This Wilted Kale Salad with Warm Mustard Shallot Vinaigrette and Spicy Butternut Squash Croutons is winter’s answer to a green salad! Loaded with nutrients and pops of color and SO much taste it’s dreamy as a side or plop your favorite protein on top and make it a meal. The squash croutons? Sure I know they aren’t croutons, but with a little finesse we get a subtle crisp to them that are better than any boring ‘ol bread crouton.
It’s winter and salads often become a distant memory for many. I get it, cold, crispy raw salads just aren’t that appealing to me either, when there’s a chill in the air. I crave warming, comforting and cozy. But, I have made a commitment to my daily #BFS (Big F&%$ing Salad). I find this practice is a great way to ensure I get a big blast of daily nutrients, no matter what!
This is a salad for the winter. With kale as the shining star, this is the perfect way to get in those nutrient-rich greens in the cooler months. Kale is exploding with disease-fighting phytochemicals and it’s one of my most favorite whole-food sources of cognition-boosting nutrition. Here’s what Max Lugavere has to say about kale:
Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are a top source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids which have been the focus of numerous recent studies.
In volunteers, supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin led to faster processing speed. 1http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0108178 This effect was significant “even when testing young, healthy individuals who tend to be at peak efficiency,” wrote study authors.
In another study, human subjects with higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin did better on a test of working memory, while their brains seemed to be working more efficiently when observed under fMRI.2https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-the-international-neuropsychological-society/article/relationship-of-lutein-and-zeaxanthin-levels-to-neurocognitive-functioning-an-fmri-study-of-older-adults/128FA33729CB102A1DC5ACAAFF7D972D
Finally, lutein (found in egg yolks, spinach and kale) was associated with greater crystalized intelligence—the ability to use learned knowledge and experience—in older adults. 3http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnagi.2016.00297/full
References [ + ]
1. ↑ http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0108178 2. ↑ https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-the-international-neuropsychological-society/article/relationship-of-lutein-and-zeaxanthin-levels-to-neurocognitive-functioning-an-fmri-study-of-older-adults/128FA33729CB102A1DC5ACAAFF7D972D 3. ↑ http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnagi.2016.00297/full
Fruit and I have certainly had our ups and downs over the years. I like to describe our tumultuous connection using the Facebook relationship status of “it’s complicated”. In the past couple of years as I have worked very, very hard to get my gut issues under control, despite the usual suspects, I have come to find that many fruits, especially those highest in fructose to be one of THE biggest triggers in my chronic bloating, gas and general gastric upset.
This isn’t exclusive to me and it’s actually quite common with folks that struggle with bacterial imbalances in their gut, SIBO, leaky gut, etc. Fruits high in fructose can cause fermentation in the gut, which can lead to some not-so-pleasant after effects.
It took me some time to discover that fruit was one of the biggest culprits and more, it was hard for me to understand how a nutritious, healthful whole food, like fruit could be create such gnarly side effects. Seemed wrong. It was in experimenting with a low FODMAP protocol that I found some of the greatest relief and while there are still some fruits today, that I have to be careful with and mindful of how much I consume, it has changed so significantly over the last few years as I have worked hard to heal my gut and get my gut bacteria in better balance.
I know for many of you with families and busy schedules, though the summer is supposed to be about relaxing and chilling, somehow before you know it, the schedule fills up and you are going non-stop. Dinners are eaten on the run and you are quite literally setting up your digestion for a rough go. While it’s far easier said then done, to slow down, I think much of this action can take place with meal planning and preparing meals that can me made start to finish in under 30 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
As someone that generally has so much to say in real life, at times I can find this blank window of a new post to be completely daunting. I am not a writer, not by any stretch of the imagination. My posts are riddled with incorrect punctuation and remedial grammatical errors – probably every last post on this website. I can be somewhat insecure about this fact, it used to almost be crippling at times. Being ever a perfectionist, I want everything to always be on-point and I can give myself an insanely hard time when I feel that things don’t meet my expectations.
Thankfully I have the utmost confidence in my recipes and my ideas, so I power through. I chat a little, I share what’s on my mind and we just get through it together. This is one of those times that my brain is so overloaded with everything going on, that while it feels full to the brim, somehow, I am also at a loss. With mid-terms last weekend, Expo West this weekend add a back injury, parties, a newborn nephew on the other side of the country, tons of people in town right now, and everything in between – there is almost too much to share that somehow there ends up being nothing important enough to write to you about. Or maybe my brain is just beyond tired. I am leaning more towards that.
Truth me told, the loaded fries and the chicken wings, those are more my husband’s football food. He begs and pleads for junk food on football Sundays, so I have always caved by simply recreating the classics for him, but in a healthier way. It’s a good deal for both of us. Me, I am a bit more uppity when it comes to what I want in a party spread. Give me an epic charcuterie or crudités platter, a little homemade roasted red pepper and feta dip, some tasty, fresh homemade salsa and chips (I reach for the plantain chips these days), a simple, but flavorful chili, the best darn gluten-free soft pretzel bites or these…tasty, crispy salmon cakes!
