Cheezy Mexican Noodles


One of the hardest things to do since I have eliminated dairy from my household is not making a huge pot of cheesy noodles for the kids when I need dinner quick. It was the one dish that I knew the kids would devour without hesitation. I have tried other non-diary recipes to replace the “traditional”….ahem…boxed version, and the kids weren’t having it😦


This recipe has been a work in progress for several months. I have tweaked it several times until it received their stamp of approval. I finally knew that I had it when on a Friday night in January, three 12 years old girls (all of whom think food with the words gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan in it, is not really food) sat down at my dinner table and happily finished their entire bowls of Cheezy Mexican Noodles. It was like a belated Christmas present!!!

I love this sauce so much that I could probably drink it out of a cup. It’s velvety, salty and spicy…


Poured over a pot of brown rice noodles and tossed with some black beans and yams makes it a complete meal. However, if you are in a hurry then noodles and sauce works just fine.

It might just be a delightful coincidence that after weeks of trying to get this recipe on my blog that I am also heading to Mexico for some fun in the sun this week…or perhaps its just the universal aligning🙂

Either way, life is good!

Ola amigos


Cheezy Mexican Noodles

Serves 4-6 people



3 tbsp non-dairy butter, I use soy-free Earth Balance

1 cup Daiya Mozzarella-style shreds

1 cup non-dairy milk (almond or flax works)

1/8 cup nutritional yeast

2/3 cup cashew cream

2 tsp Herbamare, or sea salt if you don’t yet have Herbamare

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 small jalepeno, finely diced

Other ingredients:

1- 16 oz bag of brown rice noodles, cooked as per directions

1- 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2″ cubes and baked for approx. 20 mins

a handful of cilantro, chopped

1 ripe avocado, sliced

  • in a medium sauce pan melt the butter and then add the Daiya until melted and smooth
  • stir in the milk, nutritional yeast, cashew cream and spices and then set aside
  • in a large pot combine all the remaining ingredients with the sauce and serve immediately, saving the avocado to garnish on the top


Creamy Coconut Lentils

Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

I will make this short and sweet…thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for making my dream/goal of running my very own food blog a successful reality in 2013. I appreciate your support and encouragement so much. It’s a beautiful thing when you have an idea and it comes to life!

I am pretty sure 2013 had been my most eventful year of my life. Lots of ups (a few lows) and I am grateful for all of it. This blog has definitely been like a journal for me. A journal through food and photography😉

My favourite dish combination has to be rice and beans…or PULSE and beans, if you will. I probably have a dozen variations that I make continuously and yet somehow my brain always think they are different. It is no surprise that dishes like this have been eaten globally for tens of thousands of years. It just works. Every time.

Wait…I may have just decided on a theme for my first cookbook😉

“101 Ways to make Rice and Beans” or “Pulsating Beans”…a work in progress!

It is a meal in itself with only a few ingredients needed. In fact this particular recipe only requires about 4 ingredients plus a few spices.  And on these cold winter nights nothing satisfies they way this hearty dish can.



For a slight variation it is fantastic with baked zucchini (I simply cut the zucchini lengthwise and bake at 350 for about 20 min with a little olive oil and sea salt)…yum!


I hope and trust that the close of the past year is joyous and reflective for all of you!

Here’s to 2014 and all of the wonderful food possibilities.


Creamy Coconut Lentils

Serves 4-6

Prep Time 20-25 mins


4 cups cooked coconut jasmine rice (cook as per instructions using coconut water instead of regular water and then finish with 2 tbsp coconut oil once fully cooked)

3 cups vegetable broth

2 cups of dry red lentils

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

1 tsp tumeric

1- 400 ml can of coconut milk

sea salt to taste

handful of chopped cilantro

2 tbsp sriracha (optional)

  • Bring vegetable broth and lentils to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Then reduce heat to low and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Approx. 15 mins
  • Add garlic powder, cumin, coriander, tumeric and salt. Stir to combine and then add coconut milk. Heat for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Scoop creamy lentils over the coconut rice and finish with sriracha and cilantro. Easy peasy!



