Pumpkin Peanut Stew. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Pumpkin Peanut Stew. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Pumpkin Peanut Stew. Vegan. Gluten Free by Knead to Cook.

Pumpkin Peanut Stew.  Vegan.  Gluten free.

On a pumpkin kick here in my kitchen.  It’s September… it’s pretty much my ritual.  I made this stew for my husband and I to have all week (vegan and gluten free) in my cooking frenzy yesterday and the day and my ingredient list got ahead of me and I was missing some black beans for a taco recipe I was going to whip up for the rest of the family.  We all ended up enjoying a bowl of this on a stormy night.  Everyone enjoyed it tremendously… I’m convinced you can get any kids to buy in when peanut butter is involved.  It would also be delicious served over toasted quinoa, rice or your favorite pasta as well.
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— Knead to Cook

Vegan Red Bean Balsamic Chili.

Vegan red bean chili by Knead to Cook.

Vegan red bean chili by Knead to Cook.

Vegan Red Bean Balsamic Chili. School started and I feel compelled to make chili.  I know, summer isn’t over yet but fall is on my mind.  We have been blessed with such beautiful weather this summer.  The last few days had a nice chill in the morning and in the evening – which justified this meal as I type this and the 90 degrees are headed into PA.

So now that everyone is back to school, I try to find a new routine.  Plus reclaim my house after a crazy-busy summer.  I spent the day cleaning, cleaning and oh yeah more cleaning.  I had this dinner made by 11 am, much as my husband predicted.  Laundry done.  Grocery store shopping completed and the dogs walked.  Felt good to be productive.  Remember how that feels?  Summer just doesn’t allow for that.
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— Knead to Cook

How to prepare tempeh.

How to prepare tempeh by Knead to Cook.

How to prepare tempeh by Knead to Cook.

It’s been one of those foods that I love when I go out to vegan restaurants but just couldn’t get as tasty at home.  Tempeh is made from soybeans.  Quite popular throughout the world but gaining more popularity in the U.S.  Tempeh is packed with manganese, protein, fiber, phosphorous, B2 and magnesium – so a nutritional powerhouse of sorts for vegans and vegetarians alike.  It’s a firm texture and is so versatile – absorbing spices and marinades alike.  But don’t let it scare you… it’s easier to cook than you may think.

So over the last year I’ve asked friends how they cook it.  I’ve gotten a wide variety of answers and suggestions, all of which I tried but never loved.  Trial and error.  Soybeans to me have a bitter bite that I just don’t favor.  But it bothered me how much tastier it was in restaurants and I started on my mission to make it palatable, if not wonderful at home.  My husband and I both love tempeh… and were both thrilled with this recipe.  I hope you give it a try.
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— Knead to Cook

Cauliflower Rice Almond Chickpea Salad.

Cauliflower Rice Chickpea Almond Salad.

Cauliflower Rice Almond Chickpea Salad by Knead to Cook.

Cauliflower “rice” almond chickpea salad that is vegan and gluten free.  Meatless Monday, packable lunch or side dish idea.

So happy to be back from vacation.  We so needed a break from the summer routine, swimming, tennis and day-to-day duties.  Exploring another country was a lot of fun and I always love learning another language.  I enjoyed so much vegan cuisine along the way and takeaway so much inspiration from pretty much everything we experienced.  I was thrilled to still train while on vacation, it’s a sanity thing for me.  Not that I don’t love my family but everyone in one hotel room all week together – this girl needed a bit of sanity time.

We arrived home late Friday and that evening was filled with laundry and decompressing.  Saturday Bill and I got back to our routine of hitting up the farmer’s market early and just walking around downtown.  Stocked up on lots of goodies and enjoyed our fur babies with some lovely walks.  Sunday, we decided to drive out to an Amish area and ride our bikes.  We got up nice and early (5:30 am), loaded the bikes up and headed out.  We rode our furthest distance yet – 31 miles!  This is huge for me considering I just started riding about 1.5 months ago.  This was my third ride clipping in.  Now, Bill told me this was a “rolling hills ride”.  Ummmmm yeah, NO!  It was totally uphill the entire time.  Okay, I may exaggerate a bit but holy hills man my legs were ON FIRE!  I did manage to ride through a covered bridge which left me with a bit of pause before I entered – seeing the open slats in between the wood and considering how thin my road bike tires are (insert here:  tire stuck, me flying off my bike fear) oh and the Jetta that couldn’t wait for me to ride through alone… Survived that.  Lots of horses and buggies carrying the Amish off to church.  Lots of horse reminders on the road to dodge. Cows grazing.  Sheep. Pigs.  Goats.  I saw it all, loved it all.  Overall, my speed was good- according to Bill and I don’t care because I didn’t fall (yay) and again – further distance yet!

Post ride we came home and took the dogs for a walk.  I whipped this dish up to eat this week.  I’m having my 3rd surgery on my finger Tuesday.  Bone fusion and pins.  Lots of paranoia after last year’s debacle when I got a staph infection.  So prepping food that I can grab easily while my hand is splinted. I also can run for two weeks – however walking has been given the green light.  My doc also thought my bike in a trainer would be good.  Praying that’s so! So if I’m a bit MIA – you know why.
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— Knead to Cook

Cherry Sage Toasted Quinoa.

Cherry Sage Toasted Quinoa by Knead to Cook

Cherry Sage Toasted Quinoa by Knead to Cook

After a busy morning and what seemed to be endless doc appointments, I was thrilled to get home and cook something and wait for it…. blog about it!  Seems like a rare event lately.  Summer is just so hard with crazy schedules.  My day started out with an early doc appointment so I got an early workout in – 4 fast miles (see below) and then weights.  After that was swim, tennis and then the orthodontist.  Running lunch/dinner to my daughter who is lifeguarding all day… does this sound familiar?  Well swim season ends Saturday (my daughter qualified for a championship meet in backstroke) and after that – we are on vacation!   I cannot wait to breathe for just a moment in time.

This afternoon is quiet in my house.  I wanted to whip something up with all of the cherries I’ve been buying ($1.99 lb) and I cannot resist!  I thought this recipe sounded perfect and it turned out so good… I keep sampling it and need to stop!  I have a food problem, actually, I have an eating problem.  I cannot stop!  Would make a great breakfast – yes, just add a touch of maple syrup or you can eat it for lunch or as a side for dinner.

Okay so without further adieu…
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— Knead to Cook

Strawberry Salsa. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Strawberry Salsa. Vegan. Gluten Free. By Knead to Cook.

Strawberry Salsa by Knead to Cook.  Vegan. Gluten Free.

Strawberry salsa is vegan, gluten free and screams of summer!  I could eat salsa day and night.  I eat it right out of the bowl, with taco chips or on my favorite spoon – displayed here.  Ha!  We had our last regular season swim meet last night during a lovely thunderstorm and that ended (due to the weather) just before 9 so we missed Taco Tuesday.  I make it a point to indulge my girl’s request for tacos each week.  I know they will eat everything on their plate and that makes this Italian mama a happy girl.

This salsa is super easy to whip up and you can easily control the spice level.  It’s colorful and eye-catching.  Filled with vitamins and healthy carbs – providing lots of energy for the pool or the beach!  Totally easy make-ahead recipe too!
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— Knead to Cook

Massaged Kale Salad. Vegan.

 

Massaged Kale Salad by Knead to Cook.

Massaged Kale Salad by Knead to Cook.

All hail the massaged kale salad.  Kale has become increasing popular and trendy but this is one trend that nutritionally needs to stay around.  The nutritional benefits to kale are astounding. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. Kale is high in iron. Kale is high in Vitamin K. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants.  Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. Kale is great for cardiovascular support.  Now I realize, despite all of those fabulous details, some people don’t particularly care for the harsher flavor of this green giant.  Trust me, lover of kale or not, this recipe will make you love it more or enlighten you on the fabulousness of this green powerhouse.
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— Knead to Cook

Gluten Free Coconut Banana Muffins.

 

Gluten Free Coconut Banana Muffins

Gluten Free Coconut Banana Muffins by Knead to Cook

I baked these super tasty GLUTEN FREE Coconut banana muffins yesterday.  Perfection for breakfast, snacking or on-the-go eating thinking beach food, road trip snacks… or just because!

I hope everyone had a lovely 4th of July weekend.  Ours has been extended a bit due to the next household item breaking – our hot water heater!  Boy we’ve been on quite a streak.  Keeping a rolling total… my SUV, my fridge, my bedroom fan and now my hot water heater.  All I can say is caaaaa-ching!  On a positive note, I finally had my bike fitting (3 hours long) and it was phenomenal.  I’m always into data and information on my body, form and function.  The long and short of it was that I needed a new seat thanks to my boney tush, ordered new pedals to clip-in, got new riding shoes, shorter handlebars (the ones on my bike were too wide) and my right side is longer than my left.  The fitter adjusted everything and made the bike much more comfortable for me.  So Saturday I tested clipping in… unclipping.  I did this about 300 times in my garage with my poor husband acting as the bike trainer.

Sunday we went for a ride… 21 miles to be exact.  I fell once.  Not bad!  The ride overall felt better and I increased my mph by 1 minute.  Nice!  I also finished last week out the week running 30.18 miles in 4:03:46.  My goal, to stay healthy and to run over 100 miles this month as I did last month but to increase my biking miles/speed.  I’m off to a fairly good start.  I did run 8 miles today to kick off the week.  Now that you’re updated… on to this lovely little recipe I made yesterday.  [Read more…]

— Knead to Cook

Rainbow Chard with Garlic Scapes.

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What a whirlwind weekend.  Last week my brand new 2015 Mazda CX5 transmission stopped working on a major road during rush hour traffic as I was driving my daughter to a friend’s house.  I was lucky enough to spot a turn-off and coast down the hill to safety.  After a week at the dealer’s repair shop, and still not knowing what the exact problem was – we opted to buy another vehicle.  This Mazda, with 4k miles, was going to go to our daughter next year when she started driving.  So much for THAT logic. After losing faith in Mazda’s product, we quickly lost faith in Lancaster Mazda Toyota – the car dealer.  Our plan was to purchase a Toyota and keep the purchase under one company and making it financially easier to work.  The company was deplorable to deal with.  Completely dollar focused.  NO customer service.  We were done on so many levels.  We got my little death trap back on Saturday and quickly found a wonderful Toyota dealer (Toyota of York).  If you’re in PA – seriously check them out!  This is my experience and NOT a paid ad.

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— Knead to Cook

Almond chocolate cookies. {vegan} {gluten free}

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Today, altho quite sunny and hot, has been a lovely productive day for me indoors.  We had a swim meet last night which left us getting home quite late.  I gave myself an extra 30 minutes to sleep and then hit the gym to test out my new Mizunos.  I got in a lovely 8 mile run on the treadmill (5 more to go for my 25 weekly mile mark) and then came home to taxi to swim practice.  I walked while practice went on and then came home to start cleaning and whipped up this batch of cookies.  I’ll admit, I just started throwing things in a bowl and prayed it worked.  Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t!  Thankfully… this one was a winner.  These are NOT overly sweet.  Honestly, they don’t need to be.  The almond butter and maple syrup are the perfect amount of sweetness with no added refined sugars necessary.  Perfect, vegan and gluten free cookie.  You can actually see the goodness and ingredients right in each cookie.  I’m smitten.
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— Knead to Cook