These Grain-free Salmon Cakes with Old Bay Aioli may seem a more fancy option at your Super Bowl spread, compared to the chips, fries or wings, but don’t let these fool you. They are whipped up in a mere minutes and they are the perfect small bite, party food. A little crispy on the outside with a soft, fluffy, perfect interior. Do not, I repeat do not skip out on the Old Bay Aioli. It’s a must here.
Though salmon cakes aren’t a food I grew up eating, these are comfort food to me. They are totally fuss-free, so they actually make for a very simple weeknight meal or a quick lunch or brunch, even. We almost always have canned salmon on hand, but this recipe is also great for leftover cooked salmon, as well. I love these served over a mixed baby greens salad, but they make an amazing appetizer, as well. Make the patties even bigger and go for more of a burger vibe, if you’d like.
I have said it before a million times, but I seriously can’t really get into the super sweet breakfast scene. Once in a great while I love a good, subtly sweet homemade waffle covered in some maple syrup, but mostly I crave fat and savory, first thing in the morning. I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of note I want to start my day on and the fuel I want running through my body, especially on the busy days.
As I tend to avoid grains most of the time, this means lots of eggs, veggies and in the warmer months, green smoothies. I also like the occasional piece of gluten-free sourdough, topped with an egg or avocado. In the winter months I find myself craving a bit more substantial and comforting foods. I could get down with a good savory oatmeal, but my tummy doesn’t tend to love that grain. I can tolerate the certified gluten-free oats, for sure, but it just doesn’t always sit well. Not worth the bloat – that should really be my life motto.
These days when I do consume grains (gluten-free, obvi), I prefer for them to either be fermented by way of sourdough or to be sprouted. We spoke about the reasons why to sprout, in my sprouting tutorial, but as a recap:
Germination (sprouting) produces vitamin C and it also changes the grains and seeds in many beneficial ways. It increases it’s vitamin B content, carotene increases significantly, but most importantly sprouting neutralizes phytic acid, a substance present in the bran of all grains. Phytic acid inhibits our ability to properly absorb calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. These inhibitors can also neutralize our own already existing precious enzymes within our digestive tract. The complex sugars responsible for intestinal gas are also broken down during sprouting and the sprouting also inactivates aflatoxins, potent carcinogens found in grains. Finally, many previous enzymes that actually benefit the digestion process are produced during the sprouting process. Read the rest of this entry »
Meal planning for busy weeks can be at times be a challenge, to say the least. Even for someone like me, which is kinda insane considering I like I think about food well over 3/4 of the day. It takes a lot to keep things fun, fresh and interesting, while being healthy, easy and swift. This is all especially important during the mid-week craziness.
If you are a regular reader of Tasty Yummies, you are always seeing the many, fun and unique ways that I prepare my vegetables, it is something I take great pride in, they truly inspire me. Since we eat meat sparingly around here, it’s not an every night thing, so I am always seeking simple ways to prepare different proteins that wow me, the way veggies can.
Truth be told, I never really understood the obsession with boneless skinless chicken breasts. So flavorless, so boring. Blah! Get yourself some (well-raised) chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in and my friends, that’s where all the flavor is at. You get some crispy skin and now we’re talking about succulent goodness. Let’s start a chicken revolution.
Lately I have seen quite a few posts online calling out other greens as “The New Kale” or “The Kale of 2016”. So wait – does this mean kale is out of style? Was kale ever in style? Can veggies be in vogue?
I think I am the wrong person to be talking about any of this, I would still be wearing my flannels, combat boots, chokers and overalls, if I didn’t have the little tiny bit of sense that I do have. Though, seemingly according to my trips to the mall during the holidays all of this is acceptable again. I have NO clue. All I do know is that kale is ALWAYS in my fridge, it’s a favorite around here and for me, it’s always in style.
Kale is a freakin’ nutritional powerhouse, so whether it’s cool or not, I am all about it. While I prefer my kale to be cooked, I do find it makes an amazing salad, when the tough leaves get a massage and it’s given a little time to marinate in the vinaigrette, to break down it’s fibrous nature. The flavor of the sometimes bitter kale mellows out, the texture becomes more palatable and it’s infused with the soft flavors of whatever dressing you choose.
Loaded up sweet potatoes are my jam! Stuff all that good stuff up in there and then proceed to stuff your face. What could go wrong? Nothing. Promise. This particular version, is a great way to combine a salad right into your sweet potato. Done and done. I like to bake the sweet potatoes ahead of time, many weeks I batch bake a bunch for meals, then you can assemble just before serving. They make a great summer BBQ, picnic or potluck side dish, just heat up the already baked sweet potatoes, quickly make the filling, stuff and serve.
These Beans and Greens Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are so simple to make and will quickly become a favorite of yours, too. Best part, as with many of my recipes, switch up the ingredients to you or your guests particular liking. Not a fan of garbanzo beans, opt for white beans, black eye peas, black beans or whatever tickles your bean fancy. Not a fan of beans, opt for toasted nuts or seeds instead. You could even add your favorite sausage or some bacon on top, if you are a meat eater looking for a complete meal. Like your cheese? A little sprinkle of feta or parmesan would be epic on top of these. Truthfully though, these need nothing added at all. They are incredible just like this.
