring!!  I mean come on, it snowed today for goodness sake.  There is nothing like making a batch of my fresh homemade pesto to help perk one’s spirit up.  The green color alone is so vibrant and makes me think of spring.  Plus, my kids call them the “green noodles” and if that isn’t cute, I don’t know what is!

This can be made in big batches and placed in the freezer ( which I often do ) and is fabulous paired with fish, chicken, or on it’s own with a big salad.  It is so quick, easy, gets dinner on the table fast and taste so much better than any store bought version of pesto.

1 lb spaghetti gluten free ( I personally like organic tinkyada brown rice ) or regular pasta

4 cups fresh organic basil

2 cloves fresh organic garlic

1 cup grated parmesan reggiano

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup raw pine nuts

1 tsp sea salt

fresh ground black pepper

 

In a powerful blender ( I use a Vitamix but most blenders will work well ), place basil, parmesan reggiano, pine nuts, sea salt, and black pepper.  Place the blender on medium and begin to gradually add the olive oil.  Blend until smooth and all ingredients are fully combined.  Take a large spaghetti pot and fill with cold water and a pinch of salt.  Bring water to a boil and add pasta.  Cook approx. 10-12 minutes ( depending on pasta ) till al dente.  Drain pasta water and immediately add 3 to 4 tbs of pesto.  Toss until pasta is fully coated with pesto.  Serve immediately with generous amounts of grated parmesan reggiano.  I like mine with fresh tomatoes and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Store left over pesto sauce ( as you will not use all of it ) in an air tight container and save for another use.  It is fantastic as a sandwich spread, a marinade for fish or chicken or to freeze for another time.  I generally double the recipe and freeze the second batch.

Enjoy!