Posts tagged with Recipes
It's Jan. 1, peeps! (Or Jan. 2 for many of you who might not be eyeballing our site on a holiday.) If you're visiting this blog in the new year because you've decided you'd eat more whole, fresh foods, you've come to the right place. Well, at least I think so.
I really do try to keep this blog as healthy as possible. To me "healthy" means a few things:
Whole ingredients — I like to use foods in their natural state, as unprocessed as possible. This isn't always the case, or sometimes I use something out of convenience (case in point: the can of beans below, rather than beans from scratch). But, most of the time, my meals feature whole fruits and vegetables supported by a few condiments.
Good fats — I prefer to focus on fats that are good for the body: seeds and nuts with essential fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids (like the kind in avocados) and medium chain fatty acids (like the kind in virgin coconut oil). Extra virgin olive and grapeseed oils are great too, but don't provide as many anti-inflammatory benefits as the other fats I've mentioned.
No refined sugar — I like to use alternatives to white or brown sugar when possible. Most of the time, I'll tend to use dates, maple syrup and honey.
The salad I'm featuring today is a great example of a healthy dinner that meets all of my guidelines. It contains good fats, plenty of whole foods, unrefined sugar and isn't difficult to prepare.
Note: The picture above also contains mashed sweet potatoes. I'm not including a potato recipe because we were too heavy-handed on the spices and they ended up tasting like a high-end pumpkin pie candle. Not our best experiment.
Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing
1/4 cup prepared spicy, smooth mustard
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
8 cups mixed greens
1 avocado, peeled, halved, pitted and sliced thin
1 small red onion, sliced into very thin half-moons
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 recipe roasted portobellos (below)
Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Done.
Salad: Throw together all the ingredients except the portobellos in a large mixing bowl. Pour on the dressing and use tongs to toss. When ready to serve, place the dressed greens on plate and add the sliced, warm portobellos. Serves 4.
1/2 cup cooking wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large portobello caps
Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a glass pie plate or small casserole. Place the mushrooms upside down in the marinade into each cap to form a small pool. Preheat the oven to 400 F and marinate for about 20 minutes.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, use tongs to flip the caps over, and cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Let it cool a bit and then slice the mushrooms very thinly on the diagonal and make nice meaty slices.
(Recipe from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero)
If you're like me, you've got to restock to your fridge and pantry after the food explosion that is the holidays. My fridge has run the gamut over the past few days, going from empty-ish to stuffed to its frozen little gills to deflated and devoid of anything but leftovers.
If this sounds familiar, or if you're just planning your trip to the grocery store for the week, I highly recommend adding a pomegranate to your cart. This time of year, I can't get enough of these unusual superfruits. They're a great treat, and fantastic in nearly any application.
Back in November, I posted a Thanksgiving recipe for squash that featured pomegranate seeds. The seeds add a nice juiciness and crunch to that recipe, and they can do that to pretty much any other recipe you can dream up. Just this week, we had the seeds three different ways other than just eating them out of hand. Above is a breakfast bowl of 1 cup pomegranate seeds, 2 tablespoons pecans, 1 tablespoon hemp seeds and 1 teaspoon cacao nibs. While I was enjoying that, the hubby had pumpkin pancakes topped with the seeds.
But my favorite way this week is pairing the pomegranate seeds with squash yet again. This time, it's with kabocha squash we roasted in a spicy sauce and then used to top a simple salad. The result is as pretty as it is tasty.
But before we get to that recipe, a few details on the pomegranate, one of the world's oldest recorded fruits. One 4-inch pomegranate has 234 calories, 3 grams of fat, 11 grams of fiber (45 percent of your daily value), 5 grams of protein, 48 percent of your daily vitamin C and 5 percent of your daily iron.
Now to the really important information: How to open and seed the dang thing. The best way to seed a pomegranate is to plunge it underwater. Fill a mixing bowl with enough water that you can submerge your hands and the whole pomegranate. Next, cut the top off the fruit and score the outside into a few sections. Plunge the fruit into the water and then pull it apart along your score lines. Free the seeds with your thumbs and rub off the white pith. The pith will float and your seeds will sink. When all your seeds are free, rinse them in a colander to remove extra pith. Throw out any pale/strange-looking seeds along with the skin and the pith.