A few years ago when I was in school taking studying Holistic Nutrition, I met a beautiful chef who shared the same love of food as I do (albeit not vegan food but I adore her nonetheless).  Her name is Christina and among many other things she is a Red Seal chef, Holistic Nutritionist and operates a gorgeous blog

Throughout my time at CSNN she introduced me to several simple and delicious recipes. I had never experienced Muhamarra before she passed on the recipe and I was over the moon excited once I tried it. This dip works with anything- cucumbers, baked sweet potato medallions, crackers, bread, whatever!


Pomegranates are a fruit that contain a variety of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help to improve the skin, bone quality, digestion, cardiovascular health and much more!!!

I have used this spread numerous times for different types of get togethers or holiday parties and it is perfect for this time of year. What screams HOLIDAYS more than pomegranate?…aside from a spiced rum and holly nog😉


So please do not skip out on the pomegranate molasses. If you don’t know already it has so many uses and tastes delicious. Buy the large bottle (stick with me) and I will help you figure out how to use it!



Created by

1.5 cups walnuts (lightly roasted)

12oz jar roasted red pepper (or if roasting yourself then use 2 bell peppers)

1/4 cup EVOO

2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried chili flakes

salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season with salt. Allow  to rest in fridge for a couple of hours before serving. Cut up you favorite veggies or pita bread and serve on the side.

Quick Tip: Scoop muhamarra dip into a large Ziploc bag and then cut a small opening in one corner to create a piping bag!


To create the sweet potato medallions I used a thin sweet potato to start, peeled it and then cut into equal slices. Lay them on a baking sheet coated with a small amount of olive oil and bake at 350 for approx. 20-25 mins (turning half way through)


Also great served simply as a dip for raw veggies…


Eggnog Biscotti


I am still here I promise!

This whole moving thing has proven to be more disruptive than I originally anticipated. Just trying to establish myself in my kitchen has been a part-time job. So throughout the last several weeks I have been relying on my “old” and favourite recipes. Not a lot of new creations happening for me right now but luckily old favourites are comforting and easy. There has been a lot of avocados and pasta dishes in my mouth lately🙂

As I write this it has occurred to me that perhaps there is only so much creativity that can happen in one person’s brain at one time. Moving into a new space has required a certain level of creativity but I am also re-creating my work situation and well… actually my entire life situation! It’s exciting and at times, overwhelming.

My taste buds are looking forward to getting back in the kitchen to create new dishes for myself and my family. Until then I have decide to share with you a few of my favourite recipes from other bloggers, foodies and/or food professionals that are perfect for this time of year.

If you are a vegan then you need no introduction to Angela posts incredible food ideas on her blog and will someday very soon be in every vegan’s cookbook collection. Her Eggnog Biscotti recipe is one that I have been making over the past few years for my loved ones at this time of year. When I say it is amazing, I truly mean it is A-MAZ-ING! I make as many batches as I can and yet still I always seem to not have enough. I always hide a few pieces for myself and only hand them out to a select few at Christmas time.

On a very important side note: If you have previously received these from me and are not receiving any this year, don’t worry, we are (probably) still good! I decided a few weeks ago to do only what is necessary to get me through the holiday season this year…and baking didn’t make the cut. So I apologize if you were hoping for a batch but I should be back to my MarthaStewart-self by next Christmas😉


I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do (actually maybe you can control yourself and eat a few less than I do).

I will be back in a few days to share another holiday recipe…

Vegan Eggnog Crunch Biscotti

Crisp, nutty, and chewy, with a lovely eggnog flavour, this biscotti will have you in the mood for the holidays in no time. In addition to using toasted nuts, I added some dried sweetened cranberries to give it a nice chewy texture. I bought some rectangular holiday tins from Loblaws, but you can also find tins at Michaels and some bulk food stores like Bulk Barn. It makes a lovely gift! See below for nutritional info.

