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Something new! I feel like we’ve been stuck in a rut lately, but maybe it’s just because I’ve gotten out of the habit of cooking every night and have been eating way too much junk. This was a great dish to get us back on track. Super healthy and super delicious – plus it’s easy to make vegan and gluten free with a little earth balance swapped out for the butter and gluten free options for the noodles and tamari. What’s tamari you say? It’s like soy sauce, only better! Made without wheat, a little less salty, but still big on flavor. And this dish showcases it perfectly, along with a few of my favorite things: mushrooms and bok choy.

shiitake bok choy soba noodle bowl

Shiitake Bok Choy Soba Noodle Bowl
via a house in the hills

4 cups, washed and thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
3 small/medium bok choy,
2 bunches of buckwheat soba (about 16 oz)
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons tamari
1/8 cup mirin
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 medium cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
sesame seeds to garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles per package instructions, drain and rinse with warm water.
While water is coming to a boil, prepare mushrooms, sauce and bok choy. In a large non stick sauté pan heat earth balance butter with 4 tablespoons tamari and add mushrooms. Give a quick stir to coat and then cook on high heat for 6 minutes (do your best to not stir the after the initial mix). Give them another stir and cook an additional two minutes. The should be brown, slightly crispy and a little caramelized. Set aside until noodles are prepared.
For the sauce, combine mirin, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of tamari. For the bok choy, trim off ends, wash thoroughly and dry. In a large wok combine noodles, sauce, bok choy and mushrooms. Cook over medium high heat until bok choy is wilted. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately!

There’s something about a great comfort meal on a Sunday night – although I did make this on a weeknight! It’s a pretty quick meal, but feels luxurious in it’s rich cream sauce. The bite of arugula and pepper and the sweetness of the corn make for quite the flavor.

Arugula Sweet Corn Gnocchi Cream Sauce

Arugula & Sweet Corn Gnocchi in Cream Sauce
adapted from vegan monologue
(click through for vegan version)

1 lb potato gnocchi
2 small ears fresh sweet corn, kernels cut off and set aside
3/4 cup half and half
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 cups torn arugula
a few shakes of crushed red pepper
2 tbs flour, plus a little more, just in case

Cook gnocchi according to package and add the corn during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Do not rinse.
Meanwhile, make cream sauce. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just tender. Add half and half, cream cheese, oregano, salt, and pepper in medium saucepan. Cook sauce ingredients over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add reserved pasta water and flour to sauce, stir until thickened. You can add more flour until desired thickness is achieved. Pour cream sauce over gnocchi, stir in arugula, sprinkle red pepper flakes. Sauce will thicken more as it cools. Serve with additional crushed red pepper flakes.

One of the things I love about Pinterest is surfing it for beautiful food Sunday mornings. When this gorgeous stew drifted across my screen, I knew I had to try it. Although we didn’t have snow cap beans available at our local grocery, I ordered online from a lovely shop and received them in just a few days! I’m sure the husband thinks I’m a little silly, ordering fancy beans online, but it was so worth it in the end. What I love about stews like this is that you can throw in just about any veggies you have on hand and it only makes it better! I followed the recipe almost to the letter, but did add chopped carrots, a small red onion and an extra potato. You can never have too many vegetables. And I picked up a new trick, adding a bit of cider vinegar (as directed). I love the tang it added to the broth. Might throw a parmesan rind in next time too. So much flavor! And vegan too!

Snow Cap Bean Stew
via healthy.happy.life

1 cup dry snow cap beans + soaking water (use more beans for an even heartier stew)
1/2 cup dry quinoa
4 cups vegetable broth
1-3 cups water (depending on how thick or brothy you’d like your stew, or more veggie broth)
2 15 oz. cans fire-roasted & diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large white onion, diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled/diced
2-3 cups chard, chopped (or add right before serving to wilt)
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (any variety)
4-6+ dashes cayenne
1/4 tsp pepper + salt to taste (salt stew after beans are cooked through)

{Click here for the complete recipe.}

photo by kathy patalsky

Or maybe I should title this Husband buys a new toy & cooks dinner! We do so much cooking from blogs, my dearest made a genius purchase and got us this magnetic fridge mount for our iPad.
And then he made me dinner! What a doll.

Chickpea Hot Pot
 via 101 cookbooks

1 large yellow onion, chopped
a splash of olive oil
a couple pinches of salt
2/3 cup uncooked bulgur
14-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cup cauliflower, trimmed into small trees
2 cup kale or chard, destemmed and cut into thin ribbons
olive oil for finishing drizzle
1/2 red onion, chopped for garnish

In a large pot over medium-high heat saute the yellow onion in the olive oil along with the salt – for a minute or until the onion begins to soften a bit. Stir in the bulgur. Stir in the chickpeas and the stock. Bring the ingredients to a simmer. Cook for another few minutes, it should start to thicken. Taste to see if the bulgur is cooked through, if so add the orange juice. If not, simmer for a couple more minutes before adding the juice. Stir in the cauliflower and the kale as well – simmer another few minutes, until the cauliflower is just tender. If the stew is on the thick side, thin with a bit more water or stock. Taste, and add salt if necessary. Serve garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and red onions.