Sourdough Loaf (Gluten-Free)

I am completely obsessed with this bread. 

But before I wax poetic about the utter loveliness of this loaf, I have to warn you that this is not a typical San Francisco sourdough. First of all, it’s gluten-free. Second of all, it’s incredibly dense — more like the malty bricks of rye that you’ll find in Scandinavian countries. Lastly, it’s flecked with seeds for color and crunch.

But if you are down for a naturally fermented, whole grain, earthy and deliciously dense (and moist) loaf of bread, this is a winner. The key to this bread is whole buckwheat groats, which bind into a beautiful batter when soaked and blended, allowing the bread to be naturally gluten-free. This is the exact same technique I like to use for pancakes and waffles. But I can’t take credit for  transferring the concept to bread; it came straight out of The Gefilte Manifesto. 

This recipe is quite flexible. You can swap out half of the buckwheat for another grain; use agave or barley malt in place of the maple syrup; omit the seeds or swap in another goodie. The only essential components are buckwheat, water and time.

I love this bread best sliced as thick as pound cake, toasted, with a heavy handed smear or nut butter or jam. This is my holiday present to you. Enjoy!

Love and Happy Holidays,



Sourdough Loaf (Gluten-Free)
  • 2 1/2 cups raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons golden flax seeds, raw(optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, raw (optional)
  1. Pour your raw buckwheat groats into a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak 8-12 hours, or overnight.
  2. After you buckwheat has soaked, drain it and rinse with fresh water. Transfer the buckwheat to the blender and add 1 cup of water. Blend until totally smooth.
  3. Transfer the batter to a sterile bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to ferment for 24 hours. This will allow the dough to rise. It also has the added health benefit of introducing beneficial bacteria to the mix and pre-digesting your food!
  4. After 24 hours, the batter should be bubbling, having increased in volume and smell pleasantly sour. Stir in the salt, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon each of the flax and pumpkin seeds.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and heavily grease a large loaf pan.
  6. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan. Sprinkle over the remaining seeds. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing (this is by far the hardest part of making the bread, but makes all the difference).


For a seed allergy, omit the seeds.

For a whole-foods, plant-based approach, omit the maple syrup and blend in 2 pitted dates.

Homemade Cashew Yogurt

Yogurt was one of my go-to foods before I became vegan. I can remember swirling brown rice syrup into cream-top yogurt for a snack when I was little; when I was in college, I always had a tub of yogurt in the fridge to top with berries and nuts for breakfast or a substantial snack.

Finding non-dairy yogurts that do not have creepy additives, gums and stabilizers can be a challenge. Those that I have found tend to be coconut based (and thus taste of coconut) and cost a fortune.

So I decided to make my own out of soaked cashews and it’s totally amazing! Rich and creamy and tangy, it would be perfect with a swirl of sweetness from jam or maple. It does take 24 hours to culture, but takes only minutes of effort.

There are a few important things to keep in mind when making this yogurt. First, you absolutely must soak raw cashews. Soaking softens the cashews and allows them to blend up into a seamless cream. Soaking also gets rid of phytic acid and makes the nuts easier to digest, so that’s a bonus! Second, you must use non-chlorinated water, since chlorine can kill the probiotics that will culture your yogurt. Third, if you want a thicker, Greek style yogurt, you should reduce the water, add a tablespoon of melted coconut oil, or add a thickener like agar agar. Lastly, if you want to use your yogurt for savory applications, leave out the date and swap in a teaspoon of agave nectar (the sugar will help it culture, but should have a minimal impact on flavor).

This recipe will be a hit with your friends who are gluten-free or following a raw foods OR whole food plant-based OR paleo diet!

