carrot ginger soup.

I cannot believe that I have been blogging for over two years (!), and have yet to share this recipe with you. It is one of my most favorite soups ever. EVER.

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This soup turned me into a carrot soup lover. I never ate it growing up, but once I had it several years ago, I was sold. I crave it now, and it couldn’t be simpler to put together. The ginger provides such a sweet and spicy flavor and aroma, and it pairs perfectly with the carrots. Carrots and ginger are a classic flavor pairing; just think of the carrot ginger salad dressing that is served at most Japanese restaurants! Think of that dressing turned into a soup. The additional of lemon juice and zest add brightness, and the tomato lends some additional acidity to the soup. With just vegetable stock, salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne, the finished soup is delicate, and allows for the carrots and ginger to really shine. This soup is easily made vegan/dairy free by substituting the butter with a vegan spread or coconut oil.

Serve with a swirl of sour cream if you desire, but I prefer it simple, with a hunk of crusty bread on the side. I promise you, this will be your new favorite!

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carrot ginger soup.
adapted from epicurious. 

ingredients
2 tablespoons grassfed butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1.5 teaspoons fresh garlic
1.25 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped (about three cups)
2 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 1.25 cups)
1.5 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
3 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of cayenne (optional)
1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper (more or less to your preference)

1 carrot, grated, to garnish
sour cream, to garnish

directions
Melt butter and oil in large, deep pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, and sauté 2 minutes.

Add chopped carrots, tomatoes, lemon zest, cayenne (if using) and sauté for 1 minute. Add 3 cups stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Puree soup in batches in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more stock, if desired. Ladle into bowls. Top each with sour cream and grated carrot if desired.

Serves 4 (one cup servings). *Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible* 

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quinoa salad with burst cherry tomatoes + herbs.

This recipe comes from me being inspired by my newest favorite cookbook, Plenty. It is the perfect book to get inspiration from this time of year, when summer produce is so plentiful — no pun intended!

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The original incarnation of this dish had you leave the tomatoes raw and bulk out the salad with grilled sourdough bread – YUM. I will totally be making it the way it was written, but I’ve been overdoing it a little on carbs recently, so I decided to leave out the bread and just make this with the quinoa and vegetables. Still very delicious, filling, and packed full of vitamins and protein. Hooray!

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You can definitely leave the tomatoes raw if you’d like — I just prefer cherry tomatoes roasted or thrown into a very hot pan for a minute or two; they begin to just burst, and they get even sweeter. I also think the juxtaposition of them against the cold, raw cucumber is just lovely. The salad is coated simply with some red wine vinegar and a touch of olive oil, but I think the real star here are the fresh herbs. We are using both fresh mint, which I love in savory salads, and cilantro, which has that herbal bite that cannot be replicated with any other herb. I know cilantro is controversial, so feel free to sub in parsley for all the cilantro haters. If you want a decidedly Italian spin, use fresh basil.

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Like most grain or seed-based salads, this gets even better as it sits, making it great for picnics, parties, or lunches during the week. Enjoy!

quinoa salad with burst cherry tomatoes + herbs.
inspired by the grilled sourdough + quinoa salad from Plenty. 

ingredients
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup/8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 english cucumber, peeled, seed scooped out, and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1.5 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

directions
Cook the quinoa according to package directions (1 cup quinoa/2 cups water). Once cooked, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and add to a large mixing bowl.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet (stainless or cast iron is ideal) over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering but not smoking, add the halved cherry tomatoes along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomatoes just begin to burst. Remove from the pan and set them aside.

Once the quinoa is at room temperature in the bowl, add the sliced red onion, diced bell pepper and cucumber, and burst tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Add the mint, cilantro, red wine vinegar, remaining tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and pepper. Toss together. Taste, adding more salt or pepper if desired. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Serves 4 as a main, 6-8 as a starter/side. Keeps well in fridge for 3-4 days.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

checking in and photos of Maui.

Hello to all! I’ll be back tomorrow with an absolutely devilishly delicious summer tart recipe, but I wanted to pop in and say hello! I’ve just returned from a spectacular wedding week/vacation in Maui, Hawaii! My dear bestie got married, and I had the honor of officiating! Enjoy these photos, and I’ll see you tomorrow, back to normal with weekly recipes! xx.

cranberry almond broccoli salad (no mayo!).

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I LOVE broccoli salad. The tangy, creamy dressing, the smoky bacon permeating through each bite, the fact that you can eat fresh raw broccoli by the bowlful and still feel good… it’s the best! Unfortunately, the traditional recipe is laden with fatty mayonnaise, tons of bacon and, sadly, it’s no longer a guilt free dish. I treat myself to it at one of the hospital cafes, as it’s better than chips or potato salad (as tasty as they are!).

