turmeric roasted cauliflower.

After I made those cauliflower steaks last week (yum!), I was left with a sizable amount of a cauliflower florets leftover (the cauliflower I had was positively huge!). I love, love, love roasted cauliflower, and thought it would be perfect side dish to snack on this week. I typically roast cauliflower very simply, with just olive oil, salt and pepper, but decided to give this dish a spiced up version.

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I love turmeric, and it is so very good for you. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, and is often used is Indian cooking. It has a bright deep yellow color, and besides being super healthy, the flavor is earthy and fragrant, with hints of ginger and citrus. I’m combining turmeric with ground cumin, with is warming and spicy but not hot, resulting in an aromatic flavor combination that will go beautifully with the nuttiness that arises when you roast cauliflower.

I line my baking sheet with foil, as the turmeric can stain, and the foil allows for easy cleanup! Eat as a side dish, or mix in with any cooked grain, or in a bowl by itself for the main dish, like me!

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turmeric roasted cauliflower.

ingredients
1/2 large or 1 small head of cauliflower, broken down into large florets
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, add the cauliflower florets, drizzle in the olive oil, ground turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well. Add to the pan and spread out in one even layer.

Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring once halfway to ensure browning on all sides. Cauliflower florets are done when they can be pierced easily with a fork.

Remove to a platter and season with additional salt/pepper if needed.

Serves 4. *Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

 

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butternut squash congee with fried ginger.

This is congee dressed up in its autumnal finest. We’ve had our fair share of Indian summer weather here in NY, with temperatures in the high 80s for the majority of the past week. Luckily, the weekend has brought relief, by way of temperatures in the low 60s with a gentle breeze. PERFECT for this incredibly simple yet warming congee turned soup.

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Have you had congee? It is essentially a rice porridge that is commonplace in East and Southeast Asian cuisine. On it’s own, it is typically served as a side dish, dressed up with vegetables, meat or seafood, and it’s transformed into a main dish entree. This is very simple to make, and you’ll be amazed at how the simple ingredients transform into a finished dish that is nuanced, fragrant and complex. The shredded squash will melt into the dish during the long, slow simmer. Finished with some brightness and freshness with the basil, cilantro and fried ginger and served with crusty bread on the side, this dish is perfect when you want cozy, comfort food that you can feel so good about.

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The pulsed rice will help release some of the starches and it will thicken the congee; the consistency is very similar to oatmeal once it’s finished.

butternut squash + ginger congee.
from cooking light magazine.

ingredients
12 ounces (weight) butternut squash, peeled and grated
1/3 cup long grain white rice
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1.5 teaspoons fish sauce
1 inch piece fresh ginger, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

directions
Add the rice to a small bowl and cover with water. Let stand for ten minutes and then drain. Add the rice to a food processor and pulse until the rice is in small granules.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add the rice and the grated butternut squash and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, sea salt, stock and water. Increase heat to high until the mixture starts to boil. Stir, reduce heat to low and partially cover. Let the mixture simmer for 75-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and creamy.

When the mixture is almost done, heat a small skillet over medium high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the ginger slices and fry for 3-4 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Turn the heat off and add the sugar and pepper to the congee. Split the congee amongst four bowls, and top with fried ginger, basil and cilantro. Serve with crusty bread if desired.

Makes four 1 cup servings. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

 

 

 

 

pan roasted cauliflower steaks with Israeli couscous salad.

Cauliflower steaks? Yes. Yes! These will please even the most diehard carnivores in your life.

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I apologize on the photos; it was getting very dark once I finally plated dinner, but I couldn’t wait to share it with you! This is simple to prepare, but it feels fancy. As a bonus, it’s healthy, too!

I’ve served the pan roasted steaks on a bed of whole wheat Israeli couscous (also called pearled couscous) that was stuffed with toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), shaved parmesan, ribbons of basil, and a sprinkling of fresh lemon zest. You can use white or whole wheat couscous, but I heartily recommend the whole wheat; its nuttiness compliments the cauliflower so well.

