KITCHEN CURATIONS: BUCKWHEAT ENERGY BITES

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: BUCKWHEAT ENERGY BITES

I took a bit of a hiatus from my energy bites, but the other day I came across a buckwheat bar and it totally inspired me to use buckwheat as a base for my next rendition. So I was super excited to get back in the kitchen and experiment.

Buckwheat is a great ingredient because it's toothsome, so it gives each bite that extra bit of texture. It also doesn't have an overwhelming flavor so it goes well with almost any mix-in, but it's also slightly nutty in flavor so it adds a little more dimension.

I particularly love the mix-ins in this recipe because they keep every bite interesting and exciting. The best part of all though, is that this is a one pot recipe, so clean up is a breeze!

And while I love to eat these just as a snack all on their own, adding them to a bowl of plain yogurt makes a deliciously filling breakfast! Try it out for yourself!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 30 balls)

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 3/4 cup sunflower butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup zante currants
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/3 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a pot, bring water to a boil.
  2. Once water has boiled, add in buckwheat, reduce to simmer, and cover. Cook buckwheat for 20 minutes, or until water has been absorbed and buckwheat is tender.
  3. Add in sunflower butter and mix until combined throughout.
  4. Mix in rest of ingredients until evenly distributed.
  5. With a cookie scoop, form mixture into balls.
  6. Keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for ultimate freshness.

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH LEMON TAHINI DRESSING, CURRANTS, AND PINE NUTS

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH LEMON TAHINI DRESSING, CURRANTS, AND PINE NUTS

There are some foods that can transport you to a different time and place. It's actually one of the things I love most about food. If you think about it, the actual taste of food is fleeting, but memory of that taste can last forever. And while I know that sounds cheesy, it's actually scientifically legit. That's because our sense of taste and smell are processed in the same part of the brain that processes memory. (The amygdala, for those science nerds out there.) Point being, it's no surprise that food has the power to send us across the globe and back in time.

For me, this dish always takes me back to summer nights in Tel Aviv. In short, Tel Aviv is basically like Miami, but in the Middle East. City life and beach life coexist, and the food scene there is amazing. Every time I go, I'm discover something new. This roasted cauliflower with Lemon Tahini is an ode to summer nights in Tel Aviv spent sitting at a cafe, drinking a glass of wine, and letting the warm breeze pass over me.

But let's get to the food, because after all, that's why you're probably reading this. ;) So let me walk you through it. The cauliflower works as a canvas for all the spices and flavors that are going on. The cumin and coriander give it an earthy Mediterranean flavor, while the lemon tahini brightens it right back up. You could honestly stop right there, and that would be perfectly delicious. But to make it more of a composed dish, I added the currants for sweetness, pine nuts for crunch, and parsley for freshness. It's basically perfection on a plate. ;) Read on for the full recipe, and enjoy!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium cauliflower heads, cut into florets
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup zante currants
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup parsley

Lemon Tahini Dressing:

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Coat cauliflower in oil, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast cauliflower in oven for 40 minutes, or until slightly browned.
  4. In the meantime, blend dressing ingredients in a food processor.
  5. When the cauliflower is ready, remove from oven. Dress in enough tahini dressing to coat, leaving the rest of the dressing on the side.
  6. Mix in currants and pine nuts.
  7. Garnish with parsley.  

 

A few notes about this recipe:

  1. I would have ideally made this recipe with zataar, but I didn't have any on hand and I figured you might not either. Zataar is a Middle Eastern mixture of herbs and spices. If you haven't ever tried it, I'd highly recommend it. The flavor is fantastic. In this dish, I would recommend 1 tsp/head of cauliflower.
  2. Instead of the zante currants, feel free to use raisins or even finely chopped dates.
  3. You can also substitute the pine nuts with another kind of nut. In fact, I think pistachios would work really well here!
  4. If you want to get fancy you can roast the cauliflower head whole or slice it into "steaks" and drizzle everything on top. Your guests will be totally impressed!

