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Broccoli Chickpea Soup May 12, 2013

Broccoli & Chickpea Soup topped with sun-dried tomatoes

Broccoli & Chickpea Soup topped with sun-dried tomatoes

Broccoli & Chickpea Soup
with olive tapenade & sun-dried tomatoes 

Ingredients
Makes ~8 servings 

Essentials
These ingredients make up the core of the soup
2 lbs broccoli crowns
1 lb cooked chickpeas
1 quart reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 large yellow onion
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oli (to saute onion & garlic)

Additions
These are the additional ingredients I used and recommend but feel free to taylor them to your taste
1/2 fresh avocado
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
Spices to taste (I used 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper & a pinch of paprika)

Garnish with sun-dried tomatoes & olive tapenade 

Method

1) Chop & saute onion & garlic in olive oil at medium heat until slightly browned

2) Combine all remaining ingredients (except the garnish) into large cooking pot and blend until smooth using an immersion blender (aka hand blender). Once blended, heat soup in large pot on stove top on high until reaching desired temperature. Stir well.

3) Pour soup into serving bowls and top with sun-dried tomatoes & olive tapenade. Store remaining soup in sealed container in fridge for up to one week or freezer for longer storage (anything beyond a week). If you don’t think you’ll have the garnish ingredients the next them you serve the soup, add them to the soup before storing in fridge or freezer and allow them to mix in so their flavors aren’t missing from your next serving.

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Cherry Cocoa Almond Smoothie April 20, 2013

Cherry Cocoa Almond SmoothieCherry Cocoa Almond Smoothie
with vanilla extract & creamy almond butter

Indulge & be fit! Cater to your cocoa craving with this lux fruity creation.

Ingredients

-3/4 cup frozen dark cherries (preferably without added sugar)
– 1 small frozen banana (peel & freeze the night before)
-1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not “Dutch” processed-if possible as this makes for a milder flavor but strips out some antioxidants)
– 1 tsp almond butter
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (less for a thicker smoothie)
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Peel and freeze the banana at least 4 hours in advance. If you make smoothies often, keep some frozen ready to go.

Blend ingredients until smoothie and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, & soy-free. For a nut-free version swap the almond butter for 1 tsp coconut oil and use coconut milk instead of almond milk. If you’re subbing in coconut milk, opt for the carton variety found in the refrigerated grocery store aisle rather than the higher-fat canned variety.

 

Blueberry Cornbread Muffins April 19, 2013

Blueberry Cornbread Muffins

Blueberry Cornbread Muffins

Blueberry Cornbread Muffins
with a hint of lime

Ingredients

– 1 1/4 cup GF ground cornmeal
– Just under 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 1/2 tbsp honey
– Pinch of sea salt
– 1 egg
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or chilled coconut milk)
– handful of fresh or frozen (de-thawed) blueberries
– juice squeezed from one fresh lime
-olive or canola oil (just enough to lightly coat baking tray)

Method

1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine ingredients in large bowl, mixing well.

2) Lightly coat 8 muffin baking tray spaces with olive or canola oil. You can skip this step if you have a non-stick pan. If you don’t have a muffin baking tray, you can use a regular baking tray and pour the mixture into about 8 muffin foil tins.

3) Bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes. Mine only took 15 minutes. Enjoy hot and place the rest in a sealed container to store in the fridge. The muffins are great chilled as well. The perfect spread to compliment: earth balance organic coconut spread + fresh lime juice + light shake of salt. Enjoy!

Note: If you are serving these to individuals with gluten allergies, make sure that you purchase ground corn flour that is clearly labeled as gluten-free. While corn is naturally free of gluten, some unlabeled varieties may be processed in a facility that also processes wheat products. For those without an allergy or intolerance, any cornmeal is fine but go for one with a GF seal if anyone eating the muffins has celiac to be certain there’s no cross-contamination risk. 

 

Mighty Matcha Morning Smoothie January 26, 2013

Image

Mighty Matcha Morning Smoothie
with banana & almond 

Ingredients

-1 large sliced frozen banana (peel, slice into 3-4 pieces, & freeze the night before)
-3/4 tsp matcha green tea powder
-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-1 tsp soaked chia seeds (optional)
-5-6 slices raw, rinsed white mushrooms (just under 1/4 cup)
-1 tsp chopped frozen spinach (optional)

Method

Blend until smooth. Enjoy creamy & cold.

The consistency will change dramatically if you use a fresh unfrozen banana. I very highly recommend using a frozen one for this recipe to achieve the creamy texture. Buy a bunch of bananas, allow them to ripen (they should have “freckles” and smell sweet), peel them, break them into 2-3 inch pieces and freeze them for a creamy, delicious smoothie starter. I usually use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a banana in a given smoothie but in this recipe you’ll need the whole fruit since it is the star of the smoothie (along with the matcha of course).

Chia seeds can be a fun smoothie addition bringing extra nourishing protein & fiber. Just be sure to soak them overnight in water so they won’t be too crunchy and affect the smoothie’s texture. I just added a teaspoon of the soaked seeds here (so a portion of that teaspoon was water). I soak about 2 Tbsp. and keep this to use throughout the week in a sealed glass container in the fridge.

