Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Carrot Harvest Solution: Crispy Curried Carrot Fritters

So this summer I planted a HUGE bed of carrots, not really thinking about the fact that I'd have around 50+ of them at once when it came time to harvest. I kind of forgot about this fact through the end of summer and beginning of fall, but the other day I wanted to plant garlic for next year in the same, sunny bed as I planted the carrots this year, result being a crap load of carrots I gotta use up (with pleasure, of course). I pictured a few examples of my carrots below, a few different varieties to keep life interesting. I think my favorite was the "purple haze" which is the one furthest to the right. They all taste amazing, though. Not even close to the hard, dried out giants you find in the grocery store. Carrots fresh out of the ground taste incredibly sweet and fresh, and have a gentle crunch to them, not like their grocery store counterparts that take a good bit of gnawing to get through. So, though I was enjoying these carrots immensely simply dipped in hummus, I had (and still have so many) that I wanted a way to incorporate a huge amount of them into a meal, something more interesting than roasting or steaming. Result: crispy curried carrot fritters!

I used a similar recipe over the summer when my zucchini plants were fruiting in overdrive, trying a few variations such as mexican and italian. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can tweak the herbs and spices to what you like. For some reason, I really like the sweetness of carrots with the spiciness of curry, so I decided to throw in some curry powder and accompanying spices and fried em' up. Not only is this recipe incredibly delicious, but with so many incredibly immune boosting veggies and spices (tumeric in particular!) it is a perfect way to enter into the increasingly cold winter months. Enjoy!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple & Wild Rice Salad on a bed of Warm Kale

I found myself in an odd position today, craving both salad but also something that would stick to my ribs a little but more than some lettuce and raw veggies. After a little bit of imagining, I came up with this yummy dish. This is another addition to my "fall line" of dishes I suppose..a delicious warm and autumnal salad.  A lot of these ingredients actually came right from our garden ( least the kale and the butternut squash, and we handpicked the apples at a local farm..props to fall in new england!) which makes it even more special. This combines the sweetness of apple, the roasty, spicy goodness of cinnamon spiced butternut squash, the delicate pungency of shallot, the nuttiness of wild rice, and the earthiness of sage. The combination is amazing, especially on a nice big bed of warm, lightly steamed kale. This, being an experiment, came out wayyy better than I intended it to on the first shot, and I don't think this recipe really needs many tweaks. I really like it because I didn't want anything too heavy, but it did feel like it would be unsatisfying and unatural to eat a big green salad as it is starting to get much cooler out. This is a perfect solution if you're sharing the same problem (or simply want to eat a super delicious and nutritious plate of fall produce). 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sage Scented Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Hash

Fall is my favorite. I absolutely love the changing leaves, the sweater and  leggings weather, pumpkins, apple picking, and other things of the like. But one of my most favorite things about fall is the amazing tastes it brings about. It is around this time that our bodies start craving the foods that grow naturally in the cooler months--sweeter root veggies, heartier greens, and earthy herbs, all of which prepare us for a healthy and happy winter. Sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and sage is a perfect example of this. All of these are hearty through the winter and start flourishing during the fall. It's no coincidence that they taste amazing together. So, in the end Fall was the inspiration for this amazing hash. It is absolutely delicious, and also healthy due to the nutrient dense veggies, herbs and spices. I also tried to channel a little bit of a smoky bacon taste (though not overwhelming by any means) as a little bit of an homage to the classic potato hash. You can totally choose to omit those ingredients if they don't appeal to you though. Try this for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with eggs, without eggs, whatever you like...get creative and most of all, enjoy!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Black Bean Brownie Batter Dip..AKA possibly the most heavenly thing on earth.

Hey friends! Wow so I have been really terribly at posting recently..almost a month with not a single post! final season has certainly taken its toll. BUT in better news, I'm thinking that this recipe I'm about to put up on here will make up for an extended lack of recipes. At least in my opinion I think its that good. It's kind of a spin on my black bean brownie recipe (which is heavenly by if you haven't tried it please do!!) but I'm the type of person that likes a more....shall we call it "interactive" way of eating (dipping, ripping, etc.). This recipe is perfect for that. You can dip pretty much anything you please into this dip, so far I've done apples, little Trader Joe's cat cookies, and pears, all of which were really tasty. But the possibilities are endlessly delicious. And the best part? This tastes almost exactly like real brownie batter, but is super duper healthy and high protein at the same time! So please, indulge!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bentonite Clay Masque

Facial masks have recently become one of my favorite beauty routines to do every once in a while. Even though I don't do them every day or even every week, I think they are an important and incredible part of a natural beauty routine. It always makes me think of the ayurvedic principle called "dinacharya", which means the importance of a daily routine, be it health or beauty. And though you definitely don't have to do clay facial masks everyday, I think there's a lot to the concept of "self-pampering", especially in our modern society in which self care and self love seem to be kind of taboo. Taking time out of your day to make sure you appreciate yourself and your body is supremely important both mentally and physically, and throwing in a few of these  face masks every once in a while definitely helps!