Love and yogurt,



Homemade Cashew Yogurt

Yield: 1 cup yogurt

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 date, pitted
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 2 probiotic capsules, OR 100 Billion Probiotic Cultures OR 1 tablespoon live, active non-dairy yogurt
  1. In a blender, combine cashews, lemon, date, salt and water until totally smooth.
  2. Transfer the blend to a clean, glass jar. Using a non-metal spoon, stir in your probiotics or live, active yogurt.
  3. Cover the jar with cheesecloth, a clean towel, or a paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Allow to culture in a warm spot for 24 hours.
  4. After the yogurt has cultured, transfer to the refrigerator. Keeps for 3 days.

Hannah Yam Focaccia

It’s nearly Thanksgiving! And I’m going to highly suggest you make this bread to share with everyone you are grateful for. It is such a simple, beautiful dough that yields the most incredible, soft, moist, fluffy focaccia.

The inspiration for this dough actually came while I was making Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls for Octuberfest. I needed a use for Hannah Yam , and given the fluffy perfection of the cinnamon roll dough, I figured I could do a few simple savory swaps and have an entirely new recipe.

It totally worked!

Hannah Yams are gorgeous, white sweet potatoes with a purple skin and mild taste. If you can’t find them or don’t want to put the effort into sourcing them, you could easily use a common yellow potato. It is rare that I bake with white flour, but I think this recipe really requires it for lightness. This one is not a gluten-free, so if you have guests with gluten sensitivity at your table, take a few extra potatoes and roast them up to offer as an alternative.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Hannah Yam Foccacia
  • 1 cup mashed Hannah yams
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegan cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 5 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • Flaky salt, for sprinkling
  1. In a blender, combine mashed potatoes, non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, olive oil and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, combine remaining cane sugar with yeast and warm water. Allow to proof for 10 minutes. You'll know it's ready to go when it's bubbling and frothy.
  3. Add flour and potato mixture to the bowl that contains the yeast. If using a stand mixer, use your dough hook to knead for 3-5 minutes. If mixing by hand, mix together until a dough begins to form, transfer to a clean, floured surface and knead until an elastic dough begins to form.
  4. Set the dough aside to rise for 1 hour.
  5. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Flour a clean surface and roll the dough out until it is approximately the size of a standard baking tray.
  6. Transfer the dough to a standard baking tray lined with baking paper. Allow to rise for another 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Using your fingers, create dimples in the dough be pressing firmly to form an indentation. Drizzle over with olive oil and sprinkle over rosemary and flaky salt.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Sweet Potato Lasagna

Have you ever used a vegetable as a noodle? I’ve seen so many recipes floating around the web for zucchini noodles and spiralized vegetables lately, and with our annual Octuberfest party around the corner, I was inspired to experiment with sweet potato pasta.

Lasagna means layered, so in the most literal sense of the word, this is indeed a lasagna. But don’t expect any cheese, meat, tomatoes or grains; this casserole uses thinly sliced sweet potatoes as noodles, a savory white bean bechamel (thank you to My New Roots for the inspiration there!), a pumpkin herb sauce, and fresh greens.

The resulting lasagna is a harvest celebration, full of autumn flavors and comforting carbohydrates. This would be a great Thanksgiving side dish, but it also makes a cozy dinner for four (or, if you have appetites like me and Eric, for two).

Main or side, this is definitely the sort of dish you want to share with friends. It’s naturally gluten-free, and I’ve included a paleo-friendly modification in the notes below. Enjoy!

Love and Potato Pasta, 



Sweet Potato Lasagna

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1.5-2 pounds sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted and divided
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 15 ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon white miso (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 cups raw greens (I like a combination of spinach and basil)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. For the noodles:
  3. Slice sweet potato as thinly as possible, into round "noodles." Set aside.
  4. For the pumpkin sauce:
  5. In a small sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until the edges begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add 1 clove of garlic and thyme; stir for 1 minute. Deglaze with white wine and allow to simmer until reduced by 1/3. Add the pumpkin puree and stir through until the sauce has an even consistency. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside.
  6. For the white bean bechamel:
  7. In a blender, combine 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil, white beans, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, nutmeg and water until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. To assemble:
  9. Grease an 8x8 casserole dish. Add a layer of sweet potato to the bottom. Add half the greens on top, followed by half the pumpkin sauce and half the white bean bechamel. Repeat: sweet potato, greens, pumpkin, white beans.
  10. Bake for 1 hour, or until the sweet potato is soft.
  11. Allow to cool slightly before serving.