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You will have leftover cauliflower florets after you cut the steaks (I slice off the outer pieces, and then cut the steaks from the ~2 inch piece left from the middle). Don’t worry if the steaks are slightly uneven, or if they fall apart some in the pan. One of mine had a floret that wanted to come off, but I just tucked it back in when on the pan while roasting.

While the cauliflower is searing, I make the couscous and let it slightly cool and toast the pepitas. Assemble the salad while the cauliflower is roasting away, and then simply spoon the the salad on the middle of the plate, top with a steak, and garnish with some extra salt and pepper. This is SO GOOD you guys. And good for you! To make vegan/dairy free, omit the parmesan (you could sprinkle with nutritional yeast to get a simple cheesy flavor). Enjoy!

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P.S. The recipe for the remaining florets is coming up soon!

pan roasted cauliflower steaks with Israeli couscous salad.
steak cooking technique courtesy of Dan Barber via Food52.

ingredients
1 head of cauliflower, cut into 2 1 inch steaks (reserve leftover florets for another recipe)
2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for brushing the steaks
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper

couscous:
1 cup whole wheat Israeli or pearled couscous
1.25 cups water
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup parmesan shavings
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons basil, cut into a chiffonade
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper to season

directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle the steaks with the sea salt and pepper and add to the pan, searing them for 2 minutes per side (check heat to ensure you are getting a deep golden brown but not burning). After searing, remove them to a foil lined baking sheet and brush with a bit of oil. **You can sear them one at a time if your skillet is not big enough to do both, just use 1 tablespoon oil per steak**

Place the baking sheet with the seared steaks in the oven and roast for 10-12 minutes, until you can pierce the steaks with a fork.

While the steaks are searing, heat 1.25 cups of water and a pinch of sea salt to boiling. Once boiling, add the couscous, cover and turn the heat off. Let sit for 8-10 minutes, and then fluff with a fork (couscous is done once all water is absorbed). Let sit for a few minutes, and then add to a mixing bowl.

Heat a dry skillet over medium heat and add pepitas. Stir occasionally and let toast for 3-4 minutes until they are lightly golden and fragrant. Add to the couscous.

Add basil, parmesan, lemon zest and tablespoon of olive oil to the couscous and pepitas. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each of sea salt and pepper and stir well to combine.

Spoon 1 cup of couscous on each plate and top with a cauliflower steak. Season with additional salt/pepper if desired.

Serves 2.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

Notes: You will have about 1 cup of salad leftover. It will keep well for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can cut and cook another cauliflower steak and increase servings to 3. 

 

potato crusted kale + bell pepper mini quiches.

I love savory egg dishes. I also love recipes that can serve as the starting point for a wide variety of ingredients. This aptly named stir fry, anyone? As someone who lives alone, I often end up with odds and ends of ingredients, and I always have produce that is hanging out in my crisper. As a die hard vegetable lover, I can sometimes get overzealous and purchase more than I can consume at peak freshness. Quiches and frittatas to the rescue! And in my way, I’m lightening up the quiche by replacing the pastry crust with a potato one. Instantly lighter, healthier, and now it’s gluten free… hooray!

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The potato crust is very simple to make, but it is essential that you squeeze out as much moisture as you can prior to adding to the muffin tins, which have been well-coated with cooking spray. This is also incredibly flexible. Don’t like kale? Use spinach! Have asparagus or broccoli to use up? Toss it in! Prefer goat cheese or cheddar to parmesan? Go for it! The possibilities are endless.

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I love using the muffin tins; automatic portion control and it makes them so portable which is great for grabbing on the way to work or school in the morning. These can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature, making them ideal when you’re on the go!