Pomegranate and Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad
1 large pomegranate or 2 small pomegranates, seeded
1 small kabocha squash, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch thick "C" shapes (no need to peel)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the squash pieces in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, tamari, cumin, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne. Pour the sauce mixture over the squash and stir to coat.
Put the coated slices on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn them over and bake for 15 more minutes.
When the squash is finished, put together salad bowls that include baby spinach, 2 to 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, 2 to 3 tablespoons hummus and 1 tablespoon pecans. Top with warm squash. Serves 4.
The most popular question I think nearly any vegan/vegetarian gets after the ubiquitous “But where do you get your protein???” question is this: “But don’t you miss _?” And, this time of year, that blank is more often than not filled with something related to holiday food.
“But don’t you miss turkey? Gravy? Pumpkin pie???”
I could say this is because there are vegan/vegetarian answers to pretty much anything that ends up on the table at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Which is totally true, but in my case I don’t miss any of those things because, I never really ate them in the first place.
Everyone is different, of course. That goes for you, too, omnivores! No one thinks to ask you, "But don't you miss _?" just because you don't eat something. Thus, not every omnivore eats every single thing on his or her Thanksgiving table. Example: Thanksgiving is my sister’s absolute favorite “food” holiday, but even she only eats turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. No pie, no stuffing, no cranberry sauce. The woman likes what she likes, even if she could eat all of it.
The same thing goes for vegetarians. Just because we don’t choose to eat everything on the Thanksgiving table doesn’t mean we miss every single thing that won’t pass our lips.
Back when I ate animal products, my Thanksgiving meals were still vegetarian, if not vegan. I pretty much just at cranberry sauce, squash/sweet potatoes, rolls (yes, plural) and plain mashed potatoes. Yep. Pretty much from the time I have a memory on up until now. My favorite part of the holiday was always the family fun time and football, and never the food. In fact, I always wished there were some good restaurant open, so I could load up on anything BUT the normal holiday fare.
Of course, this isn’t true for every vegetarian or vegan out there. Some may sit through the whole dinner, pining away for a piece of dark meat beached in a pond of gravy or a slice (or three) of pie.
So, with all that in mind, I’m going to tell you exactly what I had for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not the norm, but it was fabulous and I didn’t feel the need to hop in the car for a last-minute Tofurkey (which, to be honest, I’ve never had and probably will never want to have).
This was my plate:
Yep. That’s it. Two things. My Butternut Squash with Pomegranate Seeds and Pecans and Real Simple’s yummy Sautéed Brussels With Poppy Seeds recipe.
No Tofurkey, mushroom gravy, vegan pumpkin pie. Though, I did have a massive amount of chocolate (Hey, I’ve got to get those guilt-laden holiday calories from somewhere.).
And, chances are, I’ll have something similar for Christmas. With a side of vegan Christmas cookies. Because, honestly, that’s one “But don’t you miss __?” blank that I must fill.
Therefore, next week, I’m planning on sharing a yummy holiday cookie recipe. Get excited!
Well, the CSA season is over for another year, folks.
I kind of can’t believe it. Because my CSA season (and hopefully yours, too) is 26 weeks. That’s half a year. Meaning half of 2012 was filled with delicious, local veggies, picked up once a week like some sort of mineral-filled Christmas present.
In celebration of a good season (and in mourning of its end), I’ve compiled the best of the best from my CSA experience this spring, summer and fall. I hope you all got a chance to make some of the recipes, and if you haven’t, that you give them a try. There were definitely some good eats this year that will be added to my menu, despite my rut-loving tendencies.
So, without further ado, my favorites of CSA season 2012:
New favorites, still easy to do in winter:
Pretty (and pink) drinks:
Recipes to save for next summer (or brave out of season):
What was your favorite dish you made with your CSA goods this year?
Well, that’s that. The CSA season is over, and, just like that, winter is coming. Darn it.
I suppose distance makes the heart grow fonder, but next spring feels like forever from now. Sigh. Well, when the CSAs do start up again, we’ll be that much more excited to have our first pickups, right? CANNOT WAIT.