This healthy, fall-inspired Autumn Harvest Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette, is the perfect way to enjoy all of the many amazing flavors of the season in one flavor-packed healthy salad. It is light enough to not leave you heavy and weighed down, but also hearty enough to be a meal on it’s own. This makes 2 large meal sized servings or 4 side salad-sized servings. I like to make this salad and dress the servings individually so I can enjoy the leftovers later. This was the perfect lunch during a long day of yoga teacher training, a few weeks back.
Lately, this is one of my most favorite ways to enjoy raw kale and I find even those not super crazy about the superfood green, absolutely love it in salad like this. The key is to massage the kale to get rid of the toughness and the bitterness. Yup, I said “massage”! No, you don’t have to whisper sweet nothings to it or buy it dinner first, just a good ‘ol fashioned no-strings-attached massage.
This month of guest-bloggers just keeps on going and bringing more and more of my favorite foodie ladies here to share amazing treats with you guys. Today, we have the amazingly talented Cara, of Fork & Beans, with us, sharing an incredible recipe that would be perfect for your Super Bowl party this weekend or heck for any occasion really and they are a super creative way to use up some of your leftover juice pulp!
Beth. Oh Beth. My love story goes way back with this girl from almost the beginning of Fork & Beans. I adore her personality from behind the computer and in person–she is the kind of girl you want fighting on your team. It is of my upmost pleasure to be here with all her loyal readers–YOU–sharing this recipe today!
Over the past couple years I have become a huge lover of juicing. I even bought an Omega (which I LOVE) and I now make a tradition of going to the farmer’s market every Sunday to buy fresh produce to juice at home for the entire week. The thing about juicing, however, is that there is a ton of pulp left over from the vegetables. I always feel guilty about throwing it all away because there is still food to be eaten despite the fact that it is the leftover fiber of the vegetables and fruit. I just never really have known what to do with it (translation: I never put that much thought into it) That is, until now.
Now I am starting to get creative with all that extra fiber and beginning to throw it into everything I can think of. About a year ago I made these Italian Quinoa Bites which were a HUGE hit (and unbelievably good!) and it immediately hit me that the pulp would pair perfectly with a new-and-improved flavor. And trust, it so is! These make the perfect appetizers or even meal in and of itself. Read the rest of this entry »
If you know me even just a little bit, you’d know how much I love a good party, especially those centered around eating, and OK yes, drinking, too! Everything in moderation, right? I love an excuse to wear a fun outfit, make some special treats and just enjoy myself. Our house is fairly small so it is very rare that I entertain at home, so I have to wait on other people to have parties and invite me, but when they do, I always jump at the chance to create something yummy to share with others. Besides the joy I get by making people happy with the food I make, the biggest reason I enjoy bringing something to share is the guarantee that I will have at least one thing to eat. Being that I am gluten-free and dairy-free and I also refrain from eating processed foods, it can be quite hard to indulge at parties and other get-togethers.
The other reason I love being able to bring some food to share to a party, is so I can spread the good word about eating clean and healthy. I think many people attribute the words “clean”, “processed-free” or even “gluten-free”, to mean taste-free and unexciting. I love changing people’s perceptions on food and eating and showing them just how much fun you can have with your food, even with a clean diet.
This recipe would be great for many different types of cocktail parties, whether it be a casual sports party for the Super Bowl or a fancy New Year’s Eve bash. They are as dressed down or dressed us as you need them to be. These stuffed mushrooms are grain-free and vegan, they are perfectly bite-sized and so full of flavor and texture. They are so quick to make, too. Plus, you could make these ahead of time, stuff them and put them in the oven just before the guests start to arrive.
These Vegan Grain-free Stuffed Mushrooms are so simple to make and are the perfect small-bite party food. If the party isn’t at your place, make them ahead and pop them in the oven just before serving at your holiday or cocktail party destination. They are of course perfect for any gluten-free and/or vegan eaters, but I promise all of the party guests will enjoy them and the bonus is they are easy on the waistline at a time of year when temptation is around every corner.
It was fun making these on a random work day (since we work from home) and eating them in the middle of the day, felt like we had a little party of our own.
Do you like bringing a dish or a treat to share when you go to a party or would you rather just eat what others make?
This recipe was originally shared on Cara’s Cravings as part of her Clean Eating Cocktail Party. Cara’s site is full of creative and delicious recipes that are always seasonally inspired and clean. Cara’s recipes will always give you the excitement and comfort we crave from food, but without any of the guilt.
[print_this]Vegan Grain-free Stuffed Mushrooms
YIELD: 4-8, depending on size and quantity of mushrooms
What’s a party without the ever-popular stuffed mushrooms? These ones are loaded with walnuts, spinach and sundried tomatoes, a savory burst of flavor to feed any appetite.
