Category Archive

Sweet Potato & Zucchini Gratin with Tahini Cream

diy food: sweet potato gratin with tahini cream - drifter and the gypsy blog
The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and the undeniable autumn chill is in the air. Which means it’s time to start cooking some comfort food. Except comfort food usually comes in the form of rich, heavy foods that leave you feeling bloated and bleh. And who likes to feel like that?

diy food: sweet potato gratin with tahini cream - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: sweet potato gratin with tahini cream - drifter and the gypsy blog
Gratin is typically an oven-baked dish that has a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter. Noooot exactly the healthiest choice. Plus, I recently found out I’m both lactose and gluten intolerant, so a dish like this would put me into whatever’s the stomach’s equivalent to cardiac arrest.

I teamed up with my pal Giovanna to bring you a gluten free and vegan take on the traditional gratin. This dish is still rich & hearty, except you’ll want to do a dance party after eating it instead of taking a nap.

diy food: sweet potato gratin with tahini cream - drifter and the gypsy blog
Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. They help regulate blood sugar and immune support.

Zucchini is hydrating, anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant support and helps blood sugar regulation.

Tahini is rich in beneficial minerals that support bone health, vascular and respiratory health, arthritis, PMS, migraines and helps lower cholesterol.

diy food: sweet potato gratin with tahini cream - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: sweet potato gratin with tahini cream - drifter and the gypsy blog
SWEET POTATO & ZUCCHINI GRATIN WITH TAHINI CREAM

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Filling

– 1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced by hand or using a mandolin
– 2 zucchinis, thinly sliced by hand or using a mandolin
– 2 cups spinach
– 1 onion, thinly sliced
– 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

Tahini Cream

– ½ cup tahini
– ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic
– 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
– Juice of 1-2 lemons
– Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Topping

– 4 slices gluten-free bread, chopped
– 2 Tablespoons melted ghee or coconut oil
– Pinch of sea salt

diy food: sweet potato gratin with tahini cream - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: sweet potato gratin with tahini cream - drifter and the gypsy blog
Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Prepare filling: chop vegetables as directed and set aside in a large bowl.

3. Prepare tahini cream: Blend all ingredients together until smooth. If cream is too thick, add a bit of water.

4. Prepare topping: Place bread pieces in food processor and pulse until they reach consistency of crumbs. Add melted ghee or coconut oil and sea salt to taste and pulse once more.

5. Assemble: Add tahini cream and half of topping to vegetables. Toss to coat well and spread out evenly in a baking dish. Top with remaining topping.

6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until vegetables are cooked through and the top has browned.

diy food: sweet potato gratin with tahini cream - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: sweet potato gratin with tahini cream - drifter and the gypsy blog
Recipe developed by Giovanna Garcia // Words & photography by Micaela Hoo

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DIY Food: Strawberry-Matcha Sorbet

diy food: strawberry-matcha sorbet - drifter and the gypsy blog
Whether you live in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, the summer season is on your mind. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, you’re bidding summer your last goodbyes (side note: today is the last day of summer!!) and for those in the Southern Hemisphere, you’re getting ready for the warmer weather to come.

diy food: strawberry-matcha sorbet - drifter and the gypsy blog
San Francisco is pretty weird in that we get our warmest weather during the months of September and October. Our famous Indian Summer means that we get to hold on to our sandals and sunnies a little while longer before the crisp air of autumn takes over.

diy food: strawberry-matcha sorbet - drifter and the gypsy blog
Today’s recipe features strawberries, dates and matcha green tea.

diy food: strawberry-matcha sorbet - drifter and the gypsy blog
Strawberries are definitely a superfood. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, anti-cancer benefits and anti-inflammatory. Strawberries contain the lowest in sugar of all fruits, which keeps blood sugar stable.

Matcha green tea is another food that offers a lot. It’s also rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, supports metabolism, provides energy, regulates blood sugar, supports longevity, cancer-preventive, boosts metabolism and aids detoxification.

This sorbet is naturally sweetened with fresh dates to keep it free of refined sugars.

diy food: strawberry-matcha sorbet - drifter and the gypsy blog
STRAWBERRY-MATCHA SORBET

Serves 2

Ingredients:

– 1 cup frozen strawberries
– 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
– 1-2 medjool dates
– 1/3 cup coconut water
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– Pinch of sea salt

Procedure:

1. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. You might need to stop blender and use a spatula to push ingredients down from time to time (if using a Vitamix, just use the tamper to keep things moving).

