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    hello there good looking,

    I'm Jodi. I'm a natural foods chef and lover of healthy, wholesome, and tasty foods that have the power to make us look good from the inside out.

    Entries in pistachios (3)


    rhubarb ice cream with pistachio chunks | dairy-free

    I don't like things that are complicated. 

    I especially don't like complicated recipes. I like things that are easy, intuitive, and make sense. I'm not lazy, I just like to keep things simple. 


    Ice cream is simple. I know, it may seem like a daunting task, but trust me, it is not. It's not complicated, it just takes time and patience. Something that I don't always have a lot of, but I am trying to teach myself to. 

    About two years ago, I bought the ice cream attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. When I purchased the ice cream attachments, I had visions of myself pulling out the ice cream maker over and over again to make fresh ice cream for friends and neighbors all summer long. Lovely thought, never happened.

    This year will be different. This year I have learned to have a little patience in the kitchen, and a lot about planning ahead. Something I did very little of up until the past few years. Menu planning, soaking beans, cooking grains ahead of time all have given me a whole new respect for patience and planning in the kitchen. 

    You need to plan ahead to make ice cream, it not something you can decide to make for dessert at 5pm the night of, but it is totally worth the effort. It takes a leisurely two days to make, or one full day (starting in the morning and ending at night) but only about 30-45 minutes of physical work. I like that. 

    I am not going to plan ahead for just any type of ice cream, if I am going to break out the ice cream maker it is definitely going to be for something special. This ice cream recipe is something special. Rhubarb lends itself so well to ice cream and the pistachios are the perfect crunchy compliment. 

    When I was making this, I couldn't stop licking the bowl. It was almost impossible for me to not eat it all in one sitting ... It's ridiculously good. 

    This recipe contains no dairy, no refined sugar, and just a little maple syrup to sweeten it up. I fed this to a few dairy ice cream lovers and they had no idea that it was dairy-free. The coconut milk gives it a creamy consistency that you would get from heavy cream, and it does add a slight coconut flavor which only adds to the overall experience. 

    When you make ice cream at home, I find that is it best enjoyed right out of the ice cream maker. It's so good you probably won't have any leftovers anyways. 

    Click to read more ...


    baked apples with pomegranates + pistachios

    I just found out yesterday that I am cooking + hosting Thanksgiving this year. Despite the last minute notice (ahh .. panic!), I could not be more excited. 

    For the past few years, we have gone out to eat for Thanksgiving with the whole family. It may sound weird, especially for someone who cooks for a living, but we loved it. We would get all dressed up and have an absolutely stunning meal, and after hours of feasting we could simply get up from the table and go home. No mess, no dishes, we would get all of the fun and none of the responsibility. It had become our new favorite family tradition.

    But, to be honest, a small part of me missed cooking for Thanksgiving. It's obvious I love to cook, but Thanksgiving is the opportunity to cook one of the most special meals of the year. It's the chance for me to wake up super early to prep, to set a beautiful table, and go overboard on dessert. It's the excuse for me to cook way more food than we could ever eat and not feel like I overdid it.

    So when Michael called me up yesterday to tell me that we could not get a reservation at the place we've been going to for the past three years, I got really excited. 

    I really should be menu planning and shopping right now, but before I go off and do that I wanted to share these apples with you. I actually came up with this recipe for a weekly series I am doing for The Conversation, but I really wanted to share these here as well because I think these baked apples will definitely make an excellent (+ healthy) addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table ... in between all the pies and cookies, of course. 

    To get the recipe for baked apples with pomegranates + pistachios ... click here.



    a wedding + a graduation + a vanilla cake recipe to celebrate (vegan)

    Hello there. 

    Yes, I have been gone for a while ... but I have a very very good excuse.  

    Since my last post I became a wife, a natural foods chef, and .... a spaghetti pomodoro connoisseur {more on that later} 

    Three weeks ago, Michael and I got married in Mexico. It was the most magical, breathtaking, amazing weekend of my life.  I never pictured that a single event can be so special, so meaningful, so beyond my wildest dreams.  I feel blessed to have some many wonderful friends and family, old and new, and now a wonderful husband to share my life with.  Life is good.  

    The Thursday before our wedding, we hosted a dinner for our nearest and dearest at a restaurant in Tulum called Hartwood.  It was one of the best meals I have ever had. The ambiance, rustic and chic, was so unique and only enhanced the whole experience.  The food was simple and absolutely incredible.  Everything they serve is fresh and local, fish that was caught the same day, vegetables that were just picked, so you can imagine how everything tasted. 