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mini potato-crusted kale + red pepper quiches.

ingredients
1 large russet/baking potato, shredded/grated
1 teaspoon olive oil
nonstick cooking spray
3 whole eggs plus 2 egg whites
scant one cup of nondairy milk
1 ounce parmesan cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cups curly kale, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2-3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper* optional

directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a food processor or large hole box grater, grate a large russet potato that has been washed but not peeled. Add the potatoes to a clean, dry kitchen towel and squeeze as much water/moisture as possible from them. Season with a pinch of sea salt or pepper. Spray 9 cups of a muffin tin well with nonstick cooking spray and add about two spoonfuls of the potatoes to each tin, making sure to have the bottom and 3/4 of the sides of the tin covered with potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bell pepper and saute for a minute or two and then add the kale. Reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally, until kale has wilted slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Make the custard: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper, if using. Once the vegetables have cooled slightly, add them and mix well.

Divide the mixture evenly amongst the muffin tins, being careful to not fill over 3/4 of the way (you may have a touch leftover). Bake for 15 minutes or until eggs are set. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Run a kitchen knife around the edges of the cups to pop them out of the tin. Makes 9 quiches.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

wake me up lemon water routine.

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to sleep. Doesn’t mean I’m any good at it, but I love it. Being wrapped up in sheets, cuddled beneath blankets… heaven. Unfortunately for me, I only get about four to five hours a night if I’m lucky. I’ve tried tons of different things, but regardless of their impact on my sleep duration and quality, one thing is constant: supremely exhausted mornings.

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Now, I am a diehard coffee drinker (black, please!), and essentially need it to function; besides the necessity, I really enjoy the flavor and experience of coffee. However, before I reach for the magical beans every morning, I start off with warm water, fresh lemon, and maybe a pinch of cayenne pepper or splash of raw apple cider vinegar as soon as I step out of the shower.

Why? Well, good question! When I was first getting into healthier, greener and cleaner eating, I kept coming across articles touting the benefits of lemon water, and decided I had to try it. A quick google search will show you a plethora of health claims, but I’m here to tell you which claims have some scientific evidence to back them up, and my own personal experience, albeit anecdotally. Your mileage may vary.

The most important thing that warm lemon water does for you is rehydrate you! Sleeping is essentially intermittent fasting: you’re going approximately 6-9 hours without drinking or eating anything, so your body is dehydrated when you wake up. Starting the morning with a mug full of warm (not hot!) water with a squeeze of lemon is a wonderful way to hydrate yourself, and I’ve found that I have more energy throughout the day. Lemon water also helps with improved digestive and liver function, as your liver is most active while you’re sleeping. Lemon water can help stimulate your liver in flushing out all the toxins that your body doesn’t need. Additionally, lemons have a good amount of Vitamin C, which we all know is essential for immune function, but also Vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen, which is necessary for radiant skin! <— This is probably my favorite benefit of lemon water and one that I can definitely see a difference in my skin if I slack or skip it. My skin looks cleaner, brighter, smoother and more ‘plump’ when I am consistent in this routine. That’s reason enough for me! 🙂

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If you have an electric kettle, this is almost embarrassingly easy. If you’re like me, simply heat some water on a stove top kettle until almost boiling. Pour half of the boiling water into a coffee mug and top with equal parts room temperate or tepid water (I do this because I find it difficult to get the right warm but not hot water temperature from my stovetop kettle, but do whatever is easiest for  you. Squeeze in juice from 1/2-1 whole lemon, and add a pinch of cayenne (spice is great for metabolism!), or some ACV (great for skin). Use a straw when drinking, as the lemon juice is quite acidic and can weaken your enamel. Drink each morning and cheers to your health!

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morning lemon water routine. 

directions
juice of one half-one of a lemon
16 ounces of warm water (I do half hot from kettle/half room temp.)
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar* optional
1 teaspoon fresh ginger* optional

ingredients
Add the fresh squeezed juice of one half/whole lemon (depends on your preference and the juiciness of the lemon) to the warm water. Top with apple cider vinegar and/or ginger if desired.

Drink through a straw (to protect the enamel of your teeth) each morning before consuming anything to eat.  Serves 1.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

clean-out the refrigerator stir fry.

What a title, eh? Along with soups, curries, frittatas, and salads, stir-fries are another wonderful way to use up all those odds and ends in your refrigerator. They are especially forgiving to vegetables.

