Category Archives: Recipes

Veggie Moo Shu with Homemade Hoisin

Moo Shu may not be the most authentic Chinese dish, but it is one that I love. When I was growing up, my mom would often cook it at home. With savory filling, irresistible sauce, and chewy pancakes – it wasn’t just delicious, it was fun to eat.

Recently, when looking for something easy to make for dinner, a bag of coleslaw mix inspired me to bring Moo Shu back. This time, it’s veggie-based and gluten free (and easily vegan by omitting the egg). Using pre-shredded cabbage and canned jackfruit makes for quick prep, but takes nothing away from this incredibly flavorful and satisfying meal.

Veggie Moo Shu with Homemade Hoisin

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

Hoisin Sauce (Double for extra sauce.)

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp gluten-free tamari
  • 1/4 cup tahini (recommend Soom)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp miso
  • 1 tsp gochujang (recommend Coconut Secret) or sriracha
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • black pepper

Moo Shu Vegetables

  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 14 oz can of jackfruit, rinsed under cold water
  • 8 oz of mushrooms, sliced (recommend shitakes)
  • 4 tbsp gluten-free tamari, divided
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar, divided
  • 4 green onions, sliced + 2 green onions, chopped for garnish
  • 12 oz bag of coleslaw mix
  • 2 eggs (omit for vegan)
  • For serving: tortillas or wraps of your choice, about 3 per person (recommend Siete Cassava Flour Tortillas)
  1. Make the hoisin sauce by whisking together all ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they begin to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, jackfruit, and mushrooms. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 tbsp of tamari and 1 tbsp of rice vinegar. Stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add 4 sliced green onions and bag of coleslaw mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining 2 tbsp of tamari and 1 tbsp of rice vinegar. Stir and cover with lid. Cook until cabbage is wilted and cooked through, just under 10 minutes.
  5. While vegetables are cooking, prepare the egg, if using. Heat 1 tsp oil a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Whisk the 2 eggs in a small bowl, and transfer to pan. Cook until set, about 5 minutes, then use a spatula to flip and cook 1 more minute. Transfer to plate or cutting board, then slice into thin strips about 1-2″ long.
  6. Remove lid from vegetables. Using a wooden spoon, smash the chunks of jackfruit to break down into smaller pieces. Cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  7. Add egg to vegetables, along with 1/4 cup of the hoisin sauce. Stir then remove from heat. Serve right from the pan, or transfer to bowl. Garnish with chopped green onion.
  8. Prepare tortillas by wrapping them in a damp paper towel and heating on a plate in the microwave. Heat about 30 seconds per 3 tortillas.
  9. To eat, put a heaping spoonful of veggie moo shu in one tortilla, and drizzle with hoisin sauce. Enjoy!

Tried and True Egg Substitutes

Tried and True Egg Substitutes | The Fresh Day
I have resisted seeing a nutritionist for years. Through all my digestive issues, I have read so much about nutrition and experimented with so many foods that I developed my own (fairly strong) beliefs and opinions. I worried seeing a nutritionist could mean spending time and money just to hear about things I already knew or had tried.

Recently, I got a recommendation from a friend for a nutritionist who is incredibly thorough, analytical, respectful, and understanding. Once I made an appointment, I was amazed how much her perspective and experience aligned with mine. I was able to get incredibly comprehensive tests looking at vitamins, minerals, antibodies, allergies and more, which she explained to me line by line. I learned hoards of valuable information about my diagnoses and deficiencies, but also a new allergy – eggs.

Honestly, this was not entirely surprising. While there are times when I really enjoy an omelette, sometimes just the thought of eggs make me a little nauseous. I’m not alone among my friends, and also know that eggs are one of the most common allergy-causing foods for children.

So what to do if you can’t use eggs? They’re harder to swap out than flour or milk, but in many cases, it can be done. I’ve got a few tried and true natural alternatives so that skipping eggs doesn’t have to mean giving up baked goods or breakfast scrambles.