Yield: approx. 17 pieces

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts, toasted (I used a mix of walnuts and pecans)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup natural cane sugar
  • 2.5 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (or 1.5 tsp pre-ground)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon (or 1/2 tsp pre-ground)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup + 1.5 tbsp vegan eggnog (I use Vitasoy Holly Nog)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Eggnog Glaze:

  • 1 cup organic icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegan eggnog
  • 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp pre-ground)
  • tiny pinch of kosher salt & cinnamon, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325 and toast chopped nuts for 10 mins. Remove and cool. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl mix the wet ingredients. Add the wet to dry and mix with a spoon until it starts to come together. Now use your hands to squeeze together the dough and mix it completely, being careful not to overmix.

3. Divide the dough in half and place on prepared baking sheet. With palm of hand, press down each half to flatten. Place a piece of parchment paper over top of one half and roll it out into a log (approx 10 inches by 5 across and 1/2 inch thick), using your hand to shape as necessary. Repeat with the second log.

4. Score the logs with a knife and bake for 30 mins at 350F. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 325F. Cool for 5 mins on stovetop and then slice the logs. Gently flip pieces onto one side and bake at 325F for 10 mins. Remove from oven, flip, and bake another 5 mins at 325F. If you like the biscotti SUPER crisp, bake another 5 mins.

5. Cool for 1 hour on a baking rack and then store in a glass container. To prepare glaze, whisk all glaze ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Place glaze into a baggie, snip off the very end, and “pipe” over top.

Nutritional Info (makes 17 servings, per biscotti, without glaze): 161 kcals, 7 grams fat, 22 grams carbs, 1 gram fibre, 10 grams sugar, 2 grams protein.

(with eggnog glaze, makes 17 servings): 190 kcals, 7 grams fat, 31 grams carbs, 1 gram fibre, 17 grams sugar, 2 grams protein.

Read more:


Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Who doesn’t LOVE homemade muffins!?!

I do.

Now if someone could just bring me some that would be fantastic!🙂

So here I am in my new home trying to get my life back to its new normal. I have spent the last week and a half painting and moving. That’s right I said MOVING (who likes moving?…oh ya no one).  I am exhausted but content. Hopefully within this next week I will get back to doing what I do…sharing food ideas on Instagram (@figbasil) and creating new recipes with you all. I am looking forward to sharing some holiday sweets and appetizers in December.

Until then, my lovely friend Stacey has given me an amazingly delicious looking muffin recipe that she created just for my Fig and Basil readers. A huge thank you to Stacey for this!

Check it out and let me know how it turns out. Also go find Stacey’s blog at

Have a great week! Emily

Stacey’s post:

Image 1

Anyone who has children knows that baking of some kind is almost a parental requirement, whether it’s a birthday cake, cookies or muffins. While some muffins can be loaded with sugar, refined oil and refined flour this recipe is the exact opposite. I try and find ways around refined ingredients without compromising taste.

This pumpkin bran muffin is dairy free, wheat free, gluten free and low fat. The quinoa and almond flour are high protein flours and loaded with oat bran, they are high in fiber. Oat bran is a soluble fiber which helps to clear the digestive system. The pumpkin puree adds a great nutritional boost, high in vitamin A and beta carotene.

Sweetened with pure maple syrup and molasses, unrefined sources, they are not overly sweet. I like to serve them with coconut butter, which is naturally sweet, and warm tea.


Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Vegan, Gluten Free, No Refined Sugar

Yield: 12 muffins

Author: Stacey Deering, RHN,


1 cup oat bran (gluten free if required)

1/2 cup quinoa flour

1/2 cup almond flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoons ground flaxseed

6 tablespoons warm water

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons molasses

3/4 cup almond milk

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins

pumpkin seeds for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper muffin liners in a 12 hole muffin pan.
  2. Combine the oat bran, quinoa flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the ground flaxseed with warm water, stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Then add in the pumpkin puree, molasses, almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until mixed well. Stir in the raisins.
  5. Divide the batter equally into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on the top of each muffin.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Image 2

Hello everyone!

