Pasta with Charred Cherry Tomatoes, Broccolini and Vegan Parmesan

Pastaaaaa. I have been craving pasta for quite some time now. I don’t know why. Probably because carbs = love.

Vegan Pasta with Brocollini Charred & Tomatoes Parmesan

Pasta has always been one of my favorite foods. I grew up with an Italian grandma and her penne arrabiata with charred peppers was the best.thing.ever. It has ruined almost all other pastas I’ve had since. Nothing like what Oma cooked up. Somewhere I have her recipe for her sauce. I can never make it quite like she did though…must be that Italian grandma magic.

I decided to make some pasta with some leftover veggies I got to take home from an event. I roasted up some cauliflower, broccolini, and tomatoes on Friday, and while I was eating them, the deliciousness of the roasted tomatoes just called for pasta.

Vegan Pasta with Hemp Parm with Charred Tomatoes and Broccolini.jpg

I was too lazy and hungry to make it at the time, but today I cooked up some whole wheat noodles, paired it with steamed broccoli, a bit of olive oil and lemon juice, salt & pepper, a bunch of Vegan Hemp Parmesan, and the real MVP, the charred tomatoes.

Super simple, very flavorful, and far from over-complicated. The way Italian-inspired food should be, as far as I’m concerned.

Vegan Pasta Brocollini with Charred Tomatoes Parmesan

Let’s talk pasta for a minute, shall we? At some point society demonized the glorious stuff. The thing is, there is nothing inherently significantly worse about pasta than many other forms of carbohydrates, especially when it’s whole grain.

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Whole-Wheat Rosemary Tomato Focaccia

Happy September AND happy Labor Day friends! Today marks the end of the summer and the end of tomato growing season – which means that you may, like me, be overwhelmed by the amount of tomatoes you have at your disposal for consumption.


There is nothing more August-y or wonderful than legit homegrown tomatoes. They taste 190% different than the big crappy ones you get from the grocery store in the middle of winter. You know what I mean – the sweet baby ones that you can literally pop like candy. OoooOooo baby are they a treat. I can literally eat an entire bowl of them and think nothing of it.


Today not only marks the end of August, it apparently “officially” marks the end of summer. Sigh. And today, it was as if mother nature wanted to make sure we really knew this, so we had some morning thunder storms and cool, fall breezes to remind us of what lies ahead. Although I am sad to bid farewell to berries by the bucket-load and oodles of sunshine, I’m not totally opposed to fall. It’s my favorite flavor season (FALL VEGETABLES FTW!) and I am comfortable with the idea of big sweaters, racking leaves, apple pickin’ and pumpin’ cravin’. As the weather cools, I am only further enticed to warm up by the oven. Meaning more reasons to bake! #party.


So on this awkward summer-meets-fall day, I decided to make a summer-meets-fall dish: focaccia with late summery tomatoes and fresh rosemary. I love fresh baked bread, especially on a windy cool day. And I’ve had a hankerin’ to make focaccia for a while now. I love its springy bouncy texture. Also today I learned it’s incredibly difficult to spell. So that initially make me like it slightly less, but also made more determined to master not only its spelling but also its taste. And then I forgave its difficulty to spell and accepted that I’m a terrible speller and moved on with life. With a pan of freshly baked focaccia to guide me to more important things.


So give this stuff a whirl. It’s yummy plain, with soup, or for as an extra tasty addition to a sandwich. It’s highly customizable to your personal tastes, but the rosemary truly adds wonderful notes of pine and spice and the fresh tomatoes ended up as a gooey sweet caramelized topping. Ugh. Yum. #carbs5ever. So happy late-summer and happy early fall. See you in squash and apple season, babay.


Prep Time: 4-8 hours

Bake Time: 20-30 minutes

Level: Easy


  • one packet (1/4 oz) dry active yeast
  • one cup warm water (about 120 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or molasses (food for the yeast to eat and grow!)
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all purpose or bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • one large sprig rosemary, or 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 5-10 cherry tomatoes


1. Warm the water and pour into a large bowl or stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Add maple syrup and mix gently. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes until the yeast looks foamy at the top of the water.