Monday, April 15, 2013

BBQ Cheese Shroom Burgers with spinach, the *perfect* vegetarian barbecue

It feels like Spring is here...which means Summer is on its way!

There's something about barbecue that seems so summery and enjoyable, but its classically full of meat. But just because some of us can't partake in the meat-eating part of this american warm weather tradition doesn't mean that we can't enjoy it too. In fact, i've discovered some of my favorite barbecue dishes  after I went veg. One of my all time favorite recipes is this burger, and that's why on this beautiful warm day I decided to whip up a batch of these little guys while my boyfriend made his own meal.

 I find that a portobello mushroom cap makes a much heartier and more delicious burger than store bought frozen veggie burgers. Its more natural and more wholesome as well, you never know what kind of weird flavorings or chemicals are present in brands such as morningstar or bocaburger. I also LOVE barbecue sauce, and there's no reason vegetarians can't enjoy it too! So here's my favorite recipe for a filling and yummy grilled burger. Invited to a barbecue? Bring some of these puppies and I'm sure that you'll have veg heads and meat eaters alike wolfing them down.

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

So this pesto is probably one of my favorite things ever. I literally put it on everything and anything..its just that good. Its perfect, a little bit of heat from the jalapeno peppers and the nice cooling of the cilantro (not to mention that plethora of amaaaaazing health benefits cilantro has to offer!). Some of my favorite ways to have it are on sandwiches, chilis, on vegetables, mixed into hummus, and even just as a simple dip. Its not too spicy, but if you really don't like spice the heat level can be brought down by adding a few table spoons of cream cheese. Try this one out, it is a perfectly delicious spring detox recipe!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Moroccan Lentil Tagine Stuffed Peppers

I don't know about you, but there's something about stuffed peppers to me that screams out "Moroccan food!". I'm guessing that it was probably the fact that the first stuffed pepper recipe that I ever had was made by my father and did have a Moroccan flare to it...but I think that this little creation I made tonight takes it to the next level. This combination, though very classical, is absolutely delicious! And I made sure to incorporate one of my latest herbal obsessions--cilantro-- into the recipe. The health benefits of this wonderful, fresh tasting herb are simply incredible. For example, the heavy metal detoxing properties are rarely found outside of sea vegetables (sea weed), which are definitely harder to obtain than hopping over to your local grocery store. (see the health benefits section for a more in depth list of the wonders of cilantro) And there is a huge amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to boot. I think that if everyone had a little more cilantro in their lives, we would definitely be a healthier species as a whole. BUT that is beyond the point. This dish is wonderfully spicy, with the sweetness of the raisins and the spiciness of the tumeric and paprika all tied together by the warmth of the cinnamon. Give this a shot, its definitely a show-stopper (and, not to brag, but even my meat eating boy friend and his friend thoroughly enjoyed this one!)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Homemade Date Sugar

I am such a sweet freak. I love love love anything and everything sweet..give me chips or cookies to choose between? Cookies no problem. But recently a lot of studies i've been seeing about refined white sugar have been pretty scary. For example, did you know that your fat intake hardly determines how much weight you gain, but it is the amount of sugar that really does? Or that some studies have even linked high refined sugar intake (ie white sugar, corn syrup, etc) is directly linked to cancer? ...yikes!! So what, may you ask, can we do to change that? Use alternative sweeteners! Raw honey, agave nectar, blackstrap unsulfured molasses, my homemade date raisin syrup, and now to add to the line of date sweeteners, date sugar! The best thing about using dates as a sweetener is that they are a whole food, so along with their delicious sweet flavor you're also getting all the yummy nutrients that they naturally contain, as opposed to white sugar for example, which is so processed and refined that it has almost nothing that the sugar cane plan actually had (that would be in the blackstrap molasses..a by product of sugar making).  This date is really similar in appearance to brown sugar, though mine turned out more powdery and less sticky which isn't a bad thing at all. I think it's really awesome in baked goods, oatmeal, etc. It doesn't dissolve quite as well as other sweeteners, but heck there's always the syrups. But really give this a shot! Its pretty pricey in stores, so very easy to make at home, and so very delicious!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie..just like your vegetarian mama used to make!

