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Hey Laura, how do I preserve my fresh garden herbs?

Kristina writes:

I have gobs of fresh basil and parsley still going strong in my herb garden. But the weather is cooling down, and it won’t be long before I have to pick all of it, or lose it to frost. What’s the best way to preserve herbs so that I can use them in winter?

Lucky you and your abundance of basil! My favorite way to preserve basil is in the form of pesto, which freezes very nicely in ice cub trays.

Alternatively, you can just freeze an herb (whole leaves or chopped in ice cube trays), either by itself or immersed in olive oil (I did that with rosemary and it is a great soup starter)! Once they are frozen, take the blocks out and store them in a bag or jar in the freezer....Continue reading

Recipe - HeyLaura Wonder Bars (GFCF)

I don’t think I’ve been more proud of a recipe, you guys! This one has turned out so great! Remember that ooey gooey potluck favorite, the Wonder Bar, full of sweetened condensed milk and refined sugar and flour? Well, I’ve cleaned it up and made it even more delicious. Not only more delicious, but also vegan and gluten free…and maybe even raw, if you choose your ingredients with that goal in mind!

Doesn’t that look tempting?

HeyLaura Wonder Bars (gluten free and vegan!)

For the crust
2 c almond meal (not blanched almond flour; I get mine at Trader Joe’s)
1/2 c date sugar (you could use 2-4 TB of agave nectar here - taste for sweetness. I like a hint of sweet, but not enough to drown...

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Recipe - Crockpot Bean Soup

I make soup (usually beans, sometimes minestrone if we have leftover veggies ailing in the fridge) and bread almost every Friday, and by the end of the week it is really nice to have the work done for me. Most weeks I make cornbread (my family’s favorite) or quick biscuits, but sometimes I’ll stir up a batch of dough from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day and we’ll have hot loaves of bread to share with our neighbors and enjoy with butter and honey that night.

I never measure when I’m making bean soup, and I often end up soaking way too many beans. Lately, I’ve started purposefully prepping too many so that I can freeze some soaked beans for later, thus cutting down my meal prep time by...

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Snippets: The Crust Wrap

Are you a parent like me, who grazes off the kids’ scraps and inadvertently consumes a whole meal’s worth of calories off of the “crumbs,” before even sitting down to your own actual meal?

I discovered a new lunch time hack last week. When I cut the crusts off my kids’ ham sandwiches, I added some cheese (they’re dairy free, but I’m not!) wrapped them up in big crunchy leaves of Romaine lettuce, and sat down to the table right away with my very own “Crust Wraps.”

These delicious, inside-out “mini-sandwiches” are a perfect answer to wasted crust and extra calories. Don’t they look delicious?

The Fluffiest (vegan!) Pancakes Ever!

I have been a great source of consternation to my family for the past year of pancake breakfasts. See, I just never bother to write down the recipe. I just sort of put whatever flours I feel like into my Vitamix and whiz them up with enough liquids and an egg or two to make a serviceable batter.

Most of the time, the results weren’t that bad. Sometimes they were great, and only very rarely I’d have to throw a whole batch away and start over.

But there was no consistency, because I never found anything that was really worth making again. Even if they were good at breakfast, the pancakes didn’t keep well. They were also never fluffy “diner style” pancakes. Not always a lead brick, but...

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Bahn Mi-style Noodle Bowl of Delight

My family’s latest obsession is this simple meal of utter deliciousness.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwich, imagine this as the noodley, salady, vegetarian version of it.

Here’s the sandwich version I made once. Looks yummy, huh?

Here’s a picture of the Bowl version:

To make the Bahn Mi Bowl, here’s what you’ll need:

Enough noodles (udon are best, spaghetti will work in a pinch; rice noodles work great for a gluten-free option) for the people you’re feeding.
Boil, rinse, drain, and set aside. You can stir a little sesame and olive oils in if you want, to keep them from sticking.

Tempeh, or meat if you are so inclined.
Marinate in soy sauce and pan...

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Recipe: Arepas

I feel kind of silly giving you this recipe, because it is so stinkin’ easy! But if your family doesn’t have any ties to South America like mine does, you may not be aware of this simple, versatile, and delicious food staple.

a stuffed HLW arepa

You can read a history of arepas on Wikipedia, if you like. I’ll just tell you that they are basically…corn flour pita pockets.

I’m sure millions of Colombians and Venezuelans are shaking their collective fist at me for describing their national dish so rudely. But hey, they’re made out of corn flour, and (at least in many places) split open and stuffed full of deliciousness. If they’re not split, then the toppings go on top, which is also like pita bread! So...

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