2. Once smooth, place in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm up, sprinkle on your favorite toppings (we used coconut flakes), then enjoy!

diy food: strawberry-matcha sorbet - drifter and the gypsy blog
Recipe by Giovanna Garcia // Photography by Micaela Hoo

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DIY Food: Summer Mango Salad

diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
After I lost my fabulous food contributor, Arielle, I hit up the Internet in search of a replacement for the monthly column. I found Giovanna Garcia of A Purified Life through Yelp of all places! She’s a nutritionist and certified natural chef living in San Francisco (you can read more about her here) with such an infectious passion toward health and wellness. I’m so excited to have her join the Drifter & the Gypsy team as a monthly contributor. Without further ado, Giovanna, take it away…

diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
Summer is probably my favorite time of the year. The amazing colors and flavors just blow me away. Not to mention the nutrient value of these colorful foods. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and hydrating properties to get us through the hot days. Nature truly knows best, so it’s important to eat seasonally to get the nourishment our bodies need at any given time of the year.

diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
This simple mango salad is beautiful, delicious, and a no-brainer to make. It makes for a perfect summer meal or snack. My suggestions is to serve it with a side of homemade seed crackers (recipe here) or throw a handful of nuts on top for some extra crunch (& protein!), but that’s entirely optional.

diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
SUMMER MANGO SALAD

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

– 1 large mango, diced
– 1/4 red onion or 1/2 cup radishes, sliced or diced
– 1/2 avocado, diced
– 1 cucumber or zucchini, cut in half and sliced
– Small handful of chopped fresh mint
– Juice of 1 lime
– Juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon
– Pinch of chili flakes
– Pinch of sea salt

diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
Procedure:

Place all ingredients in a medium-large bowl and mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve on a bed of greens or as is along with a side of seed crackers.

diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: summer mango salad - drifter and the gypsy blog
Recipe by Giovanna Garcia // Photography by Micaela Hoo

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DIY Food: Simple Rice and Beans

diy food: simple rice and beans - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: simple rice and beans - drifter and the gypsy blog
Summers in San Francisco are known to be a bit different from summers elsewhere in the United States. While my home back east gets sunny and hot, hot, hot, SF gets foggy and chilly. I personally love the blanket of fog that comes rolling down our famous hills, but it does take some getting used to. This simple recipe for rice and beans is hearty enough for a nippy evening, yet keeps the sense of more tropical climates at the tip of the tongue with added lime and cilantro: the perfect balance for a summer in San Francisco.

diy food: simple rice and beans - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: simple rice and beans - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: simple rice and beans - drifter and the gypsy blog
This recipe is very simple and can be made in large batches at the beginning of the week to tide you over for lunches on-the-go and easy dinners. Feel free to throw the rice and beans into the same container for storage and handling. The effect will be the same! Pack a big kale salad to start you off, then heat up a bowl of the rice and beans for a hearty, fibrous meal that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

diy food: simple rice and beans - drifter and the gypsy blog
SIMPLE RICE AND BEANS

Serves 2-3

Rice:

-1 c. water
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed with the back of a knife
-1/2 c. short-grain brown rice

Beans:

-1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 tsp. olive oil
-1/2 large onion, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 tsp. ground cumin
-1/2 tsp. ground coriander
-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
-1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
-1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
-Juice of 1 lime
-Salt
-Freshly cracked black pepper
-1 avocado (optional)

For the rice:

Combine the water, salt and smashed garlic clove in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, returning to a boil, then reduce the heat to low until all of the water is absorbed. Set aside.

For the beans:

Heat the oven to 450°F. Place the halved cherry tomatoes in a baking pan and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until juicy and fragrant. Remove from the oven.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly translucent. Add the garlic and ground herbs and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the drained black beans and roasted tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Allow the beans to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring a few times. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

Place a helping of the brown rice into a bowl, add a helping of the black beans, and top with sliced avocado and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

diy food: simple rice and beans - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: simple rice and beans - drifter and the gypsy blog

Arielle (DIY Food Contributor)

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DIY Food: Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes

diy food: vegan red velvet cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

Sometimes a girl just wants a cute, old-fashioned red velvet cupcake. And this chick delivered… with a healthier, gluten-free, vegan twist of course!