I'm so glad to have finally made this recipe. I've been planning it out for the longest time, yet have never decided to execute it till today, when a lovely free(..ish) evening presented itself to me. Planning on eating my trail mix granola that I made the other day and to play it easy on the cooking tonight, I all of a sudden felt inspired! Which basically meant, shepherd's pie night! And I am now proud to say that I can add a checkmark on yet another of my recipe makeovers, as shepherds pie has always looked so enticing but I've never been able to eat it! Till now, that is. Instead of beef I used lentils and mushrooms. I think that these hearty, and protein packed ingredients are just the right substitute to produce a hearty "stick-to-your-stomach" feeling (of course the mashed potatoes help as well...) and are also so so very yummy. I just love the earthy and delicious taste of shrooms and lentils. And combined with all the other ingredients, pure magic! I think this is a great recipe when in a pinch and left only with staples. I always keep dried lentils, potatoes, and frozen veggies in the freezer because who knows, there may be some day when you run out of fresh (god forbid!). So basically, as I finish my kind of scattered thoughts, try out this recipe! Its oh so good...

Homemade Honey Tarragon Mustard

I haven't always really liked mustard. Actually, its only been in the past few years that I've really started liking it. Granted I won't eat it out of the bottle or anything, and I really don't like that suspiciously yellow and smooth stuff that you can get at any fast food joint, but I really like grainy and unrefined ones. Going into the super market its actually kind of scary, even the really nice mustards have actual mustard listed as one of the last ingredients on the bottle! Sketchy...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trail Mix Granola

So sorry about my lack of posting recently! Alas, life as a college student proves to be quite hectic from time to time, and sadly cooking must sometimes take the back seat to studies. But, to break from my cooking break, this week I decided to make granola! My inspiration for making this was the Nature's Path cinnamon apple pecan granola that I've basically been living off of for the past week. Now Nature's Path is an amaaazing organic and healthy brand, which usually means that its quite expensive to boot. BUT I recently found it at a local discount store for only 99 cents per bag! Heaven! But this morning I awoke sad and distraught..remembering I had caved and finished the last of my delicious granola the previous night. What was I supposed to do? The 30 minute drive to the discount store was out of the why not make some granola? Perfect Idea.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Maple Hickory Baked Beans

Baked beans have always been one of my faaaavorite foods. So, you've got beans (which are always awesome by themselves) but *then* you smother them in molasses and brown sugar!! What can be wrong with that picture? The answer is nothing. And I really don't think there's anything more warm and hearty than sitting down with a big bowl of baked beans on a cold, snowy winter day (which we've been having plenty of up here in the northeast as of late...). To substitute the whole ham/bacon shoulder part of the baked beans in this veggie/ vegan friendly version, I used hickory liquid smoke (find it in the sauce/ vinegar/ oil seciton of the grocery store) and to kick it up another notch I decided to use maple as well. This recipe is ultimately phenomenal.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dandelion Green and Sage Pesto

So lets do a low-down on dandelions. While some may think of them as that pesky weed that's ruining their otherwise prisitne lawns, they are really one of nature's little gems. There's a reason they grow everywhere, because they're screaming out "eat me, eat me!!" A beautiful little flower, yes, but dandelions also produce quite the array of medicinal and delicious edibles parts. Actually, you can eat every single part of the dandelion plant; flowers, leaves, stems, roots and all. All parts are delicious and super healthy. The flowers are great tossed into salads, the roots are great made into teas or even pickled, but what we're concerned with here is the leaf, or greens as some call it. You can do a ton of stuff with the greens, and with a fresh, yet slightly bitter and astringent taste they add great depth to salads, stir fries, soups, or pretty much anywhere that you'd use something, spinach or arugula. One of my favorite things to do with them, however, is to make a pesto! What a great medicinal combination of medicinal ingredients...raw garlic, olive oil, sage, dandelion greens. Perfect for detoxing and cleansing the body. I put this pesto on pretty much everything, but a few of my favorites were on roasted carrots and sweet potatoes (sage goes phenomenally with root veggies), on sandwiches (especially breakfast sandwiches!) and on rice or pasta. Try this one out, it is truly delicious. (PS your local grocer should carry dandelion greens in their produce section, some don't but I've generally had good luck finding them...or alternatively wait till we thaw out of this cold snowy winter and go pick them yourself!)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lemon, Ginger & Goji Berry Tea

I had never tried goji berries before making this recipe. I had always been kind of curious about them, but not really knowing how/ what to prepare them in, I was a little clueless. Then I stumbled upon this post online  about a goji berry tea. Hmm..well lemon ginger tea is one of my favorite things ever, so why not throw in a few gojies while I'm at it? Turns out goji berries are really yummy! To me they somehow taste like a weird sort of way. But in any case they're really good. I drink this tea when I wake up, before my coffee and breakfast etc. It feels very cleansing and refreshing. Try doubling or tripling the recipe and keeping it in a container in your fridge for the week, either drink it cold or reheat whenever you please. So if you like ginger and lemon, and want to be a goji berry convert, try this little recipe.