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During my market shopping, I picked up a few red bell peppers because, well, why not? I figured I’d use them one way or another. When it became clear that I was going to have one leftover or go to waste if I didn’t act quickly, I soon decided to throw together a stir fry featuring that bell pepper, kale, carrots, and celery from last week’s market haul that needed to be used up before going bad, and topping it off with some leftover cooked chicken from a dinner party I had on Saturday. I had both rice noodles and brown rice in my pantry, and decided to go with rice, although you could use whatever your heart or pantry desires!

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The most important thing to remember is use what you have, and to add them to the wok or pan in order, starting with the vegetables that will take the longest to cook: carrots and onions, in my case. If using leafy greens like me (bok choy, spinach, etc.), I like to add them when I add the sauce, just to let them wilt a bit. The sauce I’m using is a very simple, all-purpose stir fry sauce, and it can be modified to your liking. I don’t add garlic or ginger to this sauce, instead I fry them in the oil at the beginning of the cooking process to infuse the oil. Garlic, ginger and jalapeño in my case, but you could use a combination of all three, or sub in scallions if you’ve got those to use. The addition of the cornstarch makes the sauce thick and glossy, and you’ll be hard pressed to believe that you aren’t eating takeout!

To make this dish gluten free, please sub dark and regular soy sauce with tamari which is naturally GF, and be use to use a GF cornstarch (you can also just leave it out, but the sauce will not be as thick).

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I hope you enjoy this as much as I do; you can feel especially good about not wasting food while making such a delicious dish!

refrigerator clean-out stir fry. 

ingredients
4 cups mixed vegetables, sorted by vegetable (I used onion, carrot, celery, red bell pepper, kale)
6 ounces cooked chicken or other leftover protein, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil + 1 teaspoon sesame oil

stir fry sauce:
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (use all regular, low sodium if you do not have dark soy)
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1.5 teaspoons brown or coconut palm sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper

2 cups cooked brown rice, for serving
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, for garnish (optional)

directions
Heat grapeseed and sesame oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat.

While the oil is heating, make the sauce: Add together the soy sauces, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sugar, sesame oil and pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to combine and dissolve the cornstarch. Set aside.

Once oil is shiny but not smoking, add the ginger, garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes, until the oil is fragrant but the ingredients are not burned. Add the vegetables in order of thickness/hardiness (carrots, onion, celery first for me) and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the bell pepper and any other vegetables besides greens and cook for an additional minute.

Add the cooked protein, greens and scant 1/4 cup of the sauce with 1/4 cup water. Stirring frequently, allow the mixture to cook and thicken up over 2-3 minutes (reduce heat if the mixture is thickening too quickly/starting to boil).

Remove from pan to a serving platter along with cooked rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and/or peanuts if desired.

Serves 3-4.

NOTES: The stir fry sauce recipe will make more than you need for this recipe. Store the remainder in the refrigerator, and it will keep well for up to four weeks.

roasted beets, cauliflower + sautéed kale over spaghetti squash.

This is the ideal meal to welcome in autumn.

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I went a little vegetable crazy at the farmer’s market over the weekend. Now that it’s the beginnings of harvest season, the offerings are so plentiful of local, fresh produce. Because of this, I walked away with items that didn’t fit into my meal planning for the week but looked so good that I couldn’t leave them behind: baby red beets, spaghetti squash, snow white cauliflower, sweet potatoes, the list goes on. I surveyed what I had, and decided to pull together a decidedly autumnal, vegan meal that looked super elegant and inviting, but was actually very easy to pull together.  Roasted beets, cauliflower and sautéed black kale over spaghetti squash.