This recipe really came about as I was looking through old film photos. A few years back, I made a big batch of rich, cream cheese-covered red velvet cupcakes to share with my family and friends. I carry such wonderful memories of that day, but couldn’t quite remember feeling my best after eating those cupcakes. I figured I’d try making new memories by revamping the old recipe with a new one. They’re mighty yummy if I do say so myself!

diy food: vegan red velvet cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

Let me elaborate on a few perhaps strange or unfamiliar ingredients I use:

Chia eggs are so versatile in vegan cooking to replace regular eggs and are simply made by soaking chia seeds in a small amount of water so they can create a gel.

Mesquite flour is a gluten-free flour ground down from the bean pods of the Mesquite tree. This flour lends a sweet, nutty, almost cocoa-like flavor to these cupcakes that is to die for. Feel free to sub this out with more buckwheat flour, teff flour or brown rice flour if you’re unable to find it.

Finally, I use arrowroot starch to help the coconut cream icing thicken up a bit more to create a lovely top to my cupcakes. I prefer this to corn starch because most of the corn used is genetically modified and should generally steered clear of. If you don’t have/can’t find arrowroot starch, feel free to leave it out or sub with corn starch.

diy food: vegan red velvet cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

VEGAN RED VELVET CUPCAKES

Makes 1 dozen

Cupcakes:

– 2 tbs. chia seeds
– ⅓ c. water
– 1 c. mesquite flour
– 1 c. buckwheat flour
– ½ c. almond meal
– ⅔ c. coconut sugar
– 2 tbs. cocoa powder
– 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
– ¾ tsp. sea salt
– ¾ c. melted coconut oil
– 1 c. almond (or other plant-based) milk
– 1 tbs. vanilla extract
– 8-10 drops natural red food coloring (ie: India Tree on amazon.com) or beet juice

Icing:

– 1 can coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 8 hours
– 3 tbs. maple syrup
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 tbs. arrowroot starch

For the cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds and water and let sit for 5-10 minutes to create a “chia egg.” Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: the mesquite flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients: the “chia egg,” melted coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well incorporated.

4. Line a cupcake tin with 12 liners, then spoon your batter in. Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack before icing.

For the icing:

1. Open your can of chilled coconut milk, being careful not to shake it.

2. Scoop off the top layer of coconut cream and place into a medium-sized bowl or KitchenAid mixer (save the coconut water in the bottom of the can for another recipe!).

3. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract and arrowroot starch to your bowl, then use an electric mixer on a low speed to begin the whipping process.

4. Gradually increase the speed of your mixer until your icing becomes fluffy and all the ingredients are incorporated.

5. Transfer your bowl to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set up, then ice your cupcakes and enjoy!

The icing can be made the day before the cupcakes and the remainder stays in the fridge for 2-3 days.

diy food: vegan red velvet cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: vegan red velvet cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

Arielle (DIY Food Contributor)

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DIY Food: Spring Basil-Artichoke Pesto

spring basil artichoke pesto - drifter and the gypsy blog
spring basil artichoke pesto - drifter and the gypsy blog

Growing up, we had a huge, fragrant basil plant in our side garden. Every summer I’d relish at the chance to go out and help my mom pick basil to make a batch of her famous pesto. We would add it to pasta, spread it on pizza crust, even eat it straight out of the container it was so good! Needless to say, I’ve never lost the taste for the stuff and pesto will always hold a place in my culinary heart, hence this recipe!

spring basil artichoke pesto - drifter and the gypsy blog

This specific recipe was in fact inspired by my sister. When I went to visit her with my mom in April, she offered to make an artichoke pesto with pasta and vegetables for dinner. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but it sounded pretty awesome to me. And it was. Totally delicious! So I decided to try making my own version, sans the cheese and oil!! Can you imagine? But, it turned out really well, very creamy and flavorful even without dairy!

