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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lemon Melt-Away Balls for One

These little minxes will be gone before you can say “ooooh, yummie!” Just in case, the recipe doubles well.

Makes 4 or 5 balls.

½ cup almond flour (I used rice flour and it was just fine)
2 TBLSP coconut flour
Pinch of salt
2 TBLSP maple syrup (or agave nectar)
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon lemon extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (or all vanilla if you can’t find lemon extract)
3 TBLSP coconut oil, melted

  1. In a small bowl, combine the flours and salt.
  2. In another small bowl, combine the maple syrup, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until well combined. Add the melted coconut oil, and blend it in well.
  4. One spoonful at a time (about a generous tablespoon), roll the dough in the palms of your hands into a ball.
  5. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.

  • Roll the finished balls in shredded coconut flakes, granulated sugar, almond flour, cocoa, or powdered sugar. (This variety is shown in the photo.) 
  • Flatten the balls into cookies and run them in the dehydrator or oven at the lowest setting (110 degrees Fahrenheit) for about an hour. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Creamy Lemon-Asparagus Pasta for One

Asparagus is a really good price right now, and I’m thrilled, because I love it. Paired with this tangy and creamy sauce and a bit pf pasta, it’s the basis for one of the best meals ever.

½ cup pasta (I like gluten-free, but just use your favorite)
1/3 bunch of asparagus
1 ½ TBLSP olive oil, divided
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2-3 thin lemon slices, skin and all
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 to 1 ½ TBLSP corn starch (or all-purpose flour, if not gluten-free)
¾ cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
Juice of ½ lemon

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta. Drain it and set it aside.
  2. Meanwhile, put asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with ½ TBLSP of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Top with two or three thin slices of lemon.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. When baked through, chop asparagus into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

  1. While the asparagus is baking and the noodles boiling merrily, heat the remaining olive oil (1 TBLSP) in a small skillet and sauté the garlic in it (about 2 minutes). Be sure to move on to the next step before the garlic has actually browned or it will be bitter.
  2. Add the cornstarch to the milk and stir it thoroughly. If there are lumps here, there will be lumps in your sauce, so keep going until it’s a smooth slurry.
  3. Add the corn starch slurry to the garlic oil and whisk it in for about 30 seconds. Turn the heat down and continue whisking away until the sauce begins to thicken a bit. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, if you like, and keep whisking.
  4. Once it’s thick, add the nutritional yeast. Whisk it in thoroughly or put the sauce in a blender or use an immersion blender.
  5. Return to the skillet over medium heat and add in the lemon juice.
  6. Add half of the asparagus to the sauce and stir to coat.
  7. Place the pasta on your serving dish and top with the sauce and then the remaining asparagus pieces. Serve with a lemon wedge, if you like. Devour with the hunger of a thousand starving vultures. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lemon Curd Tart for One

This little treat will bring out the two-year old in you. It’s ooey, gooey, messy, and sweet, and you won’t be able to stop eating it. Thank heavens there are two of them!

For the Crust:
1/3 cup raw almonds
½ cup pitted dates
Pinch of salt
For the Lemon Curd:
1 TBLSP cornstarch
1 TBLSP cold water
6 ½ TBLSP fresh lemon juice
6 ½ TBLSP granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons vegan butter

Line a single-serving-sized casserole or two ramekins with parchment paper. This may be a nice art project for you, as parchment paper doesn’t come in little ramekin shapes. You might try only lining the bottom and thoroughly spraying the sides with cooking spray. It won’t come unstuck quite as well, but you can pry it off the sides with a slender knife. It’s sticky more than anything.

To Make the Crust:
  1. Place almonds, dates, and salt in a blender or food processor and pulse until it’s a sticky mass.
  2. Press the dough into the ramekin bottom and up the sides. The sides don’t need to be completely covered, but make sure that the bottom is. If you like, you might use a little knife to make sure that the soft crust isn’t pressing up against the walls of the ramekin, which will make it easier to remove later.

To Make the Lemon Curd:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water, stirring until all the lumps are gone. You might need a whisk.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the lemon juice, sugar, zest, and salt.
  3. Once the sugar is dissolved, add in the cornstarch slurry and the milk, stirring well to combine.
  4. Stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and the first few bubbles appear on the surface, about 6 ½ minutes. Don’t walk away from this, or the bottom will burn.
  5. Add the butter and cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 more minutes, until it thickens to the point of a thick pudding.

Assemble the Pie:
  1. Pour the still-molten curd into the pie crust, or let it cool in a separate container and smoosh it into the crust later. Either way, cover it with plastic wrap, letting the plastic touch the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
  2. Let it cool to room temperature, then stick it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

  • Push chocolate chips into the soft curd in a pretty pattern.
  • Melt about 1 ½ TBLSP chocolate chips and pour it over the top of the curd. Let it cool in the refrigerator until the chocolate is solid, about 1 hour.
  • With the extra curd (there will be a few TBLSPs left over), line some candy molds with melted chocolate chips, fill with curd, and top with more melted chocolate chips. Refrigerate or freeze until you can remove them from the mold without squishing them. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Asian Lemon Tofu for One

You’ll need more pans and bowls than usual for one of my recipes, but this dish is well worth the extra washing up. This is a good recipe to make sure that you’ve read ahead and sliced or measured everything before you turn the heat on.

I made the rice and green beans shown in the picture ahead of time and just microwaved ‘em hot once the tofu was fried and cooling its heels on paper towels. But if you have your own sous chef and enough kitchen space, you can probably do it all at once. Be careful—you might have to make extra and share!