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At risk of sounding prideful, I think I did it! This spaghetti squash topped with roasted beets, cauliflower and sautéed kale looks so impressive, is fresh, and is perfect for entertaining. A lot of the cooking time is inactive (roasting the squash and the other vegetables); the only active time is a few minutes spent sautéing the kale, seeding and pulling the squash, and assembling the dish. I used sautéed kale because I had some leftover from the week before, and I didn’t want it to go to waste. You could use spinach of any variety, swiss chard, mustard greens (although these would be spicy!), or even arugula. Use what you have! When roasting the beets and cauliflower, you can do this on one baking sheet as I did, but keep them separate, then I used two spoons to stir them around, trying to be careful to not let the beets touch the cauliflower, as the red color of the beets transfers over so easily. This was mostly for presentation and aesthetics, you don’t need to do this as pink cauliflower won’t change the flavor of the dish. 🙂

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This is vegan, gluten free, filling and uber healthy. Perfect for welcoming in fall.

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roasted beets, cauliflower + kale with spaghetti squash. 

ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
3 small beets (or 1 large), trimmed, peeled and quartered
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 bunch dinosaur/tuscan kale (can use any hardy green), stems removed and the leaves thinly sliced into ribbons
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1.5 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
zest and juice of one half a lemon

directions
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke two holes on each side of the squash and place on a rimmed baking sheet filled with an inch or two of water. Bake for one hour (check and if soft, remove from oven). Once the squash has cooled for five minutes, cut the squash in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Once the seeds are removed, use a fork or spoon to create the ‘spaghetti’ and pull out all the flesh into a bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well. Set aside.

On a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, place the cut beets on one side and the cauliflower florets on the other. Drizzle the 3 tablespoons of oil over the vegetables, and season with the thyme, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix the cauliflower together until the oil and seasonings are well distributed, and then do the same with the beets, keeping them separate. Wash your hands. Roast the vegetables for 20-25 minutes, stirring them once halfway though. Once the beets are pierced easily with a fork and the cauliflower is tender, they are done. Remove from oven.

While the beets and cauliflower are roasting for their last 5 minutes, heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the kale ribbons and cook for 3-5 minutes, until slightly wilted. Sprinkle the zest of the lemon and the juice over the kale and turn off the heat.

To assemble: Divide the spaghetti squash amongst four shallow bowls. Top with the kale. Add the beets and cauliflower to each bowl, season with additional salt or pepper if desired and serve warm, or at room temperature.

Serves 4. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

roasted red pepper + tomato soup with gouda.

A long time ago, I wrote about this delicious soup that was served at one of the hospital cafes. It was rich and delicious, and I always looked forward to the day they served it (Wednesdays). <– Is it kind of sad that I knew the soup schedule? While I used that soup as inspiration for a vegan version, today’s version is decidedly more indulgent. I suppose that happens when you add nearly one cup of smoked gouda cheese into the soup pot. Mmmmmm.

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The weather here in NY has taken a firmly fall turn over the past week, and I am not complaining. The brisk air just begs for soup, scarves, chunky sweaters and evenings curled up under blankets. Leslie heaven, you may say!

This soup is great for a weeknight, as we are using jarred fire roasted bell peppers (you know how I love them! Evidenced here, here, and here), canned crushed tomatoes, and jarred spices. Add a few pantry and refrigerator essentials, and in less than 45 minutes, soup is ready! So easy. I served this with a simple black kale salad, but you can serve with bread or croutons. Go on, it’s worth it.

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roasted red pepper + tomato soup with gouda.
inspired by my favorite roasted red pepper gouda bisque. 

ingredients
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 
12 ounce jar of roasted red peppers, chopped, oil reserved 
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
3 cups vegetable or low sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4-1 cup shredded gouda cheese

directions
Over medium heat, heat the grapeseed oil plus 1 tablespoon of the oil from the jarred peppers. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and let cook, 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the carrots have softened and the onions are translucent but not golden brown. Add the salt, pepper, basil, thyme, chopped peppers, tomatoes and vegetable broth and stir together to combine.

Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a rapid simmer/boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and partially cover, allowing soup to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn off the heat. Blend soup smooth using an immersion blender, or using a stand blender. *If using a stand blender, allow soup to cool for 5 minutes, puree in batches, and always cover the lid with a kitchen towel to protect yourself from potential hot splatter. Add the pureed soup back into the soup pot*

Once pureed, heat the soup over medium-low heat and add in the gouda. Stir frequently for 10 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted and fully incorporated (you may need to increase the heat to allow the cheese to fully melt).