- 1 1/2 lbs. mushrooms, you can use baby portobellos, cremini or button
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped – reserve a little for serving
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, finely diced
- 3/4 cup walnuts, finely, roughly chopped
- 1 cup baby spinach, finely, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms, set aside to dice and add to the filling. Brush mushrooms with a little olive oil, place stem side up and bake for 8-10 minutes.
In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Saute the shallots, bell pepper, garlic and sun dried tomatoes for about 3 minutes until they start to get tender. Add in the parsley, finely chopped mushroom stems and chopped walnuts, cook another 2-3 minutes. Add in chopped baby spinach and allow it to wilt. Salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the mushrooms from the oven, pour off or soak up any water that accumulates in the mushrooms. Spoon the filling into the mushrooms and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes. Topped with fresh, raw diced red bell peppers and serve warm.[/print_this]
Hey guys – I apologize for the lack of recipes right now, but I have had my head buried in work while we get ready for SXSW and the Flatstock Rock Poster Convention in Austin, Texas. We leave next Saturday for the long and fun road trip down there and we will be on the road for a total of 11 days. Many of you probably recall me talking about it last year at this time, it is such an enjoyable excursion that comes at the perfect time of year for us. We get to see so many of our wonderful and talented friends from all over the world, we eat lots of delicious Mexican food, plus some of the best BBQ food you will ever have, oh and we get to sell all of our handmade goods and wares to music fans from all over the world for 4 days! Plus, did I meantion it is usually somewhere in the 80s, with the sun shining every day. Ahhh, see it couldn’t come at a better time, it is the perfect break at the end of a dreary, grey and cold Buffalo winter. The only thing I dislike about this trip is how much time I am away from my own kitchen, the comforts of my own homemade foods and my daily yoga practice. In an effort to circumvent the lack of these daily comforts, I plan to pack a cooler full of my homemade Kombucha and some tasty snacks for the road trip down and I will most definitely have my yoga mat rolled up in a corner of the car somewhere so I can squeeze in some practice and meditation each day of the trip.
I plan to get a couple more recipes up here before I leave and if I can pull it together, I plan to get some guest posts together from some of my favorite bloggers! It is funny, this is the first trip I have taken that I am actually feeling weird about the lack of posting on here while I am away. I think because I am finally getting a really decent amount of visits each day, I don’t want people to get bummed when they stop by and nothing new has been added. Yup, my blogging obsession is officially official, I don’t wanna leave Tasty Yummies the way I don’t wanna leave my pets! haha
Anyhow, this recipe is one that I have been sitting on for a few days and I finally made time tonight to get the photos edited and the recipe fully written up. This salad is my take on a salad I had recently at local food shop/deli/cafe, Globe Market. They are located on Elmwood, literally right at the front door of my yoga studio, East Meets West Yoga. Though I rarely grab food after yoga, since I just head home and eat something light, I stopped in there one day after yoga, about two weeks ago to grab a quick gluten-free hummus and veggie sandwich before heading to a meeting. When he found out I was stopping there, Mark asked me to grab a serving or two of one of their delicious-looking side salads, for him to eat alongside sandwiches at lunch at home during the week. I opted for a creamy raw broccoli salad with red onions, bacon and almonds. That sounded just up his alley, healthy enough with some naughty stuff, too. Mark loved it, but truthfully I ate most of it. I couldn’t help it, it was so tasty, it was perfectly simple. It wasn’t even the bacon that got me, it was the delicious dressing and the combination of all of the ingredients.
So, I decided that it was a simple enough salad that I could make my own version at home, but with a Tasty Yummies twist. I wanted to make it vegan. I was determined to make it just as delicious without the bacon and with a delicious egg-free and dairy-free creamy dresssing. So I bought some Grapeseed Veganaise from Follow Your Heart, to make the dressing creamy and I went from there. I was honestly surprised that I pulled it off and was even happier with my own version that the bacon containing version from Globe. I decided to use shallots instead of red onions for a bit milder of a flavor and I added in some mushroom slices that I had on hand. This salad has been the perfect side dish with so many different lunches and dinner. I made sure to make a large enough batch that we could eat it throughout the week.
If you aren’t crazy about totally raw broccoli, feel free to blanch or steam yours for about 3-5 minutes. I love raw broccoli, myself, though I should probably consider steaming it to take down on the :ahem: gassy after-effects (sorry TMI, but it’s the truth)!
If you aren’t vegan, you can use your favorite mayonnaise and you could even consider adding in some crispy bacon crumbles. It really is quite complimentary.
[print_this]Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad with Mushrooms and Almonds
1/2 cup grapeseed oil veganaise (or other vegan mayo)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon coconut sugar (you could also use brown sugar, maple syrup, honey or any other sweetener of your choice)
1 tbsp gluten-free unsalted whole grain mustard
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
Approximately 8 cups of broccoli florets (about 2 pounds of florets)
2 shallots, chopped
9 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
Place the broccoli in a large serving bowl, toss with the shallots, mushrooms and almonds. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve.