 

Savory Potato Apple Soup December 16, 2012

Savory Potato-Apple Soup topped with a twist of black pepper and chopped ambrosia apple pieces.

Savory Potato-Apple Soup
with lemon & garlic

Mellow yet tangy–potato & tart apple pair playfully in this cozy soup. Serve it hot topped with fresh chopped apple slices. I suggest using an apple with a sharper, tarter flavor such as an Ambrosia or Jazz apple. Granny Smith would work as well (just avoid a purely sweet apple such as a Red Delicious).

Ingredients
Makes 6 servings 

-~1 lb potatoes (red new potatoes or small russets will work fine)
-3 Tart apples (such as Ambrosia or Jazz)
-4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
-Juice of 2 fresh lemons
-10 garlic cloves (peeled & chopped)
-3 shallots (peeled & chopped)
-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (If you don’t have this, add 1 Tbsp brown spicy mustard instead)
-Pinch of cloves
– 2 Tbsp olive oil (use for roasting potatoes & sautéing garlic)
-1/2 cup water
– 2 Tbsp chopped green onion (optional)
-Pinch of rosemary (optional)
– Salt & pepper to taste (as topping–not mixed into soup)

Method

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse and chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place chopped potatoes in a large baking tray with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Mix well so that all pieces are coated in the oil. Bake for 40 minutes or until tender at 350°F, stirring every 10 minutes.

2) While potatoes are cooking, peel and chop garlic & shallots. Place on saucepan on stove top and sauté in 1 Tbsp. olive oil, stirring frequently until ingredients have browned slightly. Add a few spoonfuls of your vegetable broth as needed to keep ingredients moist rather than adding more oil.

3) Rince and chop 3 ambrosia apples. Reserve 1/2 apple chopped for soup topping. Add the rest into a large pot on the stove top along with the 4 cups of vegetable broth and 1/2 cup water. Add in all remaining ingredients to your soup pot (other than ingredients reserved for topping), and bring to high heat. Add in your garlic & shallots.

4) Carefully remove roasted potatoes from oven and add to your soup pot. Reduce heat to low. Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients until soup becomes smooth.

5) Serve hot with chopped apple pieces on top. Add a pinch of salt and pepper on top as desired. Store extra in the fridge to use within the next few days or in the freezer to de-thaw and enjoy weeks or even months later!

Enjoy! Note, I did NOT peel the apples or potatoes because I felt they enhanced the soup’s flavor and texture (and added fiber!). Apples and potatoes are part of the “Dirty Dozen” so these are good items to buy organic.

 

Buckwheat Banana Gingerbread December 9, 2012

Rich Buckwheat Banana Gingerbread

Rich Buckwheat Banana Gingerbread

Buckwheat Banana Gingerbread
with walnuts & fresh ginger

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat flour
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 ripe bananas
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cage-free egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Method

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine ingredients (all except buckwheat flour, nuts, & ground spices) in large bowl. You can use a mixer or a hand blender to mix the fresh grated ginger in well with the other ingredients.

2) Mix in the flour and spices until all ingredients are well blended. Mix in nuts using a large spoon (or sprinkle chopped nuts on top of bread batter in pan).

3) Pour mixture into bread pan and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes. Test the bread with a toothpick of fork to make sure that full baked.

This was a really fun bread to make. I was craving gingerbread and have been wanting to try something that would complement buckwheat flour (a gluten-free alternative to wheat–which is actually not related to buckwheat despite their similar names–with a distinct nutty taste). Gingerbread & buckwheat paired beautifully together. I really wanted to try this with applesauce but only had bananas on hand so decided to give them a try. Not bad and makes a great bread for those who would enjoy a more complex flavor than traditional banana bread but with some of the light banana sweetness. Enjoy!

 

Pan-Seared Salmon Cakes July 11, 2012

Pan-seared Fish Cakes make a quick, protein and omega-rich breakfast or great meal anytime.

Pan-Seared Salmon Cakes
with parsley, lemon, & scallion

Time to Table: Approx 10 minutes
Tools Used: Hand Blender, Microwave, Pan, Stove Top, Fork

Ingredients
Serves 2 with 2-3 cakes per serving

– 3 Red or Purple Potatoes
-1 Egg
– 1 scallion (chopped)
– 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
– 1 tbsp chopped parsley
– t tbsp olive, peanut, or canola oil (for cooking)
– 3 oz canned salmon, smoked salmon, or cooked salmon (This is the perfect way to use up any leftover refrigerated fish from dinner the night before. The salmon pouches sold near tuna pouches at most grocery stores also are an excellent, thrifty option.)

Optional Extras
– 1 tsp flax seed or walnut pieces
– 1 tsp crumbled goat’s cheese or feta

Method

1. Rinse the potatoes and puncture with a fork to ventilate. Place on a microwave-safe ceramic or glass plate and microwave for 2 minutes to soften potatoes.

2. While potatoes cook, rinse and chop parsley and scallion and gather remaining ingredients. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (except for the oil), including the cooked potatoes. Blend with hand blender until well mixed. Using a spoon, make six small cakes on your plate. Microwave for 2 minutes so that egg mixture is fully cooked.

3. Add 1 tbsp oil to stove top pan and lightly sear cooked cakes until slightly crisp on the outside. Place finished cakes on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve warm and enjoy!