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LISTS TO LIVE BY: 8 TIPS TO GETTING A DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY WEEKNIGHT DINNER ON THE TABLE

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LISTS TO LIVE BY: 8 TIPS TO GETTING A DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY WEEKNIGHT DINNER ON THE TABLE

You know that feeling when you're starving, open your fridge, and wish it looked like a Sweetgreen salad bar? Let's get real for a moment: the temptation to just order in food and sit on the couch is very, very real. But the fact of the matter is, cooking at home is better for your health, and better for your wallet.

Unfortunately, there are obstacles when it comes to cooking at home.

  • For starters, there’s the time element. We all lead busy lives, so let's be honest, spending an hour making dinner is the last thing you want to be doing when you get home.
  • Then there’s the boredom factor. Making one big batch of chili for the week may ensure that you have food, but by Wednesday you’ll be eating the same chili for the fourth night in a row. No thank you!
  • Finally there’s the issue of food waste. Going to the grocery store with grand ambitions to cook is great, but if you don’t have a strategy, you might find yourself throwing half of your food out a week later because it all went bad. That's just an unnecessary dent on your wallet and on the environment. 

If you strategize well, cooking at home can mean that you have a variety of healthy, delicious food available anytime you want it! Here’s how it's done...  

1. Batch cook. (Yes, "duh" I know, but the devil is in the detail.)

Obviously the way to prep for the week is to cook in quantity. But rather than thinking in terms of a single composed dish that you’d find in a cookbook or on a restaurant menu, think in terms of individual foods that you can mix and match to create different delicious meals. For example, if you make three vegetable sides, two cooked grains, and three proteins, you’re guaranteed at least 18 different possible meal combinations. This will keep you from getting bored of the same exact meal day in and day out.

Keep in mind, you only need to prep the foods that take a while to cook and/or stay well in the fridge. Think: roasted vegetables, cooked grains, and cooked proteins. In fact, try to stay away from making foods that are really only good when served fresh, like guacamole, which browns, or sautéed spinach, which gets soggy.

2. The freezer is your friend! 

Freezing leftovers in small individual containers can make putting together a gourmet meal extremely easy. For example, if you have a pint of homemade Bolognese sauce just sitting in your freezer, pull it out and serve it with the spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash you have pre-roasted in your fridge and you have yourself a perfectly balanced, delicious meal!

3. Dressings, spreads, and dips are the key to variety.

Having multiple dressings and spreads on hand can help keep your meals interesting. For example, say you have a bowl with greens, faro, roasted cauliflower and grilled chicken. Simply add guacamole and salsa and you have a dish full of Mexican flare. The next day, take the same base but mix in a dollop of hummus and lemon tahini dressing, and that dish gets a total transformation. Boredom averted! 

4. Stock your pantry smartly.

Having to run to the grocery store is one of the biggest obstacles to getting homemade food on the table, so a well-stocked pantry can make all the difference. Keep whole grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, and faro on hand to round out your meals. Canned beans, tuna and salmon are perfectly legitimate sources of protein to top a salad or grain bowl. Raw nuts and seeds are also a great addition to a salad or bowl and provide nutritional benefits of healthy fat and fiber. Finally, invest in your spice rack. Simply adding a teaspoon of turmeric, curry, and cumin, can make an ordinary dish seem, well...less ordinary!

5. Raw food is nature's fast food.

Raw produce, like lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes are a great way to freshen up and fill out a dish with pre-cooked ingredients. The best part? They take zero cook-time!

6. FIFO: First in, first out.

This is a rule that all efficient restaurants use, and is something that households should try and adopt as well. By using produce as you buy it, you decrease the chances of having to throw out moldy food. The trick to this is to stock your fridge from front to back, with the newer food at the back and the older food at the front. This way, you know which foods to use up first. The result? Less food wasted, which means less money wasted! Its a win-win!