    {{These gorgeous photos you are about to view were taken by a guest, dear friend and wedding photographer Meghan Capozzi Rowe. To view more of her fabulous work visit her site at }}

    If I had to use one only word to describe our wedding day, the word that rings loud in my head is: magical. Our venue, an Italian duchess estate that was converted into a boutique hotel, was the perfect place to house all of our guests and throw a big party.  It felt like home for the few days we were all there. 

    The day of the wedding, I was overwhelmed by how beautifully our wedding planners & fabulous floral designer transformed the estate into something both fun and romantic.  Everything from the mariachi band to the food was perfection.  Beyond what I could have ever imagined.  

    To top things off, Saturday night was a full moon. Not just any full moon, it was a supermoon which means the moon was the closest it has been to the earth in the past five years.  We did not realize this was going to occur until the night before, and what a fantastic happening.  It made for a gorgeous backdrop to our dance floor, and I do believe it added to the absolute craziness that ensued on the dance floor that night. 

    I came home in-between our wedding and honeymoon because I had another important event I had to participate in, my graduation from culinary school.  I am now a certified natural foods chef. I am so excited and proud to have this title, and I could not be more ready to take on the world of {healthy} foods. 

    Now, back to business, and by business I mean CAKE. 

    We did not have a cake at our wedding. Instead, we had a few other favorites of mine, coconut, apple, and key lime pies. But, since there was no cake, I thought it was appropriate to bake a cake for myself when I got home. In celebration of being married, of being a chef, and of just being. 

    This is one of the most moist and flavorful vanilla cakes I have ever baked, of both vegan and non-vegan recipes. Non-vegan cake lovers would never ever know this was made with no butter or eggs.  It's incredible. Although I did make some minor additions, I can take no credit in the creation of this amazing recipe.  I owe it all to Fran Costigan, the vegan baking diva.  She came to speak at one of our last classes and totally inspired me in all sorts of new ways. I also got a signed copy of her book : More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally, which is where this recipe can be found.  It is not to be missed.  

    Cheers!  To health, happiness, and really good cake! 

    vanilla cake with a lemon pistachio cream {vegan}

    8" two-layer cake which is about 8-10 servings

    ** Plan ahead: you will need to allot about 4-8 hours of sit time for the frosting and cake. 


    For the cake:

    1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
    1 cup of unbleached white flour
    1 teaspoon of baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of canola oil
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
    3/4 cup of vanilla almond or soy milk
    3 tablespoons of vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

    For the icing:

    1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
    14-16 oz package of firm tofu, blanched (instructions to follow)
    1 tablespoon of canola oil
    1 tablespoon of smooth cashew butter
    1/2 cup of natural cane sugar
    1/2 a teaspoon of salt
    zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
    1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract
    1/3 cup of pistachios, finely chopped 


    • Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350º. Oil two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit. 
    • Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the pastry flour, white flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon to the strainer. Tap the strainer against the palm of your hand to sift the ingredients into the bowl. Stir with a wire whisk to distribute the ingredients. 
    • Whisk the oil, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, and vinegar in a separate medium bowl until well blended. Pour into the dry mixture and stir with a whisk until the batter is smooth. 
    • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Tap the pans lightly on the counter to eliminate air bubbles. 
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are golden, and the sides have started to pull away from the pan. 
    • Cool the pans on racks for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife between the cake and the inside of the pan. Invert each layer onto a rack. Remove the pans and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Invert the layers again top-side up onto a rack. Cool completely. 
    • Gently, without breaking the cake apart, wrap them each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-8 hours, until cold, before frosting.

     While your cake it cooling make the frosting. 

    • Start by blanching the tofu. Place a medium sized pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the water from the heat and add the tofu. After 4-5 minutes remove the tofu, strain it, and allow it to cool to room temperature. 
    • Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add the oil, cashew butter and process for 2-3 minutes, stopping several times to scrape down the sides. 
    • Add the sugar, salt, and lemon juice and process for 1-2 minutes more, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the lemon zest, vanilla, and lemon extract and pulse a few times to incorporate. 
    • Refrigerate the mixture in a covered container for a 4-8 hours to allow the flavors to blend and for the cream to thicken. {Do not be afraid if you try the frosting and it has a slight tofu taste. This will go away after the forsting has had a few hours to chill and blend flavors.}

    To assemble the cake:

    • Place the bottom layer on a plate or serving platter. Spread 1/2 of the frosting over the top and sides. Then place the top layer and finish frosting the top and the sides of the cake. 
    • Sprinkle the chopped pistachios and serve immediately.  You can also refrigerate and serve later.  This cake keeps well for about 5-7 days, depending on the freshness of your ingredients.