This salad can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Toss well before serving. You can serve this room temperature or cooled.
This week has been really nice. I am feeling much more like myself, I have been spending time taking the necessary (and long overdue) steps to be as organized and productive as I can (in life and work) and I have actually really been enjoying eating a limited diet.
The only bad thing about this week is that it’s almost over. I cannot believe it is already Thursday night. How did that happen?
Today is day 5 of no dairy (among other things) and I am feeling really good. I stepped on the scale today for the first time since the holidays and my weight was WAY down (like nearly 10lbs)! YAY! A wonderful bonus to healing my grumpy digestive tract, I would say! I have been enjoying piling in the vegetables this week but on Tuesday night I was wanting something a little bit different for dinner than a plate of vegetables, a smoothie or fresh juice. Since the January/February issue of Whole Living features tons (over 50) great cleansing recipes for their New Year’s Action Plan, I knew I would be able to find the perfect starting point recipe that would still adhere to all of my current self-imposed rules!
These burgers jumped out at my instantly. They are so simple, just a few ingredients and with a few tweaks on my end to my tastes, they would be exactly what I was looking for. I served my burger on top of a nice big leafy piece of green lettuce as they suggested, hoping that the raw roughage wouldn’t be too much for me right now, and it wasn’t, which I was definitely pleased about. I served my burger with some roasted cauliflower tossed with steamed baby spinach on the side and it was a nice light dinner! These patties held together very nicely when cooking and had a beautiful crispy and browned outside. The original recipe suggests mashing the chickpeas with the rice by hand, but I just wasn’t getting the consistency I was looking for and I worried they would end up falling apart, so I processed the chickpeas and brown rice and my food processor and I think that was a wise decision. I also went with cilantro instead of the recipe’s suggested parsley, for a brighter and bigger punch of flavor and I added in some lime juice and chile powder. You could certainly add whatever your favorite fresh herbs and spices are, so many different combinations would work in these bugers. The flavors I went with were so perfect together and topping the burger with fresh scallions and dijon mustard was a great way to finish them.
I kept debating adding fresh spinach to these, but I was worried about them staying together, so I figured it was best not to mess with the ratio too much, but I hope to make these again and play with adding either the spinach or shredded carrots or zucchini or something like that, for some extra color and nutrients.
I think you could also make these burgers a bit smaller and make them more of an appetizer than a meal, serving them with a fun dipping sauce.
How has your week been? Has it flown by or carried on very slowly?
Chickpea and Brown Rice Burgers
Adapted from Whole Living Magazine, January/February 2012 Issue
Makes 4 burgers
2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 large shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (You could also use parsley, chives or whatever your favorite fresh herb is)
1/2 teaspoon chile powder (I used ground smoked chipotle powder)
2 tablespoons freshly squeeze lime juice
Coarse salt and pepper
1 large farm fresh brown egg, whisked (you could try an egg replacer here, I haven’t yet, but it’s worth a shot)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Whole-grain or Dijon mustard
Tomato, sliced, for garnish
4 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Green-leaf lettuce, for wrapping
Add the chickpeas and brown rice to your food processor and process until a thick paste forms (you can also mash them by hand). Add the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in shallot, garlic, cilantro, chile powder and fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg. Form into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Spread with mustard, top with tomatoes and scallions and wrap in lettuce.
This is the final dish from our Thanksgiving dinner that I am able to feature. I really wanted to do a post about the gluten-free stuffing I made, but I realized after it was all gone, that I never took a photo, I swore I had. So, I plan to make that again very soon to share it with you. When thinking about what vegetable I was going to serve with dinner I knew wanted green beans, but I wanted to try something a little different. I came across this recipe while thumbing through my issue of Bon Appétit Magazine and I was thrilled to see a unique take on green beans and it was so easy. I made the vinaigrette a day ahead, which I actually think really gave it a ton of flavor, then all I had to do shortly before dinner was ready, was to cook up the beans and toast the walnuts. Super easy.
I loved the tangy flavor from the cranberries and fresh mint was so refreshing. We hadn’t gotten any major snow then, so I was still able to get fresh mint from our yard. This was a nice light and flavor-packed side dish, on a day full of eating and it was great as lunch the next day.
I am really unhappy with the photo, it doesn’t even begin to show how beautiful this dish was. However, I didn’t want to skip sharing this recipe, because the photo wasn’t perfect.
Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried-Cranberry Vinaigrette
adapted from Bon Appétit, November 2010
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Sherry wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus additional (for sprinkling)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 pounds trimmed slender green beans (such as haricots verts)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted , chopped
Whisk first 6 ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Mix in dried cherries; set aside.
Fill large bowl with water and ice; set aside. Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl with ice water; cool. Drain.
Toss green beans, walnuts, and vinaigrette in large bowl. Transfer to platter and serve.
