Rainbow Carrot + Asparagus Tart

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How can I ever accurately express the impact Celine Dion has had on my life?

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I suppose I’d have to go back to the beginning. When a six-year-old Rachel sat in the movie theatre after her first screening of Titanic and the credits rolled. Something inside of me just clicked.

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My Heart Will Go On became the first in what would become a collection of ballads I would memorize and sing at all hours of the day staring at myself in the mirror performing in a melodramatic fashion.

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And now, in less than one year, I will see my idol in person. I will breathe her angelic air and hear her golden voice live. Because my mother knows me to my core, she was determined to get these tickets. She joined a Celine fan club to get early access to tickets and on the morning they went on sale, she was prepared to fight the masses with two cell phones, an iPad and a laptop. After we lost out on Adele tickets in 2016, she was not taking any chances! After about 73 failed attempts, she gets them. 8 tickets for me, her and 6 of my BFFs. It’s not until after she’s paid she realizes she accidentally bought us VIP tickets. Like, OK, do I smell a meet and greet in my future?!?!! After further research, we discover the 8 VIP tickets we purchased give us 8 commemorative lanyards and 1 CD. A single CD. For the 8 of us to share. We’ll be creating a rotation schedule so everyone gets equal amount of time with the disc.

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And we are also all going to channel different Celines for our wardrobe and makeup, so we or may not go viral.

 

 

Time:  1.5 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 1 tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 puff pastry
  • 4 rainbow carrots
  • 1/2 a bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Thaw puff pastry for 40 minutes
  • Arrange carrots + asparagus on two lined baking sheets
  • Drizzle each with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + some S+P
  • Roast 20 minutes, tossing once in the middle, remove the asparagus, cook carrots a couple more minutes
  • Meanwhile combine basil + walnuts + nutritional yeast + garlic + lemon juice + S+P in a food processor, process on low + add in remaining olive oil
  • Spray a baking sheet with oil + place puff pastry on sheet
  • Spread pesto on thawed puff pastry, leaving edges plain
  • Cut carrots in half, length wise + place them + asparagus on top of the tart in whatever order your heart desires
  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until crisp to your desire
  • Cut in quarters + serve warm
  • Take a quarter in your hand + crunch it up over your tilted mouth letting the crumblies fill your pie hole

Vegan Eggplant Parm Sammies

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With the turn of the year, comes the turning of a new leaf.

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I’m going vegan. Without cheating.

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I’ve been 90% vegan since July with the OCCASIONAL slip. I’m a weak, worthless wimp, I know it. But THIS IS IT. My last hoorah was New Year’s Eve.

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I started out the day on a positive note, scraping some decadent-looking pecorino from my brunch. Then I arrived at Century Link Field to watch my baby Seahawks get they butts whooped and my emotions and hunger pangs were running rampant. My husband could see my dismay. Toward the end of 2nd quarter, up to the nosebleed section my knight walks with a piping hot Papa John’s. This is why I married him. Once I stuff my face, I have the energy to talk smack to the opposing team’s fan sitting next to me. I needed to cool off so I took a bathroom break. Then, I spy the Papa’s with my very own eyes. Mini Rachel angel and mini Rachel devil appear on my shoulder. Whose advice do you think I took?

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After my second personal pan pizza in 1 hour, I have decided I’m a sick, sick person.

 

Time: 1 1/2 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4 sammies

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, peeled + sliced thin
  • 3 roma tomatoes, washed + sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin
  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp. of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1 cup of oats, finely ground
  • 2 tbsp. of flax meal
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • Toasted ciabatta rolls, for serving
  • 1/2 cup of your favie marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Arrange eggplant slices in a colander + sprinkle with salt + let drain for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, combine oats + flax + crushed red pepper + S+P in a bowl
  • Pat dry eggplant slices, dredge in oat mix + arrange on lined baking sheet, repeat (I needed to use three cookie sheets) + drizzle eat sheet with 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Bake for 15 minutes, flip + bake another 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, arrange tomatoes + S+P on a lined baking sheet + drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + bake for 20 minutes
  • In a skillet over low-medium heat, add a tbsp. of olive oil
  • Add onion + S+P, let caramelize for 8-10 minutes, stirring often
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine basil + nutritional yeast + walnuts + garlic + S+P, while processing drizzle in remaining olive oil
  • To serve, spread some marinara on one bun + some pesto on another + add eggplant slices + tomatoes + onion + make a sammie, repeat
  • Find machine to shrink self + arrange body in between buns to become one with sammie

Vegan Kale + Squash Pesto Pizza

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I’m working on an exposé.

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About the people we become in airports.

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This is going to be hard-hitting journalism, people.

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A taste of the full piece: some of us become germaphobes and wipe down our armrests and tray tables with Clorox wipes (this is what I strive to be). Some of us put on suits and compare diamond elite status and frequent flyer miles with one another. Some actually walk through the airport in heels and, while we look amazing doing this, our pinky toes temporarily fall off of our feet (also strive to this because pain is beauty). Occasionally, we roll out of bed and rock the latest sleepy pant fashion and pretend we do not have a care in the world. Sometimes we become complainers and comment on everything from the refreshment selection to the safety precaution presentation the airlines make to KEEP US ALIVE AS WE FLY THROUGH SPACE.

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My favorite, though, are those who become shoe-taker-offers. How bold!

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 1 pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough (me gusta Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed + removed from the stem + chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced thin
  • 2 cups of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 4 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. of onion powder
  • 1 tsp. of chili powder
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • In a food processor, combine basil + walnuts + garlic + lemon juice + 1/2 the nutritional yeast + some S+P, process on low + drizzle in 2 tbsp. olive oil + some water to thin it
  • In a bowl, combine kale + 1 tbsp. of olive oil, massage well
  • Toss remaining nutritional yeast + garlic powder + onion powder + chili powder + S+P into the kale bowl
  • Arrange on a lined baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes, toss + bake another 10, remove + set aside
  • Up the heat to 350
  • Arrange zucchini + squash on a lined baking sheet + drizzle with remaining olive oil + S+P, roast for 15 minutes
  • Stretch yo dough, spread lots of pesto + top with roasted squash
  • Bake for 8 minutes
  • Top with kale chips + serve warm
  • Fold pizza in half like a taco to double the amount you can cram in your piehole at once