This week I was thrilled to be asked to contribute a vegan recipe to my friend, Stacey Deering’s amazing blog. Stacey is literally a SUPERWOMAN (no exaggeration) and when I grow up I want to be just like her😉

Stacey is a Holistic Nutritionist, a Personal Trainer and frequently offers seminars and classes on how to live your best life.

To checkout my most recent recipe and to find out all the very cool things about Stacey, go to

And in return Stacey has generously agreed to guest blog on my page very soon with one of her baking recipes (I know most of you wish I would throw in a little sugar every once in awhile ;))…so stayed tuned for that! 

Hope your week is going well.



Cauliflower Risotto

Change is a comin’

My reality right now is that I have a lot of balls in the air combined with ALOT of change happening. And for the most part I am okay with change and I am doing my best to embrace it. Not all change is bad and in fact, my life is a perfect example of difficult change and amazing change happening simultaneously. It’s all good!

Regardless of what’s going on in my life or your life, fuelling our body properly is an important part of being and feeling our best. And by best I mean feeling energized throughout the day, staying focused and never feeling deprived of food🙂


So this week I am excited to share with you a recipe that tastes amazing and will leave you feeling full of energy…Cauliflower Risotto! Cauliflower is one of those “traditional” veggies that maybe you relate to bad veggie trays or perhaps you believe that in order to properly enjoy cooked cauliflower it needs to be covered in a cheese sauce. No way!

Cauliflower is an extremely versatile vegetable and there are tonnes of modern recipes popping up all over food blogs. It is rich in potassium, folic acid and vitamin C , is about 25% protein and is among the cancer-preventive cruciferous vegetables.


Pair this dish with something green to balance out its richness. I made it this week with a simple persimmon salad but it would also be fantastic with sautéed greens like kale or spinach.

Hope you are enjoying the first signs of winter. Because lets face it, regardless of whether or not you enjoy change, it will happen anyway😉

Bye for now


Cauliflower Risotto

Serves 4

Prep time: 30 mins


3 lbs. cauliflower (about 1 large head)

1/4 cup Earth Balance or whichever butter substitute you use

1/4 cup bread crumbs, I used 4 slices of GF bread toasted and then pulsed in food processor

1 tbsp fresh thyme

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

3/4 cashew cream (1/2 cup raw cashew soaked for 30mins, drain & rinse, blend in blender with fresh water until you get the consistency you desire)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 1/2 tsp white truffle oil (optional)

sea salt and pepper to taste

  • Trim core and cut leaves from cauliflower. break into chunks, then pulse in food processor until broken into tiny florets
  • In a large frying pan, melt 1 tbsp butter over med-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring until toasted, about 3 minutes. Add thyme leaves and toss to combine. Pour into small bowl. Wipe frying pan clean
  • Add remaining butter into pan along with cauliflower, shallots and vegetable broth. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring often until cauliflower is just tender, 5-7 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring often until all liquid is absorbed, another 5-7 minutes
  • Stir in cashew cream and nutritional yeast and heat until boiling. Remove from heat and drizzle in truffle oil (if using). Season with sea salt and pepper
  • Serve in bowls and top with toasted bread crumbs

Halloween Hangover

Does anybody else wake up the day after Halloween and think “What did I just DO last night?” It quickly sets in that I willingly dressed my kids up in a ridiculous costume and encouraged them to fill there pillow case with as much candy as they could grab. All the while participating in the madness by stuffing handfuls of candy into my neighbours kids!!!…and there was NO alcohol involved in this scenario!

Today a friend reminded me of something that is an important issue especially the day after Halloween (and no I am not talking about how many mini chocolates bars I consumed!),  I am talking about  Red food dye.

I have blogged about this previously and so for some of you this might just be a reminder as well. And if this is the first time you are hearing about the dangers of our children consuming red food dye, then I am excited to be a part of your new awareness!

Here is a great article by Dr. Mercola on artificial food dyes;

For most of us at parents, this time of year is a tricky time to maneuver through. On the one hand it feels so amazing to watch our kids get all ramped up on the idea of collecting candy. The wonderment in their eyes is almost too much cuteness per square inch. However on the other hand, we cringe at the realization that there is now more junk food in our home in one night than the total amount that passes through in an entire YEAR! We set ourselves up and then suffer the consequences of experiencing the worst versions of our kids for the next few weeks.

