Butterkin Pecan Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter

Butterkin Pecan Ravioli
Butterkin Pecan Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter | veganblonde.com

If you want a pasta dish that’s decadent, pretty, and perfect for company, you just found it! This ravioli recipe will make your heart swoon, and your arteries thank you for choosing the vegan version! If you can’t find butterkin squash, that sweet and versatile squash that is a cross between a butternut squash and a pumpkin, feel free to substitute butternut squash or cooking pumpkin. You will get the exact same wonderful results!

  • 1 butterkin squash, or butternut squash, or cooking pumpkin, halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba (water from a can of chickpeas)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, plus more for toppings
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 9 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 25 sage leaves, left whole
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°. Coat all sides of the squash with the olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven, and roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In a large bowl, mix the semolina flour and the all purpose flour. Add the aquafaba and the water and mix well with your hands, until you obtain a soft and uniform ball of dough. If the dough is too wet, add a little bit of flour. If it is too dry, add a little bit of water, one teaspoon at a time. Place the ball of dough in a plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 40 minutes.

While the dough rests, scoop out 1 1/2 cup of flesh from the roasted squash. Keep the rest for another use, like in a soup, or in a sauce. Transfer the flesh to a food processor. Add the toasted pecans, the nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and the maple syrup. Process until smooth. Set aside.

After resting time, remove the dough from the fridge and from the plastic wrap. On a lightly flour-dusted surface, roll out the dough, using a rolling pin, until smooth and very thin. Using a 2-in cookie cutter, or any other round cup similar in diameter, cut dough into circles. Make a ball with the unused dough, and roll out again until smooth and thin. Cut out more circles, until you use all your dough.

Scoop out a scant teaspoon of squash mixture in the center of half the circles (the “bottoms”). Using your fingers, spread a small amount of water around the inside perimeter of the dough “tops”. Place them on top of the filled dough bottoms and press around the edges to seal properly. You should have approximately 40 raviolis.

To cook the raviolis, place them, without overcrowding them, in a large pot of salted boiling water, for 4-5 minutes. I did mine in two batches.

While the raviolis cook, heat the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and cook until they are crispy and the butter is golden brown, approximately 5 minutes.

Place some raviolis in a plate, spoon some of the sage butter on top, and garnish with toasted pecans. Bon appétit!

Sweet and tasty, butterkin squash is a cross between a pumpkin and a butternut squash.
Sweet and tasty, butterkin squash is a cross between a pumpkin and a butternut squash.

Brussels Sprouts, Leek, and Spigarello Pasta in Creamy Wine Sauce

Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, and Spigarello Pasta in Creamy Wine Sauce
Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, and Spigarello Pasta in Creamy Wine Sauce | veganblonde.com

Now if you want to fancy up your pasta night, try this! It sounds complicated, but it’s actually pretty easy. And quick. I mean ultra quick. Like 15 minutes quick. You can even skip the wine part and achieve pretty similar (and awesome) results. As with many of my recipes, take this as a technique, and switch up the vegetables according to the seasons. These days, the markets are filled with sprouts, leeks, and my favorite green, spigarello.

You’ll find spigarello in many of my recipes. It’s an heirloom variety of broccoli, native to southern Italy, considered the parent of broccoli-rabe. Unlike broccoli, however, you eat the leaves of spigarello, as the plant doesn’t produce florets. The taste, for me, is somewhere between kale and a very mild broccoli. It’s extremely versatile, it can be added to many dishes, and it’s popping up at farmers markets throughout the country. Look out for it. And if you can’t find it, feel free to use lacinato kale, or beet greens instead.

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 leek, cleaned, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch spigarello, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pack of your favorite, cooked according to package directions
  • Garnish (always optional): sliced green onions, red pepper flakes, fresh thyme

In a large straight-edge sauté pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the leek, garlic, Brussels sprouts, thyme, and generous pinches of both sea salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring often, until tender and browned, about 8-10 minutes. Feel free to play with your heat in order to achieve a nice caramelized color on your vegetables. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, and let reduce about one minute. Add the coconut milk and heat through. Add the spigarello and continue cooking until the greens are tender, about 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. You will most probably need to add sea salt and pepper at this point, all normal. When your sauce is ready, add enough of the cooked pasta to the pan for the sauce. Mix well. Serve garnished with sliced green onions and red pepper flakes. Bon appétit!

Shiitake and Leek Spaghetti

Shiitake and Leek Spaghetti | veganblondes.com
Shiitake and Leek Spaghetti | veganblondes.com


It’s back-to-school time after a fun Fall Break here in Arizona. It’s nice for kids to be off, but it’s also nice to send these adorable monsters back to school. Moms, am I right?

So you’ve got your routine face back on, you’re ready to take on the week… Wait. You need a recipe for tonight. Wait, what?

Well, here it is. With few ingredients and less than 30 minutes required, this recipe will fast become part of your weekly rotation.

Note: some ingredients are optional, but they add a very nice touch. If you don’t have them on hand, you can skip them, but I would suggest trying it with them next time.