If you are preparing for a meal like Thanksgiving or Christmas, these beans are great because you can totally prepare them ahead of time, by a day. You can make the vinaigrette up to one day before. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature; rewhisk before using. You can also make the beans the day before and wrap in paper towels; enclose in resealable plastic bag and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing. You can toast the walnuts 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Yes, another millet salad. This is great warm, cold or room temperature. I ate it warm, just after the millet was done cooking. I have to say, tossing millet with fruits, veggies, nuts, etc, to create a salad, has to be one of my new favorite things. It works perfectly as a starter, side dish or in this case, a main course. I came home and wanted to throw something together quick for a dinner for just myself and I didn’t have a huge appetite. This has the perfect combination of so many great things, spicy, sweet and crunchy. The colors on this dish are perfectly beautiful. The curry flavor isn’t overpowering and is perfect with the fresh mint, which I was happy to be cooking with, we still have so much of it growing in the yard. This is another great vegan dish to take to a party to share or maybe even a Thanksgiving side.
Warm Millet and Apple Salad with Curry Dressing
adapted from Martha Stewart Living, October 2004
1/4 cup raw sliced almonds
1 cup organic whole millet
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey (use maple syrup to make vegan)
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dried currants
1 small apple, cut into 1/8-inch-thick wedges
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 375º. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 7 minutes.
In heavy skillet heat 1 tsp of oil, add the millet and toast gently until the grain is tan. Bring the water to a boil in saucepan, add remaining oil and grain. Stir; cover and simmer gently for 25 to 30 minutes to desired texture or until all of the water is absorbed.
Whisk together honey, shallot, curry powder, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Whisking constantly, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream; whisk until dressing is emulsified. Add millet, currants, apple, mint, and almonds; toss well. Garnish with mint.
There is not much else to say about this dish, than “WOW!” This is a super simple and easy, perfect Autumn weeknight meal. Every year when we are in Seattle, I spend a significant amount of time (and money) at Delaurenti – Specialty Food and Wine, at the Pike Place Market. They have a great selection of artisanal foods, gluten-free products, wines and chocolates (and so so much more). That is the only place I have ever found gluten-free gnocchi. They are imported from an Italian company called rustichella d’abruzzo . So each year, I pick up a bag or two and I usually just serve them with a little fresh marinara and some nice cheese. I came across this recipe on Food & Wine’s website recently and decided to give it a try with the gnocchi I bought this year. I definitely want to find a great recipes for homemade gluten-free gnocchi (if you know of one, please send it my way) and I am sure that would take this dish over the top, but for a weeknight, packaged or frozen artisanal gnocchi is perfect. You could also use a homemade chicken, mushroom or vegetable stock as well, but since I didn’t have any homemade stock on hand, I went with a low-sodium organic free-range chicken stock. Certainly you could also use a store-bought vegetable or mushroom stock to make this recipe vegetarian. And obviously, if you aren’t gluten-free buy a nice store-bought gnocchi (frozen or fresh) or make your favorite gnocchi recipe. I unfortunately didn’t get my hands on any truffle oil to finish this, but that just means I will have to make this again with fresh homemade gluten-free gnocchi and truffle oil. Darn!
Gluten-Free Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms
adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, November 2006
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 – 1/2 pounds mixed wild mushrooms, stemmed if necessary and thickly sliced (I had a nice mix of baby bella, shiitake, oyster, porcini and chanterelle)
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup dry vermouth
3/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth (you can also use vegetable or mushroom broth or stock, to make this vegetarian)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound fresh or frozen prepared gluten-free gnocchi (I love rustichella d’abruzzo brand gluten-free gnocchi)
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon white truffle oil (optional)
Preheat the broiler. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil with the butter. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 12 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook until evaporated. Add the stock, cream and thyme, season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the gnocchi until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Add the gnocchi to the mushrooms and simmer, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan on top.
Broil the gnocchi 6 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Drizzle with truffle oil and serve.
Andrea and I decided on a whim to whip up this Mexican Frittata the last morning we were all together at the beach house and I have to say, I am super impressed with how it came out for completely winging it. I really love cooking for people, I could have stayed at the beach house another week and just continued to cook, enjoy that view and relax. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible, we leave again in a few days for Seattle, then Chicago. I guess we will have to just make this a yearly trip, then.
My measurements are not exact on some of this, we were trying to use up a lot of the food we had on hand from the week at the beach. I only used half of a green pepper and 11 eggs, because that’s what we had. You can definitely improvise with frittatas, use what you have on hand and get creative. There really are no wrong ingredients. Frittatas are a great way to make breakfast for a large group of people with very little effort. For us, it was a great way to put a lot of the fresh leftover ingredients to good use. I had some ground pork breakfast sausage from Sojourner Farms that I really wanted to make something with, so we came up with the idea to do a Mexican inspired frittata.