7. Allocate time that works for you.

Usually, people like to do their cooking over the weekend because that’s when they have the most free time. Setting aside 2 hours to clean, prep, and cook your food is a good idea, but if you don’t have that much consecutive time, you can definitely do it in increments. For example, spend 30 minutes cleaning and prepping your groceries so that when you have an hour free later on, all you have to do is cook! Bottom line is, do what works best for you.

8. Don’t try and be perfect!

For someone who doesn’t regularly cook, starting to make home-cooked meals is already a big enough endeavor.  Don’t try and put out 5-star chef quality food...at least not in the beginning. Cooking is a process of trial and error. You may burn things, you may undercook things – but you will get the hang of it and learn along the way.  The trick is not to be afraid! And definitely don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavors, ingredients, and spices – you never know what deliciousness you might discover!

 

 

 

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: CREAMY BLUEBERRY OATS

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: CREAMY BLUEBERRY OATS

If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don't, you should totally get on that!) then you'd know I'm obsessed with this breakfast. So I'm finally posting the full recipe here so you can make it yourself at home! 

This is a breakfast I go to sleep dreaming about at night. And it's one I'm excited to wake up for in the morning. I swear, it is so easy to make, and it never disappoints. It's warm and comforting, creamy and delicious, and keeps me full and energized to take on the day ahead.

So if you're looking for something to add to your breakfast routine, give this one a try!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp coconut flour

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a covered pot on the stove, bring almond milk to a boil.
  2. When the milk has come to a boil, uncover, reduce heat to simmer, and add in the rest of the ingredients. Mix well to ensure the maca powder and coconut flour do not clump. 
  3. Let oats cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, mixing every few minutes.
  4. When oats are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid, they are done.
  5. I like to top mine with a whole assortment of goods! Coconut flakes, hemp seeds, raw nuts, berries, sliced banana, and even a drizzle of nut butter – all are fair game!

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: SPAGHETTI ALFREDO...THE HEALTHY WAY!

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: SPAGHETTI ALFREDO...THE HEALTHY WAY!

This recipe comes with a short little story. It's short, I swear! But if you're in a rush you can totally just scroll down for the recipe...I won't be offended. I also won't even know. ;)

Okay, story time:

If you've read my bio, then you know that my road to becoming a nutritionist started with me being an overweight child. My mom claims to this day that I was cute, but she's my mom and has to say that. The fact of the matter is, had I continued on the path that I was paving, I would have likely ended up an obese adult. Anywhere I went, I would inevitably order something indulgent. If we were at a diner, it would be mozzarella sticks and grilled cheese. If we were ordering Chinese, it would be sesame chicken and dumplings. And if we went for Italian, it would be spaghetti Alfredo. Needless to say, when I decided to take control of my diet there were lots of changes that I had to make. Cutting out spaghetti Alfredo was one of them. (For those who aren't familiar, Alfredo sauce has essentially 3 ingredients: butter, cream, and cheese. Need I say more?)

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about a mindful treat and don't believe in "never" foods. But to be honest, spaghetti Alfredo just never made the cut of what I wanted to indulge on. I'd much prefer pizza or ice cream. In fact, I never really thought about it until a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon a healthy recipe for Alfredo sauce. This of course sparked my culinary curiosity and I was determined to try and come up with a recipe of my own.

Truth be told, I didn't have much faith in myself, but I was totally impressed by the result! Not only is the sauce creamy and delicious, but it actually adds nutritional value to your meal. It's a total win-win!

The recipe below has the sauce as part of a composed dish, but you can obviously just make the sauce on it's own. I have additional serving suggestions following the recipe. As always, you do you!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 20 servings)

Roasted Broccoli:

  • 5 cups broccoli, florets and stems
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Roasted Spaghetti Squash:

  • 1 very large or 2 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper pepper

Vegan Alfredo Sauce:

  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp dried mushroom, chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, to taste

Toppings:

DIRECTIONS:

Roasted Broccoli:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Place broccoli in a steamer and steam for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly tender.
  3. When the broccoli is done steaming, place on a baking sheet and coat in olive oil, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  4. Roast for 45 minutes, or until edges are starting to get crispy. 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash:

  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise.
  2. Place on a baking sheet, skin side down and put olive oil, salt, and pepper on the flesh.
  3. Roast in the oven for an hour, or until flesh is tender.
  4. When squash is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool.
  5. When squash has cooled, remove flesh with a fork so that it forms its signature spaghetti strands. There should be about 5 cups worth.