And WHY?…oh ya,  because they are stuffed into an adorable animal suit with only a couple of chubby cheeks sticking out and they all of a sudden believe that you have single-handedly created this utopia where fairies bounce down our streets and adults toss Smarties out their front door🙂

Okay so I am being a total bummer right now😦 For the most part we make it through each year and our children are no worse for wear. But lets not kid ourselves, red food dye is no joke. It is detrimental to our children’s health and it should be avoided at all costs. I recently read this article in the Huffington Post about this very thing…

The most surprising part for me was the understanding that a few major candy manufacturers actually have an alternative to petroleum based red food dye in their products. Since red food dye is banned in Europe companies like Mars use natural food dyes for their European supply. What? Is it that simple. Why then are we not demanding the same treatment!?!

It only takes a few minutes to rummage through your Halloween candy and pick out the items that have this mood-altering, headache-making, hyperactivity-causing ingredient. And if you are not willing to remove the Skittles or M&Ms or Smarties then at least educate your kids to take out the red ones when then rip open the package…but seriously, blue food dye is not much better! Sorry if I have ruined your buzz😦

I wish all you parents out there peace and patience during these difficult times😉

Protein Pizza

So I hope you all enjoyed your short week last week, because honestly it messed me UP!

I spent most of the week thinking it was the day prior.

My inner dialogue sounded something like this…”Oh shoot I cannot do that on Tuesday cause I have that thing, oh, actually, hold on a second, it’s Wednesday never mind. Oh crap! It’s Wednesday I am supposed to be at that other thing :/”

So here in lies the reason that I am sending out my blog post on Monday instead of my usual Sunday. I really hope this does not mess you up for the rest of the week😉

Thankfully in the kitchen I don’t adhere to any weekly food schedules, you know like Taco Tuesdays.  So throwing together meals was just as wonderfully spontaneous as most weeks are. I started last week with an idea that I couldn’t let go of and that was that my kids are not getting enough protein. Not that I am jumping on the “protein bandwagon” because as a mostly vegan adult I have no concerns about getting enough protein. My kids however are another story. If you let them, kids will very quickly (and without warning) jump into a “food rut”.  Sticking with what they know, or like, can somehow turn into a less than colorful plate…Brown rice pasta with butter or cheese pizza (both non-dairy, of course)…neither of which carry alot of protein!

Well, until now  :)

I am a huge lover of beans. I could eat them at every meal and usually try to sneak them in to a few dishes throughout the week. But more often than not, I find them carefully removed and resting on the side of my kids plates😦 My heart breaks a little each time.


On Tuesday this week I was whipping up a homemade pizza sauce for dinner and a tiny little light bulb went off in my head. Why not hide the beans in the sauce? Brilliant! (my inner dialogue said) I had some fresh white beans in the fridge so I threw them right into the food processor with the rest of the sauce. Could it really be that easy? I felt a little like Jessica Seinfeld🙂

Up until this point no one is aware of any of my deceptive behaviours and watching them inhale their pizza was enough to make me smile. Because the sauce wasn’t the only thing that I “rigged” with protein😉 I also substituted some of the white flour with quinoa flour and it was completely undetectable.


This sauce is also great as a pasta sauce or shoved into a quesadilla

But don’t be fooled by the veggie pizza pictures…those were for me. The kids still want their “cheese” pizza, but at least I know that I have controlled the amount of sugar, salt and protein that they are eating with this homemade pizza sauce. And that is a small victory that I feel good about🙂


Have a great week!


Protein Pizza Sauce

1- 28oz can crushed tomatoes

1-14oz can navy beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp dried basil

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp sugar

2 cloves roasted garlic

1 tsp sriracha (optional)

  • Add all ingredients into a food processor and combine until smooth

Protein Pizza Dough

Prep time: about 1 hour

2 cups warm water

1 tsp dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp sea salt

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups organic unbleached white pastry flour

1 cup quinoa flour

  • Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees for 10 mins and turn it off.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar and let sit until the mixture begins to bubble, about 5-10 mins.
  • Add the salt and olive oil to the mixture. Slowly add the pastry flour. When the dough starts to thicken, use your hands to mix in the quinoa flour and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a large oven-safe bowl that has been lightly oiled and cover with plastic. Set the dough inside the oven until it has doubled in size , about an hour.
  • When the dough has expanded, place a floured flat surface and roll out the dough.

From here, the sky is the limit with whatever toppings you enjoy most! On this pizza I have added grilled zucchinis, chopped orange bell peppers, steamed asparagus ribbons and finished with Herb de Provence cashew nut cheese.


Best Stuffing EVER!

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!

However it is that you celebrate or acknowledge this holiday, one thing seems to be a common thread amongst us all and that is appreciation!

It’s a beautiful thing.

And what’s easier to appreciate than good food? Well, good food prepared by someone else! I don’t get to say this very often (because I truly enjoy creating and prepping food) but last night I was totally spoiled by my dear friend Theresa’s amazing holiday meal…and I didn’t even lift a finger🙂

No exaggeration, this stuffing was phenomenal. At one point towards the end of the meal I was so stuffed I thought I might roll myself home and yet I involuntarily reached over to the dish of stuffing and scooped myself another helping. Now that is appreciation. Sweet, unapologetic appreciation😉

It was so good in fact, that I couldn’t leave without getting the recipe.  Then I woke up this morning and headed to the grocery store to pick up the supplies I needed to make it for dinner tonight. I tweaked a few ingredients to make it totally vegan (replacing the butter) and substituted a sourdough loaf.  It turned out just as delicious as Theresa’s version so I would say this recipe is fool-proof!


The oyster mushrooms are definitely a highlight of this stuffing. If you have never worked with oyster mushrooms you will probably be surprised to find them right beside your less-expensive mushrooms in most supermarkets. These sweet mushrooms grow on trees and are harvested in the fall. They are extremely versatile (ideal for soups, stir-frys, stuffing) and their sweet aroma is not lost in the cooking process.

But let’s not sugar coat this, stuffing is just well-seasoned and decorated bread! In all it’s glory, this stuffing is a sweet and savoury dish that should be enjoyed once (or possibily twice) a year without guilt.

I hope this recipe has found you in time to share it with your own family feast this year but if not then save it, or pin it, or do something so that you can impress everyone with your mad cooking skills at your next holiday meal!!!  

Enjoy the long weekend in whatever way that brings you appreciation of your family, your friends, food, oh and lets not forget wine…we should not forget to show appreciation of a good bottle of wine😉


Rustic Bread Stuffing w/dried cranberries, hazelnuts and oyster mushrooms

Serves 8 to 10 people


3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan

2/3 cup dried cranberries

Loaf of rustic bread

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup Earth Balance

1/2 cup finely chopped red onions

1lb (500g) oyster mushrooms, stem trimmed, torn into strips

2/3 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts (to toast, place on baking sheet, bake at 350 for 14 to 18 mins, stirring half way)

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup thinly sliced chives

2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

2 tbsp finely grated orange zest

2 cups vegetable broth


  • Heat the oven to 375. Oil a 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Put the cranberries in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand 15 mins; drain.
  • Remove the crust from the bread and cut the bread into 3/4-inch chunks. In a large bowl, combine the bread, olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, about 20 mins.
  • Remove the bread from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350
  • Melt the Earth Balance in a 12-inch skillet over med-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 1 to 2 mins.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 mins. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, mix the bread, cranberries, mushroom-shallot mixture, hazelnuts, parsley, chives, thyme and orange zest. Stir in the broth. Toss well to combine; the bread should absorb most of the broth.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the stuffing in the prepared dish and cover with foil. Bake for 5 mins; then remove the foil and bake until crusty and golden, about 35 mins.

Make Ahead: Combine all the ingredients except the broth up to 4 hours ahead. Add the broth, put the stuffing in the and hold at room temperature, covered, up to 1 hour before baking.