Later that same day, we took a trip out to Sojourner to pick up our chickens for the rest of the season, it was so awesome to be able to show our friends the farm where a lot of the food they ate over the week came from and introduce them to the man who grows it all. We even got to meet and pet a bunch of the pigs. Pierre took us around and we really got to spend some quality time on the land. I really cannot recommend enough that you find a pasture-raised farm close by you, that you truly love, that raises safe, healthy and natural animals. Sojourner Farms has pasture-raised chickens, pork, beef and eggs, he also raises bees and makes honey. We are so lucky that it is a short trip to get there and we are rewarded with supporting a sustainable farmer who raises his animals from birth to market and has a great love not only for his practice and the animals, but also for the land he raises them on. It is so important to see where your food comes from and how it is raised. Find a grass-fed farm near you using Eat Wild
This is Sam and Black from Sojourner Farms, they are huge lovable adults used for breeding.
3/4 lb ground breakfast sausage, I use pastured-raised, antibiotic and hormone free, pork breakfast sausage from Sojourner Farms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons butter
12 fresh farm eggs, I use brown eggs from Painted Meadows Farms
1 cup mexican blend cheeses, grated (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Colby, etc)
1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
2 or 3 scallions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Heat large oven-safe non-stick skillet (or cast iron skillet) over medium heat until hot, add sausage and cook until browned. Remove the sausage from the pan and drain off most of the liquid, leave a bit and add olive oil. Once hot again, add garlic and shallot, cook and stir until tender. Add in green pepper, zucchini, squash and red pepper flakes, stir and sauté until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Whisk eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the sausage and butter to the vegetable mixture in the skillet, allow the butter to melt. Add the beaten eggs to the skillet, fold gently to combine. Allow the eggs to begin to set. With a spatula, lift up an edge of the frittata and tilt the skillet to allow the uncooked mixture to flow to the bottom of the pan. Continue to lift until the egg on top is barely runny. Top the frittata with the halved cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with grated cheese and slide the skillet into the oven. Bake the frittata until it is firm to the touch, about 5-10 minutes. Slide the frittata out of the pan onto a serving platter, top with red pepper flakes, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro and a bit of kosher salt, cut into 8 wedges. We served a bit of salsa verde on the side.
Last night after we left the studio, we had planned on throwing together something quick and heading to the grocery store to grab what we needed for the next week. By the time we got home, the sun was still shining and neither of us felt like grocery shopping, so instead I decided we could make do with what we had at home and put the grocery store off one more night. I am glad we did.
We had a bag of baby potatoes and some delicious handmade veggie burgers from the Farmers Market, so I decided we would be able to do something amazing with these plus some frozen organic peas. Both my oregano and chives came up on their own from last season and they are growing out of control, taking over my herb box, so I have been trying to take advantage and use them in almost everything I make. Since we were firing up the grill for the brown rice and spinach burgers, this sounded like the perfect way to make a side dish with the potatoes. They really turned out great. There was so much flavor from the fresh herbs and the crispy smoke flavor from the grill was perfect. I think we will be making this a lot this summer.
Grilled Herb Potato Salad
30 baby potatoes, halved
coarse kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, halve two of the cloves, mince the third
1 shallot, diced
1 bunch of fresh oregano, chopped
1 bunch of fresh chives, chopped
1/4 cup of pine nuts
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Start by precooking the potatoes. Add the halved baby potatoes, a tablespoon of course salt, two cloves of garlic (halved) and enough water to cover the potatoes by 1-inch to a medium-sized pot over high heat. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.
Drain potatoes in a colander and rinse with cold water to cool quickly and stop the potatoes from cooking.
Start your grill, preheat with the cover on for about 10 minutes on high. Lightly spray a grill pan with cooking spray to keep the potatoes from sticking (if you do not have a grill pan, you can also thread the potatoes onto skewers).
Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the diced shallot, minced garlic, the chopped fresh herbs, plus 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix the mixture to combine the ingredients and then remove half of the mixture to a small bowl, set aside. Add the potatoes to the large mixing bowl, and toss to coat the potatoes with the oil and herb mixture.
Pour the potatoes into the grill pan and set onto your hot grill, we got a bit of smoke because of the little bit of oil dripping, but it gave the potatoes a great smokey flavor. Give the potatoes a stir every few minutes to make sure they aren’t sticking. Once you are sure they aren’t sticking, you can stir them last which will allow them to get crispier. Cook them over a high heat for approximately 15-20 minutes until they are fully cooked and starting to brown and crisp up a bit. (This time will depend on how hot your grill is, we couldn’t get our grill super hot so it took a bit longer, it may only take about 10-15 minutes on a very hot grill). Remove the grill pan from the heat, and add the potatoes back to your large mixing bowl, add the remainder of the oil and herb mixture, the pine nuts, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine. Enjoy.
