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Roasted Rosemary Carrots and Chickpeas with Walnuts

April 11, 2017
Roasted Rosemary Carrots and Chickpeas with Walnuts Recipe | Fake Food Free

Peas and carrots have never been all that appealing to me. Carrots by themselves, good. Peas by themselves, or maybe in a pasta dish, good. Together? It’s lost on me. I’m simply not a fan. 

So what do I do when I’m not a fan of something? I make my own version. Sub green peas with chickpeas and magically I find one of my favorite side dishes. 

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Cauliflower Rice with Basil-Spinach Pesto and Chickpeas

October 5, 2016

In this recipe, cauliflower rice is tossed with a spinach and basil pesto and chickpeas. It makes an easy light meal or side dish for anyone at the table because it also happens to be vegan and gluten free. 

Cauliflower Rice with Basil-Spinach Pesto and Chickpeas Recipe | Vegan and Gluten Free | Fake Food Free

I usually post things on Instagram the day I make and shoot them with a note about when they will be live on the blog. Call me old fashioned, but I’m just one of those diehards who still believes in preserving the real-time aspect of social media. Especially those platforms that have a portion of the word instant in their names. 

I typically get a few comments from people who can’t wait to see it, but none quite like this recipe. After posting this cauliflower rice, I not only got comments on Instagram, but also follow up on other social sites about when the recipe would be live. 

I think there is some unspoken rule that says your simplest recipes, the ones you just kind of throw together on a whim, are the ones that garner the most attention. 

That is definitely the case here. 

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Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Wheat Berry Salad with Tahini Dressing

October 3, 2016
Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Wheat Berry Salad with Tahini Dressing | Fake Food Free

Brussels sprouts are a year round food for me, but the frequency that they appear in my meals picks up when fall rolls around. I’ve already stocked the fridge twice with them in the past two weeks. They are a clear favorite in the vegetable category right now. In the grain category, wheat berries are holding their spot at number one. I can’t get enough of a simple wheat berry salad. 

I’ve never served the two together so when I was tossing around ideas for a fall salad, I decided they would probably go pretty well together, especially with a nutty tahini dressing. 

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Pear and Ginger Stuffed Delicata Squash

September 26, 2016
Pear and Ginger Stuffed Delicata Squash Recipe | Fake Food Free

Butternut squash and I have been familiar with each other for quite some time. The standard pie pumpkin? We go way back. Even the kabocha and I have shared many moments together.

But I have to admit that the Delicata squash and I are embarking on a fairly new relationship. 

To date, I think I have purchased one. As in a single squash. It’s been so long ago that I don’t even remember what I did with it. 

I know it sounds crazy. With a winter squash obsession like mine one would expect I’d be an expert at working with them all. 

Well, I’m getting there. It’s finally the Delicata’s time to shine. 

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15 Picnic Recipes to Celebrate the End of Summer

August 24, 2016
15 Picnic Recipes to Celebrate the End of Summer | Fake Food Free

The end of August is rolling around. Even though schools have started and I’ve been thinking a lot about pumpkins, there is still that one big celebration that closes us out of summer and sends us into the next season. 

For all of those Labor Day cookouts and picnics coming up, I decided to go through some of the recipes here on Fake Food Free and pull out a few that are perfect to take or make for your next cookout. Some are from way back when and others debuted just this summer.

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Broccoli Rabe with Brown Rice, Figs and Pecans

August 4, 2016
Broccoli Rabe with Brown Rice, Figs and Pecans Recipe | Fake Food Free

I’m preparing myself for the long road ahead. The long, hot road ahead. 

I could say that I just started thinking about fall, but that would be a lie. Thoughts of fall began for me way back in June. The truth is, I think of fall pretty much every season of the year. 

I keep reminding myself – Self, you live in the Central Valley now. In a few weeks, images of pumpkins, sweaters and warm drinks will enter all of your social media feeds. You’ll flip through them while standing in front of the air conditioner vent. It’s okay. Fall will get here. It just takes its sweet time. 