6 ounces of extra firm tofu (about half a tub, or perhaps a cup of tofu)
¾ teaspoon flax seed meal
1 teaspoon water
½ cup vegetable oil, plus 1 TBLSP, divided
2 TBLSP sugar
1/3 cup water (or vegetable broth)
5 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry sherry (or mirin)
1 teaspoon tamari (or soy sauce)
2 pinches of salt, divided
A pinch of baking powder
1 TBLSP vegetable oil
1/3 lemon, sliced thinly

  1. Press the tofu for 15 minutes between two plates with a couple of heavy cans on top. (Protect your surfaces by putting it on a towel or a baking tray.)
  2. Heat the waffle iron (yes, the waffle iron) until the light goes off. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. 
  3. Slice the pressed tofu into ½-inch thick slabs, place in a single layer on the waffle iron plate, and close the lid. Your mileage may vary, but it took mine about 7 minutes to be cooked into a firm and yummy waffle-shaped slab of tofu. When you can pick it up and it’s pretty firm when you poke it, and it’s just starting to brown, it’s done. Cut the tofu waffles into bite-sized shapes.
  4. While the tofu is waffling around in there, combine the flax seed meal with water in a small bowl. Leave it to sit while you mix up the marinade.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Then add 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch and the lemon juice to it and give it a stir. You might need a whisk to get it smooth. No lumps! Now add in the sherry/mirin, tamari, and a pinch of salt. This is the marinade.
  6. In a bowl large enough to hold the tofu pieces, combine 4 teaspoons of the cornstarch, a pinch of salt, and the baking powder. Stir in the flaxseed “egg” to make a nice batter. You might need to add water to make it more fluid. It should be a thin paste—a batter.
  7. Heave the tofu pieces into the batter and move them around enough to know that everything is well coated.
  8. In a heavy skillet, heat ½ cup of the vegetable oil. Fry the tofu pieces until golden, turning occasionally. They will be inclined to stick together, so have a Separation Plan in place (I used a second utensil). Drain on paper towels or newspaper. Place lovingly on your serving plate, on a bed of rice, perhaps, or lettuce.
  9. In a small non-stick skillet or saucepan, stir fry the lemon slices in 1 TBLSP of the oil for about 30 seconds. Add the marinade and continue stirring the lemon slices for three minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  10. Pour the sauce over the prepared tofu.

If you like a little heat, toss some pepper flakes into the sauce as you’re cooking it up. I can’t have red pepper, but black pepper is a nice addition too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lemon Chia Chocolate Chip Bread for One

The texture of this little bread is amazing. Try to imagine silky smooth sand, unctuous and moist, plus chocolate chips, and you’re close. It’s sweet, but not like dessert, more like morning sunshine and birdsong.
½ cup brown rice flour (8 TBLSP)
1 TBLSP oat flour (or other flour)
1 TBLSP flaxseed meal
1 TBLSP chia seeds
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce (4 TBLSP)
1 TBLSP maple syrup
1 TBLSP olive oil
½ TBLSP coconut oil
1 TBLSP vegan chocolate chips
½ TBLSP lemon juice
Zest of ¼ lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda

For the Glaze (optional):
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup or maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two ramekins or a small loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

  1. In a small bowl, add all the ingredients. Stir it thoroughly so that there aren’t any lumps. (The chia seeds will want to clump together.)
  2. Glop the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the top.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  4. Let it cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack. Once it’s cooled, remove it from the pan, and if desired, drizzle the brown rice syrup (or maple syrup) on top.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Baked Lemon Tofu for One

One doesn’t normally think of tofu as being loaded with flavor. This simple little dish belies that thought. The sauce is amazing, and after marinating and then baking in it, you’ll be surprised at how much tofu you devour.

½ a block of firm tofu, about 1 cup’s worth
1 TBLSP tamari (or soy sauce)
1 TBLSP lemon juice
1 TBLSP olive oil
1 TBLSP Dijon-style mustard
Big pinch of granulated sugar
1/ teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 TBLSP chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. To prepare the tofu, slice it into thick slabs (about 1” thick) and press it between two plates. You’ll want to put this arrangement with a couple of heavy cans (or more plates) on top of it onto a baking sheet or a plate or something to keep it from making a mess. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. This squeezes out some of the water and makes room for the marinade. (You can do this without pressing the tofu, but it will fall apart more—you won’t have nice cubes. That’s okay. Beauty isn’t everything.)
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the tamari, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, sugar, thyme, salt, pepper, and parsley, whisking it together. Add the tofu, turning it to coat it well with the marinade.
  3. Place the tofu in a shallow baking dish with about half of the marinade and bake for 10 minutes. Give the tofu a stir, pour the rest of the marinade over it, and bake for another 15 minutes.

 Serve over rice or noodles or just eat it straight out of the pan. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lemon Blondies for One

This little darling is more of a cake than a cookie, but it’s bite-sized, tangy, and quick, so I compromised and called it a blondie.

For the Blondie:
1 TBLSP non-dairy butter
2 TBLSP granulated sugar
Pinch of lemon zest
2 TBLSP all-purpose flour (gluten-free flours, like brown rice or chickpea work fine too)
Pinch baking powder
½ TBLSP lemon juice
For the Glaze:
2 TBLSP confectioner’s sugar
¾ teaspoon lemon juice.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a single-serving loaf pan with parchment.
Make the Blondie:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and zest until it’s smooth.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, and lemon juice, stirring with a whisk or a fork. There should be NO lumps! None! Get them all!
  3. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes.

You’ll want to glaze this little beauty while it’s still hot.
Make the Glaze:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon juice with a whisk. Keep going until it’s very smooth. You might need to adjust the juice or the sugar to get it so that it pours slowly.
  2. Drizzle evenly on top of the warm blondies.
  3. Let cool to room temperature, and then put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so.

Slice into two or three blondies, if you like. Or just eat it as it comes.