Ladle into bowls and serve. Serves 4 as an entree, 6 as a starter.

whole wheat penne + broccoli with fire-roasted red pepper sauce.

Easy dinner alert! Vegan dinner alert! This is definitely comfort food that is so easy to make. Pasta with roasted red pepper sauce. Yes.

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I love roasted bell peppers, and almost always have a jar of them in my fridge. I love the fire-roasted red and yellow bell peppers from Trader Joe’s, so that is what we are using today. You can use any 16 ounce jar of roasted bell peppers, provided they are of the red, yellow, or orange variety. Green bell peppers have a very different taste, and should not be used here.

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This recipe is very flexible, and you can add pretty much whatever you want to fancy it up. I went simple with some steamed broccoli mixed in to up the nutrition factor, but you could add cooked chicken, sauteed shrimp, zucchini, roasted tomatoes… all sound like delicious additions to this easy dinner! I like to use whole wheat pasta for the fiber, extra protein and nutrients, all of which help keep you fuller, longer!

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Speaking of easy, this sauce couldn’t be simpler to make. Saute up the garlic and onions, add the peppers and broth, blend, then add the spices and coconut milk and let simmer. Add pasta and broccoli, and boom! Done. Welcome to your new weeknight favorite.

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roasted red pepper pasta with broccoli.

ingredients
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 ounce jar of fire-roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup of vegetable broth
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (from the carton, not the can)
1 teaspoon sugar (or agave)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces steamed broccoli florets
8 ounces whole wheat penne

directions

Bring a saucier filled with water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and stems, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is crisp-tender. Remove and drain in a colander, and rinse with ice cold water to ‘shock’ the broccoli and stop the cooking process. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the diced onion and garlic, and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent but not browned, and the garlic is soft and fragrant. While this is cooking, cook the pasta.

Add the diced peppers, sugar, and broth and let simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to a blender and blend until smooth. Return puree to the skillet. Add the sea salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and coconut milk and stir. Stir over low heat for 5 minute to allow the mixture to come together and thicken slightly.

Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce and stir together. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 4. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

NOTES: If the sauce seems too thin, mix together 1 teaspoon water with 1 teaspoon cornstarch until dissolved. Add to the sauce before the pasta and broccoli and whisk to thicken.

carrot + apple smoothie.

I’ve been meaning to bring you this recipe for weeks now! A few months ago, one of my dearest friends had me over for breakfast, and made the most delicious blueberry pancakes. Instead of bringing over a fruit salad or some other brunch-expected side, I decided some freshly made juice was the perfect accompaniment. Although this is technically a smoothie, as we are using whole fruits and vegetables, and not discarding the pulp, I tend to think of this as more of a juice, as it lacks the creamy/binding element of banana/avocado/yogurt. This carrot and apple juice was the ideal fresh accompaniment.

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MC loved it, and so do I! The apple and carrot provide the sweetness, the celery adds a nice vegetal element, and the lemon adds the perfect amount of brightness and punch. The ice will help thicken the smoothie and keep it extra cold. You’ll want a high speed blender to properly break down the skin of the apple and blend everything smooth.

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This is such a nice break from green smoothies, and this smoothie allows you to reap the benefits of the whole fruits and vegetables, namely fiber, which will keep you fuller, longer!

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carrot + apple smoothie.

ingredients
2 small apples/1 large apple, cored and quartered
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
juice from one lemon
1/2 -3/4 cup water
1/2 cup ice
to sweeten: 1 tablespoon raw honey, maple syrup, or agave (optional, I do not add)
optional: fresh ginger (about 1/2 inch piece) — completely not necessary, but I love ginger with apple and carrot!

directions
Add the ice, apples, carrot, celery, lemon juice and water to a high speed blender. Blend for 60-90 seconds, or until you have a smooth consistency.

Pour into two glasses and serve immediately. If you want to make ahead, this keeps well in the refrigerator for 48 hours in an airtight jar.

Makes 2 servings.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible*