It’s the busiest cooking week of the year!

Here to help with your cooking needs is the 1440 Multiversity Executive Chef, Kenny Woods. This week, Chef Kenny is taking over the 1440 blog to share recipes and tips for everyone from host to guest.

Chef Kenny’s specialty is meals that are friendly to your nutritional needs and delicious at the same time! First up, try a few of his favorites that are sure to be a hit with those loved ones who are gluten-free and/or vegan.

Brussels Sprout and Apple Hash with Coconut “Bacon”

• Gluten-free, vegan

INGREDIENTS
4 cups brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered
3 cups large-flake coconut chips
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup real maple syrup
1 tbs. gluten-free tamari
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. smoked salt
2 cups apples with skin left on, diced medium-size
1 fresh bay leaf
1 tbs. sage, chopped
1 tbs. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tbs. pecans, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
parchment paper

STEP 1
Preheat oven to 300°F. To prepare the vegan coconut “bacon”: in a medium-sized mixing bowl combine coconut chips, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, the tamari, smoked paprika, and smoked salt. Mix well.

STEP 2
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the seasoned coconut chips, making sure to spread them out so that they can cook evenly. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring frequently. The chips will crisp up completely once they are cool.

STEP 3
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brussels sprouts, remaining maple syrup and olive oil, apples, bay leaf, sage, thyme, and pecans. Season to taste with smoked salt and pepper. Mix ingredients well and then spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

STEP 4
Serve the sprouts garnished with the coconut “bacon.”

Creamy French Lentils with Mushrooms and Roasted Apple

• Gluten-free, vegan

INGREDIENTS
¾ cup French green lentils, rinsed
3 cups water for lentils
1 cup apples with skin left on, diced medium-size
2 tbs. olive oil
3 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 cinnamon stick
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 lb. mixed mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tbs. white wine
2 tsp. gluten-free tamari
1½ cups vegetable stock
⅓ cup unsweetened plant-based milk
3 – 4 kale stalks, stems removed, leaves sliced
salt and pepper to taste

STEP 1
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss apples with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of thyme, and one cinnamon stick, and season with salt and pepper.

STEP 2
Roast on a baking sheet for 12 minutes. Once apples start to caramelize, remove them from the oven and leave them out at room temperature. Discard cinnamon stick.

STEP 3
In a medium-sized pot, bring water to a boil. Add the lentils to the water along with a pinch of salt. Simmer the lentils until they’re just-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

STEP 4
In a medium-sized soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and stir, then cook them until they are translucent. Add mushrooms and sauté until they begin to brown on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of thyme to the pot and stir. Once the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the white wine and tamari to the pot. Then, add the drained lentils, vegetable stock, and plant milk. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil.

STEP 5
Put half of the lentil and mushroom mixture into a blender, making sure to include plenty of liquid. Blend on high until completely smooth. Scrape the creamy, blended lentil-mushroom mixture back into the pot. Add the sliced kale and roasted apples and stir. Bring everything to a boil and adjust seasoning as necessary. The final texture should be thick and creamy.

Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Ice Cream

• Gluten-free, vegan

INGREDIENTS
2 cups raw organic cashews
4 very ripe organic bananas
½ cup filtered water, plus some for soaking
1 vanilla bean
pinch of fine sea salt
½ cup real maple syrup
1 tbs. organic coconut oil, melted
½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ cup 70% cacao dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup organic pomegranate seeds

STEP 1
Soak the cashews in filtered water for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.

STEP 2
Peel the bananas and cut into bite-size slices. Place the banana slices into a sealable plastic bag and freeze completely until you’re ready to use. Remove frozen bananas from the freezer 10 minutes prior to making the ice cream.

STEP 3
Combine the drained cashews and the filtered water in a blender and blend on high until you have a completely smooth texture.

STEP 4
Slice the vanilla bean down the center and scrape the seeds out with a paring knife. Add the seeds to a food processor along with the frozen banana chunks, cashew cream, sea salt, maple syrup, coconut oil, and lemon juice. Turn on the food processor and blend on the highest setting until the mixture is smooth. Taste the mixture for sweetness and add more maple syrup if desired. Then fold in the chopped dark chocolate and pomegranate seed.

STEP 5
Put the ice cream into a freezer-ready container and freeze for at least 4 hours.