Vegan Alfredo Sauce:

  1. In a pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil until garlic is tender, but not burnt. 
  2. While the garlic is sautéing put almond milk, broth, cauliflower, and dried mushrooms into a big pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer.
  3. When garlic is ready, add it to the pot along with the nutritional yeast, onion powder, and garlic powder. 
  4. After 40 minutes, or when cauliflower is tender, turn off heat and let mixture cool. 
  5. Once mixture has cooled, pour the contents of the pot into a high speed blender.
  6. Add in lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and blend until mixture is smooth.

To assemble:

  1. Combine spaghetti squash and broccoli in a bowl.
  2. Pour 2 cups of the Alfredo sauce over the top. (Keep the rest in the fridge for future use. I promise, it won't go to waste!)
  3. Mix until everything is coated in sauce.
  4. Toast almonds in a dry sauté pan or in the oven on high heat until slightly toasted. (Don't walk away because these burn quickly!)
  5. Sprinkle nutritional yeast, almonds, and parsley on top of spaghetti, and serve!

A few notes about this recipe:

  1. If you want your sauce to be even thicker, once you blend it you can put it back in the pot on the stove and let it simmer with the top off until it reaches the desired consistency. 
  2. I opted to use spaghetti squash as my base, but feel free to sub in real pasta (I recommend whole wheat), legume pasta (love the Tolerant brand), or spiralized veggies (like squash or zucchini).
  3. I usually don't like to denote food as being kid-friendly because I want to be open to the idea that kids might like all kinds of foods, this sauce has the potential to be be a real child-pleaser!

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: VEGAN PESTO

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: VEGAN PESTO

This vegan pesto screams springtime. There's just something about the smell and taste of basil that brightens up any dish. Know what I mean? It is also so versatile that you can make a batch and never get bored! I recently used it on baked salmon and it was delicious! But it also works perfectly with other fish, chicken, and meat. It can be spread on a sandwich. And of course, it can be eaten on pastas and pizza. The possibilities are endless!

What I love about this recipe (I seem to love a lot of things, but just go with it) is that instead of parmesan cheese, I use nutritional yeast. It's not that I'm anti-parmesan but the nutritional yeast has the same nutty flavor and a majorly impressive nutritional profile. For 1 tablespoon, there is zero sodium, 3 grams of protein, and over 100% daily needs for thiamin, riboflavin, and B6. It is also one of the few vegan sources of B12. 

Final thing I love? How EASY it is to make! Legit just throw everything into a blender and you are done! Check it out below, and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (I use Bragg's)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg's)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until combined and smooth.
  2. Store in fridge, and enjoy!

 

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: LOADED BANANA CHOCOLATE TREATS

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: LOADED BANANA CHOCOLATE TREATS

These treats basically have my top three favorite foods: frozen banana, nut/seed butters, and chocolate, so it's actually shocking I didn't come up with this recipe sooner. To be honest, this isn't even so much a recipe as it is an assembly line of deliciousness. I got a little creative with my fillings and toppings, but feel free to be a simple or as imaginative as you'd like. Enjoy!!!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 8 treats)

