A few years back, my brother was living in the windy city of Chicago. Easter weekend was coming up, which meant our traditional Good Friday cooking of Abietz (a family recipe we've been making for years started by our Grandfather - you can read about that story here). We've always been together on this day for as long as I can remember, aside from our college years when sports got in the way. So when he asked me to come visit, I couldn't wait to spend this special weekend together.
My brother showed me all the cool places in Chicago including Eataly (where we purchased all of our ingredients for the Italian bread we were going to make), the Chicago Riverwalk, Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, and a whole lot of awesome places to eat.
And being the super cool brother that he is, he scoped out places that he knew would align with the way I eat. One of those places was True Food Kitchen by Dr. Andrew Weil. He knew this place...
My sister has one of THE BEST Penne alla Vodka recipes around. It's a 'lick the bowl clean' kind of awesome. And a dish so good, I never dared to order it at a restaurant because it always paled in comparison. That creamy pink sauce of hers is...was....divine!
These days, however, I'm kickin it dairy free. But that doesn't mean I still can't enjoy Penne alla Vodka. I love taking old recipes and recreating them with a new twist.
And to be honest, this recipe wasn't that hard to recreate. The sauce contains minimal ingredients - it's a mixture of tomatoes, heavy cream, red pepper flakes and of course, vodka.
So the only thing I needed to make a swap for was the dairy. Seems easy enough!
And since I've cut dairy out of my kitchen for quite some time now, I've learned a thing or two about the awesome alternatives. There's plenty of options! You've got cashews - which work like a charm but don't always...
Okay, so I was in the kitchen the other day making one of my favorite soup recipes - my Spicy, Summer Corn Chowder. It's a little taste of summer, with a touch of fall and soooooo good. As I was gathering the ingredients, I realized I was a little short on celery. So I decided to see what else I could add in place. I looked around and found two poblano peppers and a bunch of yellow potatoes. Perfect!
I didn't think it would change the recipe that much, but it kind of did! It was still similar to the original corn chowder recipe but, now it was even spicier - and I loved it! Plus I added potatoes this time, which I purposely left out of the original because white potatoes can be inflammatory to some people, myself included.
However, they are traditionally part of corn chowder, so in they went. This added more density to the soup. And the next thing I knew, a spicier, heartier version of my original corn chowder was born. The...
Don't say goodbye to summer without making this spicy corn chowder! There's something about freshly husked corn that takes the flavor of this soup to a whole new level. Don't get me wrong, you can totally make this with frozen corn from the grocery store (just make sure it's organic - because who wants to eat GMOs), but if you can sneak in one last trip to your local farm for some fresh corn, I totally would.
And can we just talk about the fact that this is also dairy free. There is no heavy cream in this soup. Instead, I was able to get the beautiful consistency and taste with cashews and steamed cauliflower.
I know cauliflower can sometimes be a little messy to make - but the good news is, you don't have to cut into the cauliflower at all. Just unwrap it from the packaging, remove the green leaves (honestly probably not even necessary) and place the whole head in a steamer basket. That's it. No mess at all. You'll then allow that to cool...
It’s no secret that I love Italy. I’m pretty sure in another life I lived under the Tuscan sun. And I’m almost certain that I will live there again at some stage in this life. Until then I will cook up my favorite Italian recipes for a bit of nostalgia. During my many travels back to my soul land, I used to love getting a dish called, Cacio e Pepe. It’s a creamy pasta that I absolutely adore and it translates to “cheese and pepper.” What could be better in Italy, right?
However, as someone with a gluten sensitivity, I no longer eat pasta, unless of course it is gluten free. And I'm pretty particular, I love my gluten free pasta to be by Jovial Foods. If you haven’t started using their products, go check them out. They use the finest ingredients and even have a farm in Tuscany where they grow some of their products. All around perfect!
So back to the dish. I decided to recreate this recipe by putting...