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 leeks, cleaned, sliced lengthwise, then sliced thin crosswise
  • 8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ thick (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
  • 6-7 whole dried allspice berries (optional)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (optional)
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Spaghetti, cooked according to package directions

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, sea salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring often, until the leeks are soft but not browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the mushroom, thyme, and allspice berries, and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are cooked and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, 1/2 cup at a time, making sure it reduces and gets thicker before the next addition, until you use the whole can. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste. Warm through. Add the pumpkin seeds and remove from the heat. Add the white wine vinegar, mix well, and serve over cooked spaghetti. Bon appétit!


Strawberry, Black Bean, and Millet Salad

Strawberry, Black Bean, and Millet Salad | veganblondes.com
Strawberry, Black Bean, and Millet Salad | veganblondes.com

I am holding on to the last, the very last strawberries! The season is soon over, but I wanted to share with you this strawberry salad recipe, because I’ve been making it a lot lately, and because the strawberries could be replaced by many other in-season fruits. This protein-rich salad can be eaten as a side dish, or as a nice lunch entrée. It is easy and quick to put together, and is chic enough for company. Let us know if you make it with any other fruit!

  • 2 cups strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked millet
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, minced

In a large salad bowl, mix together the strawberries, the red onion, the black beans, the millet, and the pumpkin seeds. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, garlic, maple syrup, sea salt, olive oil and cilantro leaves. Add to the salad bowl, mix well, and serve. Bon appétit!


Cashew Quinoa Crunch


Cashew Quinoa Crunch
Cashew Quinoa Crunch | veganblonde.com

This is a seriously simple quinoa recipe that is not only plant-based, but also gluten free. I whipped this up one morning for my daughter’s school lunch. I didn’t have much time, but I had leftover quinoa. I added aromatics and sautéed some veggies, and done! The great thing here is that you can play with the dish. You can use whatever color quinoa you want, if you don’t have red onion, yellow is just fine. If you don’t have spinach, but your fridge is overloaded with kale, let it go! I tested the dish again and made the recipe amount to four large servings, or six side dish servings. Enjoy the simplicity!

  • 1 cup quinoa (whichever color is fine)
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (olive oil works too), plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large branch of celery, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 large handful of spinach
  • 1/4 fresh cilantro, minced
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse the quinoa under cold running water, rubbing it with your hands, for a good minute. Drain. Drizzle a small amount of coconut oil in the bottom of a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and toss until the water is absorbed and the quinoa starts to toast, about 1 minute. Add the water and the salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and let cook over very low heat until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Take off the heat and keep covered for another 10 minutes.

While the quinoa rests, heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and sauté until golden 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, red onion, mushrooms, and celery, and sauté until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms are cooked, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add one tablespoon of the tamari. Mix well. Add the spinach and the cooked quinoa. Mix and cook slowly until the spinach starts to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the last two tablespoons of tamari and the cilantro. Mix well. Serve garnished with more cilantro. Additional garnishes could be scallions, fresh lime, and coconut cream. Bon appétit!

Zoodles with Turkish Tomato and Avocado Sauce

Zoodles with Turkish Tomato and Avocado Sauce | veganblondes.com

When the temperature starts to rise, we try to avoid cooking as much as we can. This recipe is perfect for a hot summer day, not only because it’s raw and refreshing, but more specifically because it takes about 15 minutes to make! It tastes and looks like summer, and Fruit Bliss® Turkish Tomato Halves add the perfect touch of sunshine!

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup kale leaves, torn
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 avocado, pitted and quartered
  • ½ cup Fruit Bliss® Turkish Tomato Halves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Using a spiralizer, a mandolin, or a cheese grater, make noodles with the zucchini. Set the zoodles on paper towels while you prepare the sauce.

In the bowl of a food processor, place all of the other ingredients, except the tomato halves. Process until a smooth consistency is obtained. Add the tomato halves and pulse a few more times. Taste and adjust seasonings. Bon appétit!


Rainbow Pasta

Rainbow Pasta | veganblondes.com

I have two kids. More often than not, I don’t have all the time in the world. This pasta saves my life often: Before a date night, so that the kids eat before the sitter comes, on a busy weeknight after spending the day in the garden, as a quick meal for a casual get together served with garlic bread. The possibilities are endless. Even for the vegetables you put in. The only advice when it comes to your veggies is to introduce them in the recipe according to their cooking time. I wouldn’t put chopped carrots at the same time as kale, but shredded carrots, sure. Or I wouldn’t put eggplant at the same time as spinach. You see what I’m getting to. This pasta recipe is more of a guideline to build your dream pasta, or to build something that will empty your fridge and make you eat veggies! Be creative!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 zucchinis, diced
  • 2 yellow squashes, diced
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 1″ lengths
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch Rainbow chard, stems diced, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 package of your favorite pasta
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil, leaves torn
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin on the diagonal
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring some water to a boil, and add a few generous pinches of salt. Once the water boils, add the pasta, and cook according to package’s instructions. Before draining the pasta, keep about 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a very large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables (according to cooking time), keeping the chard and kale for the very end. Season with salt and pepper. Once everything is nice and cooked, but still crunchy, add the cooked pasta and some of the cooking liquid, if needed. Mix well.

Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil, the fresh basil and green onions. Bon appétit!


Rainbow Pasta
My chopped veggies, ready to get sautéed. | veganblondes.com