2. In a separate bowl, combine flours and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to water mixture, and olive oil, about 2 tablespoons of rosemary, and using the dough hook, mix dough well until a large dough ball forms, roughly 7 minutes.

3. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and store in a cool, dry, dark place for 2-8 hours until it has doubled in size. Punch down the dough, knead for a few minutes, and transfer to a small, oiled baking pan. I used a random 6×10 inch pan.


4. Poke holes all over the dough and allow it to do a second proof (rising) for about an hour. This proof is more important than the first rising. Don’t skip it!


5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If desired, brush a little more olive oil on the bread surface, and slice tomatoes thinly and gently press them into dough surface. Sprinkle a little more rosemary and sea salt on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean upon removal.


6. Cool. Eat. Make a sandwich. Dip in bread. Eat more. Enjoy.


pea pesto



this is a modified recipe from one of my favorite television chefs, Giada DeLaurentiis. its fairly simple, does not require many ingredients, and is always a huge hit at parties.

traditionally, as giada does, it is served on crostini (bread toasted in the oven with olive oil and garlic), but personally i think it makes a great addition to sandwiches, store-bought ravioli, or in place of hummus as a veggie/cracker/bread dip. 

it doesn’t matter how you want to eat it, but do eat it. the peas are sweet and flavorful (not to mention high in fiber), and when pungent garlic and parmesan temper the sweetness, you get a complex, addictive, blissful dip that you’ll want to eat with a spoon. 

pictured above on oven toasted baguette that was brushed with extra virgin olive oil and rubbed with a garlic clove. halved cherry tomatoes were added to compliment the sweetness of the peas, and leftover shredded parmesan added a decorative and delicious finishing touch. 



for the pea pesto:

  • one thawed 10-ounce package frozen peas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • thaw frozen peas by leaving them at room temperature or on low heat in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl
  • peel and mince the garlic clove
  • in a food processor, pulse together the peas, garlic, cheese, salt, and pepper
  • with machine running, drizzle in olive oil slowly and keep the processor running until the mixture is even and smooth
  • serve on crotini, or in place of hummus with crudités, crackers, and bread

for crostini:

  • preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • slice baguette style bread diagonally or cut sliced loaf bread in half or into triangles
  • brush bread lightly with olive oil using a pastry brush or with an olive-oil moistened folded paper towel square
  • cut a garlic clove in half and rub the freshly cut surface of the garlic onto the oiled bread
  • bake for 5-10 minutes until lightly toasted

there you have it! happy eating 🙂 


my super simple go-to dinner: delicious && nutritious


This meal is better than a lot of crap from restaurants that charge a lot of money for nothing special. Best part? Took 15 minutes total to prepare. This is a cheap, easy, go-to for me.

I love eggs. And adding some chopped onion takes about 30 seconds and adds so much flavor and an interesting texture contrast. I also advice adding some cheese (I used Laughing Cow Cheese Garlic and Herb) while the eggs are cooking. And some avocado chunks, which give it bouts of richness and a buttery texture.Other than that, add whatever veggies are in your fridge to give the eggs a nutritional and flavorful boost.

I also love sweet potatoes. One of my favorite foods, and a very healthy source of complex carbohydrates. I love them for breakfast (with cinnamon), or as a side for lunch and dinner. And organic are worth the extra money; they boast far more flavor.

Hope to inspire some similar eats:


eggs with chopped onions, arugula, cherry tomatoes, laughing cow cheese garlic and herb (broken into eggs while cooking), and avocado

arugula salad with lemon juice & olive oil. salt.

sweet potato microwaved for 8 minutes, topped (post photo) with curry catsup (mix curry powder with catsup – so good!)

also great on sweet potatoes: greek yogurt.