Flaxseed
1 egg = 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp warm water
Mix the flaxseed with warm water and let sit for a few minutes before using. Fairly versatile, it helps with leavening and binding – I would use for baking, breading, mixing into meatballs, etc.

Banana
1 egg = 1/2 banana
Good for binding in baking – think cookies. It does add some sweetness so adjust your recipe if needed.

Applesauce
1 egg = 1/2 cup applesauce
Good for binding in baking – just like bananas but a more mild flavor.

Tofu
1 egg = 1/4 cup silken tofu
Helps add moisture to baked goods, but more important, makes for an awesome breakfast. Tofu can make a mean frittata, and I’ve had tofu breakfast scrambles that I liked even better than the real thing.

Cook Zucchini Like This.

I used to not like zucchini. But the other night, I ate an entire zucchini and wanted more. With vegetables, it’s all about where you get them and how you cook them. Out-of-season and over-steamed, it’s easy to say “pass.” Farm fresh and on the grill? Yes please!

Grilled Zucchini Halves | The Fresh Day

I haven’t been grilling as much as I’d like to this year, but the other night made up for it. In addition to some killer beef kebabs, we made what was hands down the best zucchini I’ve ever tasted. A recipe inspired by weeknight laziness, it was also the easiest to make. The zucchini itself is from my farm share, and was tasty enough to eat raw in a salad. But cooked over charcoal, it was charred, soft, sweet, and flavorful. If you have a charcoal grill, you must try cooking your summer squash this way! The same method can be used with a propane grill, but you will miss out on the distinct smokey flavor.

Grilled Zucchini Halves

makes 4 servings

Ingredients
• 4 small zucchini
• olive oil
• salt

1. Heat the charcoal grill to about 400˚F.
2. Cut off the tops of the zucchini and halve lengthwise.
3. Rub the zucchini halves with olive oil (top and bottom) and salt.
4. Place zucchini cut side down on grates.
5. Cook until zucchini begins to char, approximately 8 minutes (the actual time will depend on your grill and the size of the zucchini).
6. Flip the zucchini and continue to cook until soft, about another 7-8 minutes. Remove from the grill and eat warm.

What’s the Story with Ramps? (And How Do I Cook Them?)

Between dining in the city and freelancing for a farm share, I’ve been lucky to try quite a few diverse, delicious, and unique foods. But until this year, the often sought-after ramps have managed to escape me. If you’re familiar with ramps, you might know that they are notoriously tricky to procure. If you aren’t, well, therein lies the reason.

The Fresh Day | What's the Story with Ramps?

So what is the story with ramps? Why do they disappear from farmers markets almost immediately? Why are they coveted by chefs, touted when on menus, and WHY are they illegal in Canada?

No, it’s not because they’re not hallucinogenic or anything. Simply put, ramps have very limited availability. They can’t be grown domestically, and are only found by foraging in the wild. On top of that, they have a very short growing season – sometimes only a few weeks. The scarcity makes them a novelty, but that alone didn’t earn them their reputation. They are also seriously delicious. Ramps taste reminiscent of leeks and garlic, but they are sweet, smooth, and flavorful in a way that is entirely their own. They’re fantastic plain, sauteed in a little olive oil (see my recipe below), but also add a unique tone of flavor into any dish they’re in.

Where can you get your hands on some? I got them in my farm share last week, but they’re also popping up at farmers’ markets around the city, which are finally all open for the season. Try the Rittenhouse or Headhouse markets this weekend – just get there early!

Sauteed Ramps

• 1 bunch ramps
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• salt to taste

1. Clean ramps by placing in a bowl of water and swirling around, letting all the dirt or sand fall to the bottom of the bowl.
2. Once clean, remove and cut off the tip of the bulb with any roots. Leave the rest of the ramps whole.
3. Heat olive oil in skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat.
4. Add ramps and sauté in oil for 4-5 minutes, until very soft.
5. Season with salt and serve!