So, for my last bag (sniff!) of the Rolling Prairie season, we received a pretty good haul: Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, apples, turnips (including black ones!), salad greens and green peppers.
If you’ve been reading this blog all season, you probably have a pretty good idea of what I did with most of that pickup: fajita veggies, roasted turnips, apples out of hand and Swiss chard in my homemade vegetable juices.
As for the rest of it, we enjoyed the salad greens and sweet potatoes on the very same night for a fabulous and hearty dinner. We used the salad greens as a basis for a delicious salad that also had carrots and cashews and bell pepper. We topped it off with homemade honey mustard dressing.
On the side, we had steamed kabocha squash (one of my very favorite squashes — I highly recommend you try it) and then for the main course, we had homemade veggie burgers.
If you look in the picture above, they kind of look like salmon patties with avocados on top, but they are actually sweet potato-based burgers and they are fantastic. Nothing fishy about them! We used a CSA sweet potato mixed with garbanzo beans and spices for a very hearty burger, that we both loved (the hubby had two, I had one and a half).
Note: They don’t stay together well, but trust me, you won’t have any problem chasing down every single crumb.
Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers (Adapted from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com — Check out her pictures of them, they are splendid!)
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained
1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons maple or agave syrup
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)
1/4 cup wheat flour
Optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand - I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper and a scoop of nutritional yeast) salt to taste if needed
Plentiful Panko crumbs
To serve: avocado, Dijon mustard, grain buns, romaine, onion, olive oil, pepper
Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl. Keep oven on at 400 degrees.
Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.
Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs - or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.
Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. Yield eight patties (we made seven).
Place patties onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 20 to 30 minutes, or until starting to lightly brown.
Serve open-faced with avocado on top or on a toasted bun with lotsa toppings.
Next week, I’ll run down the CSA season and then we’ll be onto yummy cold-weather eats!
This week’s CSA usage was definitely an attempt in trying to use what we received kind of the same way you use that favorite cardigan or earrings — we wanted our food to go with everything.
I thought that by going this route that maybe it would give us a chance to eat different meals with the same ingredients, rather than just eating the same thing for a day or two straight.
Of course, I’m always OK with eating the same thing more than once. That never bothers me. But, I know our bodies benefit from a varied diet and that changing it up never hurt anyone.
It turns out that this low-key way of changing things up just slightly was a great way to enjoy different flavor profiles with very little hassle.
For example, the picture at the top of this post features our Rolling Prairie butternut squash and sweet potatoes from the Lawrence Farmers’ Market roasted together and then mixed in a bowl with CSA salad mix and baby spinach, avocado, roasted garlic-y Brussels sprouts and leftover curried chickpeas from this amazing crockpot book.
Then, the next day, my lunch was the roasted veggies again, this time on a sprouted grain tortilla with hummus, avocado, baby spinach and chickpeas, with the last of the Brussels sprouts on the side.
See how this works? As for the rest of our haul — Swiss chard, peppers (hot and sweet), tomatoes, salad mix, radishes — we tried to vary that, too.
The peppers were the easiest to vary. The hubby made fajitas out of a mix of sweet and hot peppers, and while he used them in a black bean burrito, I put mine on top of some baby spinach, leftover tropical sweet potato rounds and avocado and then topped the whole thing with garlic and nutritional yeast.
The tomatoes went on one of my husband’s sandwiches, while other tomatoes went in a salad along with the radishes, sweet peppers and some of the salad mix. Of course, we also used the salad mix with the aforementioned roasted squash dinner, so really, the only things that didn’t get the double-duty treatment were the radishes (salads only) and the chard (juiced).
Yes, this week turned out to be easy AND varied. I love when that happens (and it doesn’t involve eating out every other night).
I ALSO really love the new roasted squash and sweet potato recipe I got out of this week, too.
First week in October, you were a success.
Simply Roasted Butternut and Yams
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted), plus a bit more for greasing
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease two 3-quart glass baking pans with a bit of unmelted coconut oil and set them aside.
In a large bowl, combine squash and sweet potatoes. Pour the melted coconut oil over the cut vegetables and stir with a spatula until they are coated. Divide the veggies between your two pans (or hold back half if you have just a single pan), spread in a single layer and sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper.
Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to keep your veggies from sticking. Cool slightly and serve. Serves 6.
What’d we get this week? Swiss chard, sweet and hot peppers, sweet potatoes, salad mix, radishes and tofu.
Thanks to strong evidence from the peanut gallery, it seems as though I might be the only member of my immediate family who truly likes pretty much any root vegetable.
Of course we love carrots and sweet potatoes (though that’s a tuber, I suppose), but if we’re talking beets, turnips, parsnips, my darling hubby/head chef WILL NOT TOUCH THEM. Sure, he might shovel a few in his mouth if they’re hidden in with those he prefers in our favorite life-saving roasted vegetables. But, on the whole, he will not eat them. Same thing for the kiddo, who, at age three, just cannot get over that special root vegetable smell.
Alas, when it comes our CSA and root vegetables, two things normally happen. One: If the husband is picking up the vegetables, he won’t get root vegetables unless there’s no other choice. Two: I’ll pick up the vegetables, embrace the lovely roots, and then eat them all by my lonesome.
This past week at our CSA, I was the one picking the veggies. And you can totally tell because I chose salad turnips over radishes. We also received a butternut squash, greens, salad mix, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
I knew the family wouldn’t touch a raw turnip, despite the fact that salad turnips are mild enough to eat without preparation, so I decided to give them a nice, good roast and then use them as a salad topper.
The result? I nice, hearty addition to your typical green salad.
We served the roasted turnips (Don’t they look like marinated mushrooms?) on top of a salad made from our CSA salad mix, carrots, cherry tomatoes from our garden (the CSA ones weren’t ripe yet), avocado, lemon and garlic. We served them with our favorite butternut squash-apple soup and homemade hummus with sliced veggies and WheatFields’ bread.
I thought they were delicious (of course) and even got both the hubby and the kiddo to try some. Of course, I ate the bulk, but, hey, when it comes to root vegetables, there’s victory to be found in getting your family to do a taste test.
So, if you want to try it (or just happen to have gotten turnips in your CSA and have no idea what to do), you’re in luck, because the recipe is super simple and won’t leave you with ingredients you can only use on the occasional turnip.
Easy Roasted Turnips
1 bunch salad turnips or 2-3 large turnips
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus more for splashing
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Peel your turnips and then chop them into ½-inch by 1-inch rectangles. Put the turnips in a mixing bowl, cover with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and toss to coat. Spread your coated turnips out on your prepared baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. When serving, top with extra balsamic plus salt and pepper if needed. Serves 2-4.
What’d we get this week? Swiss chard, peppers (hot and sweet), tomatoes, salad mix, radishes and butternut squash.
This week we decided to update one of our favorite recipes for 2012. For the past couple of years, I've mentioned that I really love making sweet potato medallions.
We make them every fall and winter and eat them as pretty much a "main course" with some salad or beans, or cooked veggies on the side. And, we probably do this once a week.
Yes, that's a lot of sweet potatoes. And it's a lot of time to get a bit worn out on them. So, I updated our recipe for this year.
Honestly, I think this is my own little passive-aggressive way of dealing with my status as a "rut-loving eater." Because, after some experimentation, I now have a recipe that is very similar to one I love, but completely different. In fact, it takes the best parts of that recipe (the quick cooking time and the light seasoning) and makes it even better but including good fats and low-glycemic sweetener.
More on all that in a minute. First, last week we received white sweet potatoes, grapes, pears, mixed peppers, mixed greens and basil.
Now, you'll notice the sweet potatoes in the picture aren't white. That's because we made a batch that included both white sweet potatoes and regular sweet potatoes and totally spaced on taking a picture of the white ones. Whoops. They were totally delicious, FYI. They aren't as sweet as regular sweet potatoes, but still fantastic.
So, anyway, despite the picture being all wrong, here's the "new" recipe in all it's scrumptious glory.
Sweet and Spicy Tropical Sweet Potato Slices
2 medium sweet potatoes, skins removed and sliced into quarter-inch circles
Coconut oil (to taste)
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, place parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet and put sweet potato slices on top.
With clean fingers, rub the tops of each sweet potato slice with a bit of coconut oil, just enough to make the top shiny.