Paprika Roasted Chickpeas

I first started making roasted chickpeas about a year and a half ago. I was really skeptical of the idea at the time, but out of my love for chickpeas, and indeed all things legume, I decided to try it out. The results were unreal. They are crunchy, and salty and healthy all at the same time! MMMM. They're awesome on their own as a snack, as additions to salads and soups...lets be real they'd be good in pretty much anything. So here's the recipe for one of my go-to power snacks.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lentil Balls (The New Veggie Meatball)

So here's a personal fact that I don't tell too many people because of the myriad of "what-you're-such-a-weirdo" type looks I've received in the past upon divulging it. Having been a vegetarian since I was 10, I never got the chance to experience real meatballs more than once or twice. They always kind of weirded me out as a kid, to be perfectly honest. But recently the idea of a little something extra on top of pasta, the all american meatball sub, Italian wedding soup etc..has started to seem somewhat appealing. But whats the key missing ingredient here? Meatballs. No I decided to substitute the meat for lentils, a hearty, meaty textured ingredient. I kind of experimented a lot with this recipe and I'm sure I'll still make some more tweaks to it in the future, but for the moment these Lentil Balls turned out wonderfully. They are thick and meaty and taste great! This recipe makes about 32 balls, that's way too many to eat in one sitting so feel free to wrap the rest in tin foil and freeze em up.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Honey Kissed Cinnamon Apple Chips

MMMmm apple chips. They always bring me back to my childhood when my mom used to buy them for me. I think they're a ton better than potato chips (which may be due to my dastardly sweet tooth). So on this freezing cold winter day I decided to whip up a warm, crunchy batch of fresh apple chips (hopefully warming the house with the oven in the process..). To doctor these ones up I added a little bit of raw organic honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I think the honey really added to the flavor, it didn't make the chips overly-sweet, but gave them a very nice almost floral-y taste to balance out the deep spice of the cinnamon. Deliciouss!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rustic Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower is a great veggie. Its actually not too, too high in many vitamins and minerals but it does contain some, and that all important fiber! That's why I thought this whole idea of cauliflower pizza crust I've been seeing was a great idea; though it doesn't have all the nutrient density of some other veggies, it would still be a worthy replacement for pizza dough. I tried to doctor up this recipe a little bit, and the results were unbelievable. They actually surpassed my expectations. Guys, you have simply GOT to try this! Its a little more time consuming than just buying pre-made regular dough, of course, but not so much so that it isn't worth it! The crust is unreal, and putting a bunch of awesome toppings on is simply the icing on the cake...or...the topping on the pizza I guess. But all in all make this! You will not regret it, I promise!

Slow Roasted Grape Tomatoes

I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't like sundried tomatoes. We recently bought a huge bunch of grape tomatoes, so I figured I'd make an in-home version of sundried tomatoes. These little beauties are so good. They're so sweet they're almost like candy. They'd make a great addition to practically any dish..pastas, salads, sandwiches, pizzas (see next post...hint hint) and I think are just great to have on hand!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gingerbread Coconut Milk Mousse

And now to continue on in my obsession with any and all things ~gingerbread~! Sorry if this seems slightly redundant in my recipes, but gingerbread is just so delicious and has so many awesome health benefits that..why not make a ton of gingerbread stuff? So this particular recipe is inspired by a bunch of different "coconut milk whipped cream" or "coconut milk mousse" recipes that I've seen floating around the internet. That struck me as a very interesting idea, as coconut milk is as a whole wayyyy healthier than whipping cream (delicious as it moderation) and I love the subtle and rich taste of coconut that is in the milk. This recipe turned out fabulously. It is just like making whipped cream, except the result is much more of a mousse- like consistency I would say, hence the name of this yummy dessert. Try this one out :)

~*~*~*UPDATE: If you like hot chocolate, throw a spoonful of this on top. Trust me~*~*~*

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cranberry Flax Blondies With White Chocolate Chunks...White Bean Style

Ok so I know this is really close in proximity to my black bean brownies recipe, but it was just so awesomely delicious that I simply HAD to try out a white bean blondie version. This is kinda the same recipe, minus the chocolate and plus a bunch of other healthy and delicious goodies. These turned out just as wonderful. Just amazing, in fact. And like the brownies, these blondies are wayyyy better after they sit out over night. Try them out!