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Happily, I was flipping through my new issue of Cooking Light, and they had a recipe for a twist on the salad, made with dried cranberries and slivered almonds with a combination yogurt and mayo dressing. I am super mayo-averse (the sight of it gives me shivers…. yuuuuck!), so I used all plain Greek yogurt as my dressing base and it turned out fabulous. As a bonus, the yogurt provides extra protein. Yay! P.S. Yes, I hate mayonnaise. I know it’s weird. Not as weird as me hating ice cream. Which I do. Please don’t hate me…

This is better the longer it sits, so try and plan for a few hours between preparation and serving (one hour to chill, at minimum!).

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This salad is gluten free, and it makes a large amount, so it’s great for crowds and parties. Welcome to your new picnic and potluck favorite!

cranberry almond broccoli salad (no mayo!).
recipe barely adapted from Cooking Light.

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ingredients

4 cups coarsely chopped broccoli (about one bunch)
3 pieces of thick, center cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/3 cup unsweetened, dried cranberries
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons of plain 2% Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon raw wildflower honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

directions

To cook the bacon: I like to cook the bacon in the oven. Arrange the slices on a baking rack placed over a sheet tray. Cook in a 325 oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping once around the 10 minute mark. Let cool, chop and set aside.

Place the diced onions into a small bowl, and add cold water. Let soak for five minutes (this helps temper the sharp raw flavor). Drain.

In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, honey, cider vinegar, salt and pepper together. Add the chopped broccoli, red onion, cranberries and almonds. Toss well to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Serve cold or at room temperature. Keeps for 2 days.

Serves 8 as a side.

**Please use all organic ingredients** 

 

sweet potato quinoa bowl with sautéed greens.

I’m kind of excited. It’s Monday, and thus begins my seven day detox. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying all of my indulgent food choices as of late (ahem, pizza/crispy shrimp/potato chips/the office candy bowl/sangria… hey, it’s summer!), but it’s time to get back on track. I’m not a huge fan of super strict or extreme detoxes, but I AM a proponent of a “detox” that emphasizes fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and legumes while pretty much eliminating refined sugars, simple carbohydrates, meats and dairy for the week. Along with water and green tea as my primary liquids, I emerge from the week with brighter and clearer skin, increased energy and overall general well being. I just end up feeling lighter, yet not cranky and deprived, like I would on a true detox, a la the Master Cleanse (<–I did this once and made it 9 days before I practically keeled over and stuffed anything greasy and fried into my mouth. Do not attempt the master cleanse. Please. Never again.). This gentle “detox” is just a great way to get back on track and kick the junk food cravings while giving my body a break from the most common culprits of inflammation (the aforementioned gluten/dairy/alcohol/refined sugar).

The recipe I am featuring today is perfect for lunch or dinner on day one of my detox! It’s simple, filling, and full of flavorful and healthy things that will make your body oh so happy. Sweet potatoes are chock full of vitamin A (great for your skin!), kale and swiss chard are rich with vitamin K, calcium, manganese (among many others!), and quinoa is an excellent source of protein, which is vital when doing an eating regime such as this. No dairy or meat products means that I’m going to need to be vigilant about getting all the nutrients my body needs. Add a vinegar based dressing, and you have a delicious lunch and/or dinner that will keep you full and satiated. I love to pair vinegar with any kind of dark green – they just perk right up with the acidic punch.

This is delicious hot or at room temperature, so it’s great for late summer with it’s unpredictable weather! Enjoy with an iced green tea and feel so good about your meal! Food can be so healing.

Bowl

sweet potato quinoa bowl with sauteed greens. 

Kale Salad

ingredients

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package instructions.
1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (less if desired)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
12 oz. greens (mix of swiss chard and kale), cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp. grape seed or avocado oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced

red wine dressing
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
dash of salt and pepper
dash of dried thyme

Notes: I like my dressing on the acidic side, so scale back to 2 tablespoons if you’re not a vinegar freak like me.

directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Once cooked, fluff with fork and add to large mixing or serving bowl.

While quinoa is cooking, peel sweet potato and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to baking sheet and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of grape seed or avocado oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 12-18 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking. While potatoes and quinoa are cooking, mix together the dressing a small bowl.

Heat a large skillet with remaining oil over medium high heat. Once heated, add crushed red pepper, minced garlic and greens and cook for 2-3 minutes until just slightly wilted (should still be slightly crunchy).

Removed sweet potatoes from oven, let cool for one minute and add to bowl with quinoa. Add sauteed greens mixture, and drizzle dressing on top (I used about half of the dressing; 1/4 cup). Serve immediately or let cool and serve at room temperature.

Serves 4 as a side, two as a main dish. Keeps for 3-4 days in refrigerator. Dressing will keep for one week.

**Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible**