Cranberry Orange Sauce with Ginger

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This year was the first year that I made cranberry sauce from scratch and I was amazed at how easy it was to make with only a few ingredients. To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving dinner but this homemade sauce has completely changed my mind. Why anyone would ever buy store bought again is beyond me… You can add so many different flavors to your homemade cranberry sauce. In this recipe, I added fresh squeezed orange juice and ginger and just enough sugar so that the sauce remains slightly tart. This sauce was perfected through trial and error. The first batch I made came out incredibly bitter and after extensive research I came to realize that I was over cooking the cranberries. They only need to be simmered for about 10 minutes. Do not make the same mistake I did! In addition, cranberries contain high amounts of pectin, which is released when you cook them. This causes the sauce to naturally thicken to the consistency of a jam. This recipe yielded about 2 1/2 cups but I doubled the recipe and decided to freeze some. Who ever said cranberry sauce should be exclusively served at Thanksgiving dinner was crazy. I served this sauce along with Camembert cheese (similar to Brie) and it was a pair made in heaven. Tip: The leftover cranberry sauce is super yummy in Greek yogurt!

Time:15 mins
Yields: 2 1/2 cups
Dietary Info: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

•1 12-16 oz. bag of cranberries
•1 heaping cup of sugar
•1 cup water
•1-2 inch piece of ginger, grated
•1/4 cup fresh orange juice, added last
•Pinch of nutmeg

Throw everything except orange juice into a large pot. Bring to a medium boil and then simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat and and stir in orange juice. Transfer to a bowl or airtight container and allow to cool completely. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Optional: Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. This allows the sauce to thicken even more. Enjoy!

Baked Tofu Stir Fry with Sesame and Ginger

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Serves: 4-6

Time: 1 hour

Dietary Info: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

It has recently occurred to me that I do not experiment enough with meat substitutes. So, I decided to make this baked tofu stir fry. As far as meat alternatives go, tofu is really not my favorite thing in the world ….but if its prepared just right it can be pretty damn yummy! When it comes to tofu, the firmer the better so I use extra firm tofu. I baked it for about 30 minutes in order to release most of the moisture. Note: if you are short on time, you can drain the tofu the night before and allow it to marinate overnight. You can serve this recipe over rice but I think this stir fry is delicious on its own! I made this recipe with broccoli, carrots and bell peppers but you can certainly mix it up by using your own variety of veggies!

For the sesame ginger sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup Gluten-Free soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

    For everything else:

  • 1 12 oz. package of extra-firm tofu
  • 1 small crown of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon scallions, sliced for garnish

    1. Slice tofu block in half and lay both halves on a flat surface, covering with a cloth. Place a large cast iron skillet or a stack of books on top of the tofu. Allow tofu to drain for 15 minutes. While tofu is draining, whisk together all ingredients for the stir fry sauce.

    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place drained tofu in a large bowl or roasting pan and pour half the stir fry sauce overtop. Allow tofu to marinade for about 15 minutes, flipping once.

    3. Slice tofu into rectangles, about 1/2 inch thick. Place sliced tofu on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning tofu halfway through. While tofu is baking, prepare veggies.

    4. In a large skillet (or wok), add about 2 tablespoons of stir fry sauce. On medium heat, add veggies and stir frequently. Gradually add the rest of the stir fry sauce. Cook for a total of 5-7 minutes so that vegetables don’t get soggy.

    5. Serve baked tofu overtop veggies and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

    Spiced Zucchini Carrot Loaf with Walnuts

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    Brrrrrr! The “polar vortex” that has hit the Northeast has certainly kept me indoors (and dreaming of springtime) for the past few days. However, being cooped up inside has given me the opportunity to make some real yummy things! This zucchini carrot bread is the perfect winter treat, especially delicious right out of the oven! Note: You can change things up by adding 1/4 cup nuts (pecans would be good too!) and 1/4 cup raisins.

    Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices)

    Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    • 1 cup grated zucchini
    • 3/4 cup grated carrot
    • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2/3 cup vegetable oil + 1 tablespoon for greasing pan
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate zucchini and carrots and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs. Add sugars, vanilla and vegetable oil. Continue whisking until combined. Grease a 9-by-5 inch pan with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and set aside.

    2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Add flour mixture to the large mixing bowl. Stir until well combined using a large mixing spoon. Add grated zucchini, carrot and walnuts. Stir to combine.

    3. Gradually pour mixture into greased 9-by-5 inch pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (baking times may vary). Allow bread to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then transfer the loaf to a wire rack by inverting. Note: You may want to loosen the bread by using a spatula or knife. Allow bread to cool several minutes longer and then slice! Bread will stay fresh for up to 3 days. I usually cover mine in foil. Enjoy!