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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Julienned Veggie Pasta Recipe

Yield: 3 servings
Time Estimate:  15 minutes overall, including 10 minutes of preparation and 5 minutes of cooking
Storage Notes: serve immediately; keeps for 2 days when refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

We love the simple meals of hearty, warming flavors, especially when we can enjoy them in unique ways. Using a julienne technique to create fine slivers, and cooking quickly on a hot pan, this recipe turns a few veggies into a delicious alternative to pasta, replacing starchy heaviness with savory and fresh flavors. The dried strawberries in the Taste of California really come into play here, adding tiny, refreshing bursts of sweetness and rounding out the flavor of the dish.

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium green zucchini
  • 2 small yellow/golden zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons butter (Smart Balance and Earth Balance both make good vegan alternatives)
  • 2 tablespoons Taste of California
  1. Peel carrots, and rinse along with zucchini. Discard tops and bottoms
  2. Carefully using the julienne, slice the veggies as thinly as possible length-wise.
  3. Heat a medium sized pan on high, and add butter.
  4. Once butter is thoroughly melted, add veggies and Taste of California.
  5. Toss and stir frequently, for 4-5 minutes, until veggies are pliable but not wilted - the texture to aim for is that of al dente pasta.
  6. Remove from heat and arrange on plate.
  7. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Black Truffle and Red Wine Sea Salt Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Time Estimate: 60 minutes overall, including 10 minutes of preparation and 50 minutes cooking
Storage Notes: serve immediately; keeps for 3 days when refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

These are the best mashed potatoes you will ever have. We'd like to take some credit here - part of the magic comes from the decadent fullness imparted by the Truffle Sea Salt, part from the beautiful deep color and rich flavor of our Red Wine Sea Salt. But mostly it comes down to technique - picking the right potatoes, over-boiling them, and mashing them by hand. This recipe is a little on the large side - expect it to go quickly and be ready to field requests for more!


  • 6 large Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3/4 cup butter (Smart Balance and Earth Balance both make good vegan alternatives)
  • 2 tablespoons Red Wine Sea Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Truffle Sea Salt
  • 1 cup full fat milk (soy milk works well but avoid almond or rice milk - they're a  too little sweet)
  1. Peel and wash potatoes, and place in a large pot. Fill to around half an inch from the top with cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil, and keep it there for around 30 to 40 minutes. The object is to boil the potatoes to the point where they're almost mashing themselves, and fall apart on being just touched with a fork.
  3. Remove from heat, and strain. Return to pot. Add Truffle Sea Salt and butter, and begin mashing with a large fork.
  4. Once thoroughly mashed add milk, and continue mashing. 
  5. Place in a large serving bowl, and sprinkle with Red Wine Sea Salt. For added effect, make a stencil out of a piece of paper and decorate to fit the season or occasion.
  6. Serve immediately, prepared to graciously accept incoming compliments from your lucky dinner mates.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Garlic Pepper Seared Asparagus Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Time Estimate: 12 minutes overall, including 8 minutes of preparation and 4 minutes cooking
Storage Notes: serve immediately; keeps for 3 days when refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

This is the type of recipe we love -  beautiful, vegan, ready in 15 minutes, and made with only 5 ingredients. The simplicity of the recipe allows the natural flavors of the asparagus to shine, and the the garlic pepper rub adds satisfying tang and subtle tartness. Perfect as an appetizer or as a healthy side for a special meal.


  • 2 large bunches of asparagus
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Gustus Vitae Garlic Pepper Rub
  • 1 red onion
  • Bonus Points: 1 lemon
  1.  Rinse asparagus and cut 2 - 3 inches from tip.
  2.  Add oil to large saucepan, heat on high until just before it begins to smoke.
  3.  Place asparagus tips in pan, and sprinkle with Garlic Pepper Rub.
  4.  Cook asparagus on high for 4 minutes, regularly turning and shaking the pan to ensure even browning.
  5. Remove pan from heat.
  6. Slice a large onion width wise, reserving rings with a circumference of around 2-3 inches.
  7. When asparagus has cooled sufficiently to handle, insert in rings until snug, and stand on a serving plate.
  8. Sprinkle plate with remaining Garlic Pepper Rub, and garnish with lemon slices if desired. Serve immediately.