Sauerkraut Stew: A Savory, Sour, Spicy, Sweet Flavor Combination You Need to Try

The first time I made this recipe, it was incredible. The second time I made this recipe, I decided that it was so good, there was no way it couldn’t be shared. While sauerkraut stew isn’t something you hear about often (if ever), it really is the perfect combination of savory, sour, spicy, and sweet.

Sauerkraut Stew | The Fresh Day

This past Christmas, I was lucky to receive a gorgeous fermentation crock so I could make large batches of sauerkraut and kimchi at home. Very large batches. The abundance of sauerkraut left me looking for some new uses for it, so when I saw this soup recipe I had to give it a shot. Using the ingredients I had on hand, I tweaked it and was very happy with the result. There’s a lot that goes into this recipe – sausage, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, and more – but sauerkraut is the namesake for a reason. The delicious tang that sauerkraut offers is what makes this stew such a game changer.

Even though there are a lot of ingredients, this recipe is really easy to make. Different than other soups and stews, you add almost all the ingredients at once and then just simmer. It’s a simple, flavorful, and satisfying one-pot meal.

Sauerkraut Stew | The Fresh Day

Sauerkraut Stew

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:
• 1 large onion, diced
• 8 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
• 3-4 white or yellow potatoes, diced
• 6 dried apricots, diced
• 3 cups sauerkraut, in brine
• 1 lb of fresh hot sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 6 cups chicken stock
• 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
• 2 pickled jalapenos (or 1 fresh jalapeno)
• 2 dried chiles, crushed (I used chiles de arbol)
• 2 tsp cayenne
• 1 tbsp paprika
• 1 tbsp caraway seeds
• 2 bay leaves
• sea salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, combine the onion, garlic, mushrooms, potatoes, apricots, sauerkraut, sausage, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down to medium-low and let cook for 30 minutes.
2. After the 30 minutes, add the tomatoes, peppers, and spices. Let cook for another 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and completely cooked.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Sauerkraut Stew | The Fresh Day

The Healthiest Dessert You’ll Ever Make

It’s no secret that I have quite a sweet tooth. It seems that every meal is better when rounded out with a little dessert. Of course, that’s a habit that could easily derail a healthy lifestyle. So I love to  find and create the healthiest dessert recipes possible – and make something sweet part of my daily routine.

The recipe I’m about to share with you possibly takes the cake (no pun intended) for healthiest sweet. I will candidly say that if you are someone whose idea of dessert involves lots of buttercream icing, these may not satisfy you. But if you love the bittersweet flavor of dark chocolate, these will hit the spot and fit right into a healthy lifestyle. I began making these Coconut Carob Bites as a treat while on my cleanse because they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and optionally sugar-free. However, they are still super rich and delicious, starting with a nut butter base that can be customized to your liking. High in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, they are not just a dessert but a healthy snack for anytime.

Coconut Carob Bites | The Fresh Day
Coconut Carob Bites

Makes 10-12 balls

Ingredients:
• 2 heaping tbsp almond butter or cashew butter
• 2 heaping tbsp tahini
• 2 tbsp of carob powder or cocoa powder
• 2 tbsp chia seeds
• 1/2 cup of unsweetened, dried shredded coconut
• 20 drops stevia liquid, or about 2 tbsp of honey, agave, or liquid sweetener of choice
• 1/2 tsp of salt
• 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
• additional 1/4 cup shredded coconut for rolling balls

Equipment:
• Food processor

1. Combine all ingredients (except the coconut for rolling) in a food processor and blend until well-combined. The mixture should be an even, thick paste.