For a paleo-friendly or SCD-friendly recipe, replace the white beans with 2 cups of cashews, soaked overnight and drained.

For a soy-free recipe, omit the miso.

Cream of Celery Soup

“Leave the dishes

Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator

and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.”

-Louise Erdrich, Advice to Myself 

At my old grocery store in Cambridge, I was able to buy celery by the stalk. I absolutely loved this, since I usually only needed a stalk or two for a soup or risotto. And despite Louise Erdrich’s advice, I hated having a huge head of celery in the bottom drawer.

But that was the situation I found myself in the other week (my current local grocery store only buys gargantuan heads of the vegetable). Celery gives a lovely note to soups, but I rarely give it the spotlight. I thought I’d give it a try and was delightfully surprised.

This soup uses an entire head of celery and is exactly what you’ll want to try the next time you are on the verge of a Louise Erdrich moment.  Raw cashews and cooked potato to add richness and body. It is flavored with onions, garlic, and dill.

Love and Celery,



P.S. Did you know you can regrow celery? This method really works! We now have little celery stalks growing on our windowsill (which will come in handy, since most of the time you really do only want one stalk).

Cream of Celery Soup

Yield: 6 servings

  • 1 leek, cleaned and chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill
  • 1 head celery, chopped
  • 1 large, waxy potato, chopped
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a soup pot, add leek, garlic and oil over medium heat. Cook until the leeks become soft.
  2. Add the dill and celery and stir occasionally until everything is cooked through.
  3. Add the potato and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potato is soft, about 12 minutes.
  4. In a blender, add the cashews and a bit of the cooking liquid to form a cream. Transfer the remainder of the cooked ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Add salt and pepper, to taste.


Spinach and Artichoke Dip

When you think spinach and artichoke dip, you most likely imagine something warm and gooey, bubbling to the brim with cheese and mayonnaise. While that style of cooking has it’s place, this is a totally different kind of dip.

Think of this as a much more interesting version of hummus. It is cool, tangy and bright with a beautiful green hue from raw spinach. It goes perfectly with cold crudites or warm, toasted bread, or slathered on a sandwich.

This is an incredibly easy and impressive spread to have on hand as the more languid summer days become distant memory and the weather works to figure out how soon to cool off. This dip is good with warm or cool accompaniments and takes a mere 5 minutes to throw together (if you soak your cashews, that does extend the total time, but adds a mere few seconds of effort).

Love and Dips,



Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  • 6 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 cup spinach, raw
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Drain the artichoke hearts, reserving the liquid.
  2. In a food processor, combine all ingredients until a smooth paste forms. If you need a little extra liquid to thin it out, use some extra olive oil or the artichoke juice.


Whipped Truffle Mash

Is it just me, or do you also occasionally just want a giant pile of mashed potatoes for dinner?  If so, this is your dish.  It’s steamed vegetables whipped in a food processor with a heavy drizzle of truffle oil until it becomes a silky smooth pillow of plant powered goodness.

This is an amazingly fast, versatile and delicious vegetable mash.  Since most of us are used to the pale, creamy color of mashed potatoes, I’ve used cauliflower and turnips in this recipe.  But you could truly use any starchy vegetable:  celeriac, jerusalem artichoke, sweet potatoes, etc.

Love and Comfort,



Whipped Truffle Mash
  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Steam the cauliflower and turnip until they are soft and easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Transfer your steamed veggies to the food processor. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and blend until silky smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times in order to blend everything thoroughly.
  3. Serve immediately.