Feel free to use this pesto recipe as a jumping off point. Try it on a piece of toast with vegetables, on a pizza, as a dip for veggies. OR, try this pasta dish! I encourage you to use seasonal and local vegetables from your area for this recipe. Switch things up by steaming some vegetables, using some raw, and roasting others. For the dish I photographed, I steamed the crowns of broccoli and cauliflower, chopped up their raw stems to add, used some raw arugula, and roasted some cherry tomatoes for that classic Italian flavor. Try out any variation you’d like! Have fun and enjoy.

spring basil artichoke pesto - drifter and the gypsy blog

Spring Basil-Artichoke Pesto

Makes 1 cup pesto (8-10 servings)

– 1 (8 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 2/3 c. raw walnuts
– 1/2 c. basil, packed firmly
– 3 garlic cloves
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1/8 tsp. pepper

Combine the artichoke hearts, lemon juice, and walnuts in a food processor and purée. Add the packed basil leaves, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper and puree again until smooth. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or lemon based on your preferences. Pesto can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

spring basil artichoke pesto - drifter and the gypsy blog

Pasta/Seasonal Vegetables

Makes 2-4 servings

– 8 oz. gluten-free pasta (I used Quinoa + Brown Rice Fusilli)
– Steamed vegetables (broccoli crowns, cauliflower, green beans, etc.)
– Raw vegetables/greens (thinly cut broccoli spears, arugula, baby spinach, etc.)
– Roasted vegetables (cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, etc.)
– Raw walnuts, for garnish

Cook the pasta according to package instructions and drain. Spoon 1/2 cup of your pesto into the bottom of a large bowl and top with the warm, drained pasta. Add your prepared variety of seasonal vegetables, then toss to get a good coating of the pesto on everything. Do a taste-test and add more pesto, salt, and/or pepper if you wish. Serve with a small sprinkling of walnuts to garnish. Enjoy!

spring basil artichoke pesto - drifter and the gypsy blog

Arielle (DIY Food Contributor)

click here for more diy food!

DIY Food: Crunchy Caramel Cups

diy food: crunchy caramel cups - drifter and the gypsy blog

Raw chocolate has to be one of the best things I’ve discovered since pursuing a healthier, plant-based lifestyle. It’s incredibly easy to make and versatile as all get out, not to mention deeeeelish! These little chocolate treats are a vegan, refined sugar-free take on a standard crispy caramel bar.

The ingredients for these Crunchy Caramel Cups are exponentially better for your body than a traditional overly-processed candy bar because:

1. You can actually read what they are
2. They are all whole, plant-based foods
3. They have a beneficial effect on your body

Raw, virgin coconut oil provides the body with good-for-you fats that improve hair, skin, and nails as well as boosting your metabolism and thwarting further cravings. Raw cacao is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients while helping to promote cardiovascular health. Pure maple syrup is unrefined and therefore contains many minerals and vitamins that are vital to bodily functions, making it superior over processed white sugar. Quinoa is a complete protein that contains many vitamins and minerals as well as fiber to keep you full. (note: the crispy quinoa cereal I use has no added oil/seasoning/etc.) Last but not least, dates are a low-glycemic food that is loaded with fiber – meaning it won’t raise your blood sugar or cause a sugar crash!

Basically, one of these chocolatey, crispy, caramely cups is a far superior choice for a snack or dessert than any conventional, store-bought chocolate bar. Make a batch and give them to friends for a taste test: I know mine approve!

diy food: crunchy caramel cups - drifter and the gypsy blog

Crunchy Caramel Cups

Makes 12 cups

– 1 cup virgin coconut oil
– 3/4 c. cacao powder (or non-alkalized cocoa powder)
– 1/2 c. maple syrup
– 1/4 c. crispy quinoa (or crispy brown rice cereal)
– 8 dates, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes

diy food: crunchy caramel cups - drifter and the gypsy blog

1. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners.

2. Slowly melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Take off the heat when it’s completely liquified and add the cacao and maple syrup. Use a whisk to combine until smooth. Spoon a tablespoon of the liquid chocolate into each cupcake liner then add a spoonful of the crispy quinoa on top. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.

3. Meanwhile, drain your soaked dates and cut out their pits. Place into a food processor or high-powered blender and puree on high until a smooth date-paste forms. This is your raw caramel.

4. Remove the cupcake tin from the freezer and place a teaspoon-sized ball of the caramel on top of each chocolate disk. Wet your fingers and press each dollop of caramel out so it creates a thin circular layer. Top this layer with two tablespoons of your liquid chocolate in each cupcake liner. Place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes, or until set and enjoy!

diy food: crunchy caramel cups - drifter and the gypsy blog

Arielle (DIY Food Contributor)

click here for more diy food!

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