Coconut Carob Bites | The Fresh Day
Coconut Carob Bites | The Fresh Day
2. Prepare a small plate with about 1/4 cup of shredded coconut and unplug the food processor.
3. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the mixture and roll into about 1 inch balls using your hands (just like making cookies).
4. Gently roll balls in coconut to coat. Place them on a plate or in a tupperware container, not allowing them to touch.
5. Refrigerate balls for at least half an hour to allow them to firm up, or place them in the freezer for 10 minutes if you want to eat them sooner. Enjoy without worries and store in the fridge!

Socca: Provençal Chickpea Flatbread

Many of the best gluten-free foods are those that are meant to be. When serving a crowd, rather than baking a cake and substituting the flour, I’ll make a meringue pavlova that has none to begin with. Everyone is happy, and no one thinks about missing gluten. Socca is one of those recipes. The naturally gluten-free chickpea flatbread is crispy on the outside, a bit custardy on the inside, and wholly unforgettable. It came to us by way of Nice in the South of France, where it is traditionally served sprinkled with sea salt in wedges to eat with your hands. This might be my favorite way to eat it, but socca is entirely versatile as a canvas for any number of spices or toppings. A restaurant I love in the city serves it alongside a delicious ratatouille.

Socca | The Fresh Day

It is incredibly easy to make – the base of the recipe is simply equal parts water and chickpea flour. From there, you can add more or less water, making it thin and flexible or thicker and cake-like. Socca is perfect for a cast iron pan, though any skillet will yield tasty results. Just make sure you eat it hot, fresh from the oven.

Socca (Chickpea Flatbread)
(naturally gluten-free)

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
• 1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
• 1 cup water
• 1 tbsp + 1.5 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp salt

Equipment:
• 12″ skillet (preferably cast iron)

1. Mix the chickpea flour, water, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until the batter is smooth, there should be no lumps.
2. Cover the bowl with a paper towel, set aside and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
3. While the batter is resting, heat the oven to 450ºF.
4. When the batter is almost ready, pour the remaining 1.5 tbsp of olive oil into the skillet, then heat it in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
5. Remove the skillet from the oven and pour in the batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is crisp and beginning to blister. Watch closely so that it doesn’t burn.
6. Sprinkle with additional salt and cut into wedges to serve.

Cold-Kicking Tea

This post is inspired by my day home sick from work. ‘Tis the season for colds, coughs, and sore throats. My sick day plans include cuddling with my dog and drinking tea constantly. Not just any tea, but a homemade concoction that keeps me warm, soothes my throat, and helps me get well asap.

Cold-Kicking Tea | The Fresh Day

My cold-kicking tea is made from honey, ginger, lemon, and apple cider vinegar. Each ingredient has its own unique health benefits. Together, steeped in hot water, they taste like a delicious tea that is medicinal in all the best ways.

Honey is known to be a great sore throat soother; you can feel its effects immediately. It is also an effective cough suppressant and helps calm inflammation in the throat and nasal passages.

Ginger is delicious for anytime, but has a whole slew of health benefits as well. When it comes to colds, ginger helps with headaches and dizziness in addition to being anti-inflammatory. Keeping ginger root in the freezer extends the life so you can always have it on hand. I peel and chop the root into small pieces before freezing to make it easy to throw into tea or breakfast shakes.

Lemon juice is a common addition to tea, and these days, simply hot lemon water is also very popular. Lemon’s list of health benefits include bringing down a fever and soothing a sore throat, making it a smart choice when looking to knock out a cold.

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits that have led it to gain quite a fan club. Fermented using a mother culture and a process similar to kombucha, apple cider vinegar is full of probiotics, supporting digestion and the immune system. Drinking apple cider vinegar is also a home remedy for nasal congestion, and mixing it into a tea makes it go down easy.

Cold-Kicking Tea

Makes 1 pot (about 4 cups)

Ingredients
• 2 1/2 cups water
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with the mother (like Bragg’s)
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp honey
• 2-3 1/2 inch pieces of ginger, peeled

1. Bring water to a boil. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small teapot or other heat safe container.
2. Add boiling water and stir to combine ingredients and dissolve honey. Let steep 5 minutes before drinking, and get well soon.