  • 1 ripe banana 
  • 2 tsp peanut butter (I used Santa Cruz Organic)
  • 2 tsp almond butter (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 2 tsp cashew butter (I used Once Again)
  • 2 tsp tahini (I used Once Again)
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 1 cup raw unsalted almonds, crushed
  • 1 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slice banana into 16 1/4-inch slices.
  2. Spread 1 tsp of nut/seed butter onto 8 of the slices. (In other words, 2 with peanut butter, 2 with almond butter, 2 with cashew butter, and 2 with tahini.)
  3. Top the nut/seed butter with the other 8 slices of banana to form a "sandwich" with the bananas acting like the bread.
  4. Freeze banana "sandwiches" for 6 hours, or overnight.
  5. When banana sandwiches are frozen, put out the peanuts, almonds, hemp seeds, and coconut in separate bowls.
  6. Then, melt the dark chocolate. You can do this in a double boiler, or simply by using the microwave (30-45 seconds should do the trick!).
  7. Dip one banana sandwich into the dark chocolate until it is totally coated.
  8. Once coated, immediately dip in topping of choice until totally covered. I chose to do particular flavor combos (see below), but feel free to mix it up!
    • peanut butter + peanuts
    • almond butter + almonds
    • cashew butter + coconut
    • tahini + hemp seeds
  9. Repeat steps 7 & 8 for the rest of the banana sandwiches. **
  10. Freeze treats until ready to eat.

** If you first coat all of the sandwiches in chocolate, they will harden by the time you go to coat them in toppings, and the toppings won't stick. This is why doing them one by one is important. 

FYI - These treats are gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. 

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: COCOA, FIG, & NUT ENERGY BITES

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: COCOA, FIG, & NUT ENERGY BITES

Next up on the energy bite series are these Chocolate, Fig, & Nut Energy Bites. I love the way the seeds of the figs add that extra bit of texture. Then there's the hint of chocolate that's in the background, but not overwhelming. However, in my opinion, the best part of these bites is the surprise of the orange zest! It brightens up the flavor and makes them seem just a little more gourmet. Overall though, I just love the combo of all the ingredients, and I hope you do too!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 20 balls)

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup dried figs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until mixture forms a paste, but with some crunchy texture still left from the nuts and coconut. 
  2. Form mixture into balls. I love using my OXO Good Grips cookie scoop, but you can use a spoon or tablespoon as well.
  3. Freeze for 2-4 hours for balls to set and keep in fridge until ready to eat.

FYI - These balls are gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian. So they basically can meet almost all of your guest's dietary restrictions.

 

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: FARO AND SPINACH SALAD WITH ROASTED CARROT, FIG, AND PISTACHIO

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: FARO AND SPINACH SALAD WITH ROASTED CARROT, FIG, AND PISTACHIO

I know this may sound sad, but I literally dream about this salad...and there is a pretty good chance you will understand why once you try it. Let's start with the faro. If you haven't tried faro, well then, you seriously need to get on that! It cooks just like rice, but when it's done, you get this nutty toothsome bite that almost resembles al dente pasta. In fact, the nuttiness from the faro is perfectly mirrored by the pistachios that are sprinkled throughout the salad. Then we have the smoky sweetness of the Indian-spiced carrots, which works perfectly with the sweetness of the dried figs. Finished with the apple cider vinaigrette, this salad is a sure-fire hit. (You can even add some crumbled goat cheese or grilled chicken on top, if you want an extra protein boost.)

INGREDIENTS:

Apple Cider Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Salad:

  • 6 large carrots, peeled 
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cup cooked farro
  • 2 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup pistachios, unsalted and shelled 
  • 8 dried figs, quartered

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Coat carrots in olive oil, coriander, cumin, curry, and salt. 
  3. Roast carrots in oven for 45 minutes, or until tender.
  4. When cooled, cut carrots into 1 inch pieces. 
  5. In a bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until liquid is emulsified.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine faro, spinach, roasted carrots, pistachios, and figs.
  7. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and mix until it is lightly coated throughout.

A note about this recipe: You may notice that I used rainbow carrots for the version in the picture, but orange carrots are perfectly fine - they taste exactly the same. 

 

 

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: VEGAN CAESAR SALAD WITH CHICKPEA CROUTONS

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: VEGAN CAESAR SALAD WITH CHICKPEA CROUTONS

Last week I posted my recipe for Crunchy Chickpeas, which are honestly delicious just on their own. But, my favorite way to eat them is on top salads, kind of like a crouton. I think they're particularly awesome when paired with my vegan Caesar dressing, so I guess that's how this salad came to be. Once you have the dressing and chickpeas done, you can really throw any salad ingredients together and you're golden. This time I kept it simple, but feel free to get creative! I also happen to love the dressing as a dip for things like crudité, or even on the side of some roasted vegetables and grilled chicken. The possibilities are endless!

