MiMi & Me….the recipes

Here you go!  If you loved the photos you are going to go crazy over the flavors that combined to make each of these dishes something extraordinary.  Let’s begin with the Socca.



Socca with Caramelized Onion, Mushrooms, Artichokes and Cashew Cheese

Socca is a light chick pea dough that is somewhere between a frittata and a thin pizza dough.  We did not include the rosemary in the dough, but sauteed it with the caramelized onion and mushroom mixture.   It was delicious!

1 cup chickpea flour
½ cup olive oil
1 ½ tbsp. minced rosemary
¾ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Whisk together flour, 2 tbsp. oil, 1 tbsp. rosemary, salt, and 1 cup water in a medium bowl until smooth; cover and let batter sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

Pour the mixture into a heavy cast iron skillet and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until the Socca is “set”, no liquid remains.  This will take about 10-15 minutes.

For toppings:

2 sweet onions, we used Vidalia because they are in season, peeled, cut in half and then into thin slices

1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced

1 can of artichoke hearts, drained

Cashew Cheese mixture (go here to learn MiMi’s methods:  http://www.leafycafe.com/)

To caramelize the onions, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced onions and let them cook, stirring every few minutes until they are slightly caramelized.  Add the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped rosemary leaves if desired.  Top the cooked Socca with this mixture, cut into wedges and place a dollop of the Cashew “Cheese” mixture and a segment of artichoke heart on each piece.


Zucchini Carpaccio with Blackberries, Beets with Cashew Cream, Watercress and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1 large zucchini

1 bunch fresh watercress

2 beets, peeled, steamed until just tender and thinly sliced

Cashew Cream (go to http://www.leafycafe.com/ to contact MiMi for her recipe)

1 box of fresh blueberries

Wash the zucchini well.  Cut off the ends of the zucchini, leaving a flat surface.  Take a sharp vegetable peeler or mandoline and slice lengthwise, making long, thin “ribbons”.

Wash the watercress and place on a serving platter.  Sprinkle the blackberries over the top and then pile the zucchini ribbons in the middle.

Place a teaspoon of the cashew cream on one slice of beet and top with another slice.  Place these around the edge of the watercress.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1/4 cup good pomegranate juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

grey salt and coarse black pepper

1 teaspoon local honey

Whisk the juice and olive oil together with the seasonings and honey.  The mixture will thicken slightly.  Pour over the salad and serve.  Note:  we snipped fresh chives from my herb garden to sprinkle over the beets and add a bit of color.  Growing your own herbs is so easy.  I recommend it over the type you find in the store.


Pasta Puttanesca

If you know Italian food you may be familiar with this recipe and its origins.  I chose this because I knew that we would be doing a lot of cooking and I needed a main course that would be fine simmering a bit while the other courses were prepared.  Not to be crude, but this can be translated to read “Whore’s Pasta”.  The story, as it was told to me, is that these gracious ladies of the evening would start this sauce in the morning, go about their work and then have it ready to eat at the end of the day.  If you have a better story, by all means share it…..please!

1 box Quinoa gluten free spaghetti

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup pitted chopped Kalamata olives

2 tablespoons capers

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound organic roma tomatoes roasted (cut the tomatoes into thirds, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with grey salt and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours)

3/4 cup chopped organic, baby spinach

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, if desired.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the garlic, parsley, olives, capers, oregano, red pepper and tomatoes.  Saute for about five minutes.  Add the spinach and saute until just wilted.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the tomato mixture.  Serve in pasta bowls, sprinkled with parmesan cheese if desired.


Berry Tart with Coconut Whipped Cream

1 pint of blueberries, mashed slightly with a fork and mixed with 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch or corn starch to thicken

1 pint of strawberries, sliced

8 sheets of phyllo, thawed

1 can vegetable spray

1/4 cup organic sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 can Coconut Cream, frozen and thawed to separate the liquid (Note:  save the liquid to use in a delicious smoothie)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place one sheet of phyllo, folded in half on the parchment.  Spray with vegetable spray and sprinkle with the sugar & cinnamon mixture

Repeat this method until all eight sheets of phyllo dough have been used.

Leaving an edge of 1 1/2 inches, place the blueberries on the top of the dough and place the strawberry slices over them.  Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture

Bake until the pastry is crisp and golden brown….about 20 minutes.

For the Coconut Cream, separate the solid cream from the liquid at the bottom of the can.  Place the solid cream in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer or immersion blender fixed with a whisk attachment.  Blend until thick and creamy adding 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract and a tablespoon of organic sugar.  Spoon this over the top of each bowl as you serve the tart.

Any leftovers make a mighty fine breakfast.

In closing, I really enjoyed my time in the kitchen with MiMi McGee.  She is full of creative ideas for healthy eating…..I learned so much.  Please “Like” her “Leafy Cafe” facebook page and visit her website: http://www.leafycafe.com/ to learn more about what she is cooking, writing and promoting.  She’ll be happy to share the recipes in this post with you when you contact her and you’ll make a great friend!  MiMi is someone to follow, I have a feeling you may be hearing more of her on national television as she spreads her winning personality and approach to a delicious, healthy plant based diet!  Here’s to you Chef MiMi and to many more cooking adventures together!




5 Responses

  1. Margaret Singer Says:

    Dear Melissa, It makes my mouth water just to read these recipes! Can you divulge, for those of us who don’t know, just who is this “MiMi?” My version of the “Puttanesca” is that it is a dish which is very quickly made, so that the girls could cook it, eat it quickly, and get back on the street. Best, Margaret

  2. Margaret Singer Says:

    P.S. I am SO happy that I subscribed to your blog, so that I receive it automatically, without having to think about calling it up. US

  3. Margaret Singer Says:

    P.P.S I just now read the end of the recipes, where you explaing – somewhat – who MiMi is. Sorry. MS

  4. Melissa Says:

    Thanks Margaret. I like your version of the puttanesca recipe. Makes sense to me! Happy weekend!

  5. Greg Says:


    You moved? Wow. I some how must have missed this. If true, best of luck to you and yours as well as continued success.

    Greg Moore

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