Green Breakfast Shake

My typical weekday breakfast is a green shake. It’s a habit I got into from an annual cleanse I do (more on that later), but kept up because I love starting my day with fruit and vegetables rather than grains and starches. Shakes are super healthy, tasty, and easy to make, as long as you have 5 minutes in the morning.

Green Breakfast Shake | The Fresh Day

I tend to bring my shakes wherever I go; they’re also the perfect breakfast to eat on the run. Friends have asked me what’s in them and how I make them, looking for healthy options, working around food allergies, or just intrigued.

The base recipe is very simple, made up of a few staples I keep in the house. Each day I mix it up a bit, depending on my mood and what’s in season. However, one thing remains consistent – there is always baby spinach. It’s my favorite part. Nutritionally, spinach is off the charts. But raw, in a shake, baby spinach is virtually tasteless. So much so that I play a game with myself, seeing how much spinach I can put in before I dislike it. Still haven’t gotten there.

Green Breakfast Shake | The Fresh Day

Green Breakfast Shake
(naturally raw, vegan, and gluten-free)

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients
Base:
• 1 apple, roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup of frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, etc.)
• 1 generous handful of baby spinach (regular spinach will NOT taste as good)
• 1/4 cup raw almonds, or 1 tbsp almond butter
• 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
• 1/2 cup water, or non-dairy milk (almond, soy, etc.)

Optional additions, chose one or more:
• 1 tbsp fresh ginger
• 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 scoop of non-dairy protein powder (non-GMO soy, hemp, etc.)
• Stevia or honey to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add more liquid if necessary to get your blender going.

Enjoy! Switch the recipe up next time to find your favorite combo and to keep things interesting.

Green Breakfast Shake | The Fresh Day

Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon)

Bagels and lox. A glorious combination, and I think most would agree. After being faced with the need to eliminate gluten, bagels are pretty high up on the list of things I miss. Most gluten-free bagels I’ve tried are pretty much bread with a hole in the middle. Fills the void, but doesn’t fill it well.

Homemade Gravlax | The Fresh Day

The online market of my CSA carries some products from local gluten-free bakeries, which is pretty awesome. This includes bagels from Sweet Note Bakery, a Philadelphia company that specializes exclusively in perfecting the gluten-free, New York style bagel. They are also soy-free, dairy-free, vegan, and non-gmo, garnering some serious respect. Even better, they are the best tasting gluten-free bagels I’ve had, with a chewy texture that’s amazingly close to the real thing.

The best thing to put on these bagels? Salmon, of course. Gravlax is cured salmon, like lox, but without the smoke. I brought home a big filet of wild-caught salmon from the Italian Market with just this purpose in mind. It’s an easy recipe that I like making just because it’s SO cool to be able to cure your own fish. Like ceviche or other raw applications, I suggest starting with the freshest, highest quality fish you can find (though sushi-grade is not necessary).

Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon)

Makes 4 servings (this recipe can be scaled up depending on the size of the salmon filet)

Ingredients
• 1.5 lb filet of salmon, skin on
• 1/4 cup salt
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped, or 2 tbsp of dried dill

Equipment
• 9 x 12 glass or ceramic dish
• plastic wrap

Homemade Gravlax | The Fresh Day

1. Prepare salmon by trimming if necessary and making sure all pin bones are removed.
2. In a small bowl, mix salt, sugar, pepper, and dill. Spread half the mixture in the bottom of the dish.
3. Place salmon skin side down on top of the curing mixture in the dish. Sprinkle remaining mixture evenly over the top of the salmon and gently rub in.
4. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for 3 days, turning over the salmon each day. (The curing mixture should have turned to liquid.)
5. At the end of the third day, gently rinse the curing mixture off the salmon. Thinly slice, removing from the skin. Serve with lemon, capers, maybe some creme fraiche or cream cheese, and bagels, of course.