INGREDIENTS:

Vegan Caesar Dressing:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 2 cup water (or enough to cover cashews)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Salad:

  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2  avocado, diced
  • 2 spears of hearts of palm, sliced
  • 1/3 cup Crunchy Chickpeas 
  • 2 Tbsp Vegan Caesar Dressing (or as much as you want!)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To make the dressing, soak cashews in water for 4 hours, or even better overnight. Drain cashews and put in blender along with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Blend until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency. 
  2. Combine salad ingredients. 
  3. Top with dressing, mix, and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: CRUNCHY CHICKPEAS

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: CRUNCHY CHICKPEAS

Do you ever find yourself craving texture over specific foods? I definitely find myself yearning for something that I can crunch on, and until I get that crunch, I will not be satisfied. But the problem is, a lot of crunchy snack foods are fried or loaded with refined carbs. (No bueno.) That's where these crunchy chickpeas come in. Not only are they not fried and have zero refined carbs, but they are loaded with fiber and are a great source of plant-based protein.

To be honest, I've tried my hand at these several times and they always went soggy on me. But I finally figured out how to get them juuuuuust right. They make the perfect snack just on their own, or you can use them as grain-free croutons to top a salad or as a savory topping for yogurt. Not only that, but they're so versatile and make the perfect canvas for any flavor profile you want. In this recipe I've used garlic powder and onion powder, but if you're feeling a more Indian-spiced crunch, pile on the curry, coriander, and cumin, and you're set!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 15.5 oz cans of chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and drain chickpeas. 
  3. Dry chickpeas by laying them in a single layer in between paper towels. Roll them gently to get as much water off as possible.
  4. When chickpeas are thoroughly dried, put them in the oven in a single layer for 20 minutes to dry out.
  5. Then, take them out, coat in olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt (or any seasonings you like!) and toast for another 20 minutes in the oven, or until very crispy.
  6. When they are nice and toasted (some may even be burnt and I personally love that!), take them out and let them cool. 
  7. Munch away!!!!

Note: If you aren't going to eat these right away, store them in a brown paper bag in a cool dry place to maintain their crunch. Also, I added some fresh parsley to garnish mine, but you definitely do not have to!

 

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: APPLE COBBLER ENERGY BITES

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KITCHEN CURATIONS: APPLE COBBLER ENERGY BITES

Spring has officially arrived. (Can I get an AMEN!) And while I'm super excited for the berries, peaches, and watermelon that come with the warmer months, apples remain a staple in my fridge year-round. I love to eat them raw for that perfect crunch, but let's be honest, a piece of apple cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream doesn't sound half bad either. That's where these energy bites come in. They hit all the flavor notes of a decadent apple dessert, but instead of the added sugar and refined carbs, they're packed with healthy fat, protein, and fiber. In fact, I personally like to keep the skin on the apples for texture and the extra fiber, but you do you! 

INGREDIENTS: (makes 24 bites)

  • 2 medium Pink Lady apples (Honey Crisp, Gala, and Fiji also work)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut apples into small dice. Coat in 1 tsp cinnamon. Bake for 30 minutes, or until apples are tender.
  3. In a food processor, pulse walnuts and almonds until they are chopped, but stop before they turn into a powder. Empty food processor and reserve nuts for later.
  4. Blend roasted apples, dates, salt, ground ginger, and rest of cinnamon until they form a paste.
  5. Add in nuts and oats, and blend.
  6. Form mixture into balls.
  7. Roll in coconut flakes to coat.
  8. Freeze for 2-4 hours for balls to set and keep in fridge until serving.

Just like my other energy bites, these are vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, and have zero added sugars.

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