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Thanksgiving Cooking for Two: Beer Basted Turkey and Olive Pecan Sourdough Stuffing

November 22, 2015

My husband and I often celebrate Thanksgiving by ourselves a few days before we join our families for the big meal. This year I decided to share some recipes for those who might also be doing some Thanksgiving cooking for two. This is the first post in the series. Be sure to check out the side dishes that go with this main course. 

Thanksgiving Cooking for Two | Fake Food Free
I’ll be the first to admit that Thanksgiving isn’t my favorite holiday of the season. It doesn’t make much sense, though. I love fall and pumpkins and I love to cook. Seems like I’d be all over a holiday that has those things well covered. 

I can offer no explanation other than my fondness of a winter wonderland, warm cocktails, cookies and cheesy Christmas movies. It simply beats out Thanksgiving every time. 

Despite it not being my favorite, I still like to cook and I like to get creative. We typically travel to the homes of our families for Thanksgiving dinners. (Yes, dinners. As in two in one day.) There, the family has traditional covered. But it rarely satisfies my need to try some new and creative. 

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Cashew Creamed Corn

June 25, 2015

This corn recipe uses creamy pureed cashews to recreate a favorite summer side dish. With fresh basil blended in, it is full of seasonal flavor. It fits into a vegan or dairy-free diet making it a great option for a variety of eating styles.   Cashew Creamed Corn | Fake Food Free | An easy summer side dish that is vegan-friendly and dairy-free.

Almost three years and I’m still trying to get used to living in a place where the weather varies little throughout the year. Fall is evident as most of the trees change colors and lose their leaves, and although there is no snow, winter brings cooler temperatures.

But spring and summer are a different story. 

In mid-February and early March, I watch people in my social media feeds share about their love or hate of the cold temperatures and snow while we are enjoying full-on spring. It’s that point when I start to lose track of time. Before I know it, the stone fruits show up at our farmers markets and people across the country are sharing pictures of tomatoes from the garden.

Oh, right. It’s almost July. 

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Steamed Japanese Yams with Curry and Lime

May 13, 2015

These tender, steamed Japanese yams are flavored with curry powder and a twist of lime. They make a great side dish or snack!

Steamed Japanese Yams with Curry and Lime | Fake Food Free 
I’ve been intrigued by the world of potatoes and yams for some time. I think it probably started when we traveled to Ireland. Visiting the food markets there opened me up to the reality that there were more varieties than the red skinned and russet I was familiar with.

Then my potato passion moved to my own garden when I was growing red and white skinned potatoes. The excitement reached epic proportions the year I grew Adirondack Blue potatoes (what many people refer to as purple potatoes) and harvested 15 pounds from the garden!

I’m not growing my own potatoes right now, but the adventures have not ceased. They continue with cuisines and cultures that I have to admit took me completely by surprise. I’m not sure I ever expected to find so many Asian varieties of potatoes. They are of the sweet potato and yam family, and they are all over my favorite farmers market in Oakland. Purple, white, orange, yellow — it is seriously a rainbow of taters out there. 

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Baby Yellow Potatoes with Smoky Sauce, Pickled Shallots and Bacon

January 29, 2015

These baby yellow potatoes are a recreation of an appetizer we had while dining out. They are served with a smoky sauce and topped with tangy pickled shallots and crisp crumbled bacon! The Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes I recently received from Melissa’s Produce are the perfect size for this party snack or side dish.

Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes with Smoky Sauce, Pickled Shallots and Bacon | Fake Food Free 

I’m not really a bar person. Brewery tasting room person, yes, but bar person, not so much. I’m talking about the kind where all the cool kids go. The places where you have to scream to speak with someone and get bumped so many times that you aren’t sure if you actually drank your cocktail or splashed it out of the glass. 

Truth be told, though, these places are usually pretty cool, with intriguing interiors and inventive drinks. I don’t like to miss out completely, so if I do go, I prefer to be there about 5:00 pm.

Yes, I know. Old lady. But this is also when happy hour specials are available so I call it me being frugal.

Don’t worry. I see it, too.  Happy hour specials could easily merge into the early bird discounts at the local restaurant and eating dinner at 4:00 pm. I may be on a downward spiral. 

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