(This can also easily be made by roasting or broiling the potatoes in shallow baking pan in your oven. The potatoes can also be boiled 1 day ahead and kept in the refrigerator. Bring them to room temperature before boiling)
This is a VERY thrown together version of traditional Pho, though there is little that is traditional about my version. Traditional Pho (pronounced “phuh”), is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine and culture. A hearty soup usually made with a clear beef or chicken broth that includes rice noodles and distinct flavors such as cinnamon, star anise, clove, basil, lime and more. There are many, many variations to this dish and it is often eaten as breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Last night, I had a head full of congested sinuses, wasn’t feeling so hot and I just wanted something hot, spicy and brothy. Pho was all I could think of, but I didn’t want to leave the house. I had to make it with what I had on hand in the refrigerator and pantry. I would have preferred to have included some tofu, star anise, bean sprouts and thicker more traditional rice noodles, but I made do with what I had. Mine was much thicker than traditional Pho is, since I cooked my rice noodles right in the broth, but the flavors were there, none the less. I have to say, it turned out pretty good, considering it was thrown together. Which is why I decided to share my faux recipe, to show you that you can always come up with something quick and fresh with what you have on hand.
Making this faux Pho, however has made me realize that I would really like to make a full on pot of traditional Pho very soon.
Vegetarian Faux Pho
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño, seeds and stem removed, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon cinnamon (I used ground because I didn’t have sticks)
1/2 tablespoon cloves (I used ground because I didn’t have whole cloves)
6 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce (I use low sodium, gluten-free Tamari)
2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
8 ounces rice noodles (all I had on hand was gluten-free rice spaghetti)
1 lime, cut into wedges
sriracha chili paste
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add onions, shallots, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, stirring occasionally until the vegetables turn clear and start to char a bit. Add the stock, soy sauce, basil and a squeeze or two of sriracha and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for about 25 minutes.
You can cook the rice noodles separately or if you are lazy like I was, just toss them right into the broth and cook them in there. By cooking the noodles in the broth, it made the broth very, very thick, but I didn’t care, I wanted fast and easy. I added the noodles, brought it to a boil then lowered the heat to medium-high and simmered until the noodles were cooked. About 10 minutes.
Ladle the broth and scoop a bunch of noodles out into large soup bowls. Serve topped with scallions, cilantro, a squeeze or two of lime juice and if you want it more spicy a bit more sriracha.
It has been hard to find good pizza crust since I have gone gluten-free, I have found a couple that come close, but most are thin and end up very crispy. I don’t mind that style of crust, but I have just missed a good thick and hearty crust. This was the first time I have ever made gluten-free pizza crust, completely from scratch. This crust was just that, thick, doughy and airy. So good. I came across this recipe in a book called The Gluten-Free Italian Cookbook by Mary Capone. I picked it up at this adorable, locally owned shop in Loveland, Colorado called Granny’s Gluten-Free Zone, I strolled in their randomly looking for this book after my friend Jane told me about it. I wish the crust had a bit more crisp to it, but I also think I probably could have left it in the oven just a few minutes longer, I was just way too excited and didn’t want to over bake it.
This toppings for the Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza are perfect, I have made this so many times. I don’t like a lot of stringy, melty cheese on my pizza, which is how this pizza came about in the first place. The goat cheese gives the perfect the tang, the caramelized onions and shallots add an almost sweet element and of course the tomatoes and basil are a classic combo.
Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Pizza (Gluten-Free)
Gluten-free Pizza Crust
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp quick-rising yeast
3/4 cup warm water (about 110° F)
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp fresh rosemary, basil or oregano (I went with basil and oregano)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
In a small bowl, combine warm water, sugar and yeast. Stir until just dissolved. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside in warm are for 10 minutes. Mixture will form a foam head of about 3/4″.
Using your food processor (which is how I did it and it worked surprisingly well), add all dry ingredients: flours, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt, directly into the processor bowl. Blend in the processor, about 1 minute. If using a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients, and whisk together until well combined.
In another small bowl, whisk olive oil, eggs, and vinegar until blended. Add egg mixture and yeast mixture to dry ingredients, mix until combined.
Blend dough in the food processor for 2-3 minutes. Dough will be sticky and soft, it doesn’t seem much like dough at all. Add in the herbs and gently pulse or mix to combine.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Dip your hands in water or olive oil and shape the dough into a round shape about 1/4″ thick. Place in a warm, draft-free area and let rise 40 minutes. Dough should double in size.
Brush top with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of course salt.
This recipe can also be used to make gluten-free focaccia if you spread it to 1″ instead of 1/4″.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, sliced thinly
1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 oz mozzarella, shredded
red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400° F
Caramelize the onions and shallots. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add the thinly sliced onion and shallots, stir to coat them with oil. Spread the onions and shallots out evenly in the pan, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, sprinkle salt over the onions. Let cook for 20-30 minutes. Stirring as they stick, being careful to not let them burn. If you stir them too often, they will not brown. When they are caramelized, remove the pan from the heat.
Build your pizza. Sprinkle the minced garlic over the oiled pizza crust. Place a thin later of tomatoes on top of the crust, then lay a thin layer of the caramelized onions and shallots down. Sprinkle the fresh basil evenly over the top of that and then evenly sprinkle the shredded mozzarella, you just want a very light layer. Crumble the 2oz of goat cheese evenly over the top and sprinkle on faa pinch or two of dried red pepper flakes.
Bake the pizza. Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is a golden brown and the cheese is melted. Cut into 8 wedges. Lightly grate fresh parmigiano-reggiano on top, garnish with fresh basil.