Mushroom Pâté

I love French food.  I had the amazing fortune to study abroad in Aix en Provence, and find myself returning again and again to this beautiful country.  I am captivated by their culture, especially their food culture.   Meals are transcendental celebrations that synergistically elevate ingredients into sublime territory.

But French food is not always vegan friendly.  Let’s talk about pâté.  It’s a rich, spreadable meat paste.  What makes it delicious is the savory, fatty richness of the whole thing.   It’s easy to replicate this with plant ingredients.

This pâté has all of the savory richness of the traditional recipe with none of the harm.  Walnuts provide richness, lentils provide body, and mushrooms provide umami.  Whizz them all up in the blender with a few spices and you have a delicious, spreadable French treat.  Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!




Mushroom Pate

Yield: 4 cups

Adapted from David Lebovitz's Faux Gras

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion peeled and diced
  • 10 ounces white button mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried herbs de provence
  • 1/4 cup port wine (or other red wine)
  • 2 cups cooked green lentils
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and sautee until caramelized. Add the mushrooms, garlic and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally until they are starting to stick to the pan. Deglaze with the port wine. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together lentils, walnuts, lemon juice, tamari, sugar , cayenne and remaining oil until smooth. Add the mushrooms and continue processing until smooth. Taste and season accordingly.
  3. Transfer to mixture to small ramekins. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


For a nut allergy, use sunflower seeds in place of walnuts.

For a soy-free option, omit the tamari and replace with sea salt.



A couple of years ago, Eric and I decided to invent our own holiday.  As best as I can remember, we were talking about what to do for Halloween.  

Suddenly, Eric says “Octuberfest.”  

“Octoberfest?” I ask. 

“Octuberfest,” he clarifies.  “The celebration of eight potatoes.” 

From there we were off.  The idea of throwing a party to celebrate potatoes was right up my alley, and before we knew it we were crafting an invitation, planning menus, and carving potato lanterns.

This year, we are throwing an Octuberfest celebration in our tiny New York apartment.  When you cram a bunch of people into a small room, they want cool food and drinks.  Vichyssoise is the perfect thing for such a party- a cool, creamy, chilled potato soup.

Vichyssoise is French and is traditionally made with lots of butter and cream.  This vegan version is just as rich and decadent, minus any animal products.

Love and Happy Octuberfest,

Amanda Signature




Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup raw cashes, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
  • 6 leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 large golden potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh chives, for garnish
  1. In a blender, combine soaked cashews with 1 cup of vegetable stock. Blend until the cashews are totally smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. In a large, heavy bottom pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until soft and tender, but not brown. Add potatoes and cook for a minute or two.
  3. Add the blended cashews and remaining vegetable stock to the pot. Simmer for about 30 minute, until potatoes and leeks are very soft.
  4. Transfer soup to a blender. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Blend until totally smooth.
  5. Allow the soup to come to room temperature before chilling in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  6. To serve, garnish with chives.



A few weekends ago, Eric and I went to Governor’s Island for a Unicycle Festival.  We discovered the festival around 11:48am on a Saturday, and the festival began at 1pm.  Now, usually I am a snob about jarred peppers.  But we had some on hand, and I wanted to quickly whip up a picnic lunch so we could get on our way.  I threw everything in the blender, grabbed some bread and a few cut up veggies, and we were on our way.

The Unicycle Festival turned out to be disappointingly tiny, but the dip was delicious!  And given how ludicrously simple it was to make, I have since been persuaded to change my snobbish ways.

This makes a delicious accompaniment to the Chesapeake Cakes, but it’s also a fantastic picnic or party dip.

Love and Jarred Peppers,

Amanda Signature



  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon date syrup or other sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender of food processor. Blend until completely smooth.


For a gluten-free diet, use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

For a Paleo diet, omit the breadcrumbs entirely and increase the walnuts by 1/2 cup.

For a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet, omit the olive oil.

For the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, omit the date syrup.