Wash and dry your hands and mix together the coconut palm sugar, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the oiled sweet potatoes.
Place the sweet potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, flip them with tongs or a metal spatula. Return them to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes. Serve warm.
What'd we get this week? More sweet potatoes, salad turnips, greens, salad mix, butternut squash and tomatoes.
Amazingly, we’re a bit sick of our favorite fajitas. Crazy, right? I KNOW.
So, this week we tried something different with our abundance of peppers. It was totally delicious: Black Bean, Mushroom and Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers.
They were fantastic AND made from things we had on hand. The thrill of trying something new always seems to be greater when we don’t have to lose the high by running to the store to pick something up. You know?
To review: Last week we received apples, sweet potatoes, lettuce, sweet peppers, hot peppers and grapes from our CSA. All pretty easy things to use right? Right. Salad, salad, sweet potato medallions. BAM.
Meanwhile, our collection of peppers has kind of gotten out of hand (again) lately, mostly because there’s been really good prices on them lately and I just can’t say no. To work through some of them, the hubby and head chef thumbed through one of our favorite cookbooks and found the perfect recipe. Based on the size of our peppers, we’d use eight of them in the recipe and it totally sounded delicious.
We’ve made almost every single recipe in that book, so I’m kind of surprised we hadn’t made them before, but we’ll did and we’ll totally make them again. You should most definitely try them!
We served it alongside a simple salad of romaine, carrots, olives and mushrooms. NOM.
Black Bean, Mushroom and Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers (Recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
Fresh cilantro for garnish
In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms; sauté about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their moisture. Stir in the chile powder and salt. Add the quinoa and 1 cup of the tomato sauce (reserve the rest) and the water, lower the heat and cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring once.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the peppers: Boil a pot of water. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Boil the peppers for 5 minutes and then drain them.
Combine the beans and maple syrup with the cooked quinoa mixture. Stuff each pepper with filling and stand them upright in a baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the peppers and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, garnish with cilantro (we didn’t do this), and serve.
What’d we get this week? White sweet potatoes, grapes, pears, mixed peppers, mixed greens and basil.
OK, a confession: this week’s featured recipe actually feature goods I got from the Lawrence Farmers’ Market. That’s probably cheating because “Bye-Bye Bounty” is all about cooking away the goodies to be had in my CSA, but I figure because everything is seasonal, there’s a chance that some of you received some of these items in your CSA this week.
The reason none of my Rolling Prairie items made it into this recipe? Everything was so easy to use that I didn’t even think to take a picture of it.
To rehash, last week we got: Pears, cucumber, peppers, arugula, spring mix, cherry tomatoes, eggplant.
Basically, that amounts to two salads in our household. Arugula with pears. Spring mix with cherry tomatoes and cucumber. The eggplant was cooked up like last week.
So, the recipe I’m sharing doesn’t include any of those items. What it does include is a bunch of fresh veggies and several ingredients that can be obtained locally, whether through your CSA or the farmers’ market or one of the several grocery stores around here that make it a point to sell area-grown produce.
You can get butternut squash, garlic and edamame locally. You could also switch out the button mushrooms for one of the locally grown varieties. Occasionally, you can find broccoli locally, though the heat will probably keep it from appearing for some time. Same thing with the peas.
Butternut Squash Stir-Fry with Veggies and Edamame
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces
1 pint button mushrooms, sliced with stems removed
2 cups frozen broccoli, defrosted
Extra veggies (optional, 1 had leftover corn and peas)
1 inch ginger, zested
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon cooking sherry
2-3 cups shelled edamame
Water, as needed
In a wok or large skillet, heat coconut oil and garlic over medium heat, stirring regularly. After 2 minutes, add the butternut squash, tamari and sherry and cover. Stir occasionally, adding water to keep it from sticking.
Meanwhile, put the edamame pods in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil four minutes and then drain. Let them cool before popping them open.
Once the squash is soft enough to halve with a spatula, add your broccoli and veggies and stir to warm. Serve with extra garlic (optional) and top with shelled edamame. Serves 4.
What'd we get this week? Apples, sweet potatoes, lettuce, sweet peppers, hot peppers and grapes. Yum!