Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed ArtichokesI have shared recipes and/or inspirations from this Classy Broad before but this simple dish is worth yet another shout out. She hosted our monthly Supper Club last week – this is where four of us get together once a month to experiment with our cooking and entertaining skills. We generally have a key ingredient or a theme of sorts and I just loved Alli’s answer when she told us how she came up with her menu. She said she was at the farmers market and everything just looked so good and fresh that instead of having an idea and shopping for the ingredients, she bought what looked good and then looked for recipes around that. Talk about seasonal cooking, I just love it! This was our main course (we always do somewhere between 4-5 courses to really make it classy!) and let’s just say I was shocked when I heard how few ingredients were in this – it definitely tasted like it should have been a bit more naughty than it actually is.  My mouth is watering as I post this….

Stuffed Artichokes
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 large, full-size artichokes
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1½ cups home made bread crumbs – may not need to use them all depending on your preference
  • 1 cup grated pecorino – can use a dairy free cheese as a vegan option
  • ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Using a serrated knife, cut off artichoke stems to create a flat bottom. Cut top thirds off artichokes, pull off tough outermost leaves, and trim tips of leaves with kitchen shears. Rub cut parts with lemon halves. Open artichoke leaves with your thumbs to make room for stuffing; set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, ¾ cup pecorino, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic. Working with one artichoke at a time over bowl, sprinkle one-quarter of bread crumb mixture over the artichoke and work it in between leaves. Transfer stuffed artichoke to a shallow baking dish. Drizzle each artichoke with 1 tbsp. oil. Pour in boiling water to a depth of 1″. Rub 1 tbsp. olive oil on a sheet of aluminum foil, cover artichokes with foil (oiled side down), and secure foil tightly around dish with kitchen twine.
  3. Bake until a knife easily slides into the base of an artichoke, about 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle tops with remaining cheese, and switch oven to broil. Broil until tops of artichokes are golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Serving Suggestion: Throw any finely chopped veggies of your choice in the stuffing mixture to add an extra punch!

The recipe and photo are courtesy of Saveur.

Traditional Pad Thai

I apologize for the hiatus, I was doing some research abroad… I traveled all the way to Thailand to seek out some Thai recipes to share with you all :)! We took an incredible cooking class that I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. It is called Siam Rice Thai Cookery and Pot, the founder takes you to the local market, then welcomes you into his home which is also a cooking school. These were some of the best dishes I ate the whole time we were out there. I’ll start with the classic Thai dish, Pad Thai… but don’t worry there will be plenty more to come.

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Visiting the local market

Traditional Pad Thai
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil of your choice (we used palm oil due to the high heat of the cooking – you can use canola, sunflower or peanut oil as well)
  • 3 Tbsp garlic, smashed
  • 1 (12oz) package tofu, diced into ¼ inch cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce (oyster flavored sauce for vegetarian)
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce (fish flavored sauce for vegetarian)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (palm sugar is what is used in traditional Thai cooking)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp black soy sauce (just use additional soy sauce if you cannot find this version)
  • 1 package (12 oz) rice noodles – if they are dried instead of fresh, you may have to soak in cold water for about 30 min
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • Ground peanuts, chili powder and lime (preferably kaffir lime) for garnish
Instructions
  1. Add the cooking oil to wok, keeping high heat. Add garlic and tofu and cook until fragrant.
  2. Crack in eggs and cook until egg is fully cooked.
  3. Add water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and soy sauces.
  4. Add noodles. Stir until the noodles are soft and then add bean sprouts, green beans and chives. Cook for one more minute and then remove from heat.
  5. Garnish with ground peanuts, chili powder and lime.

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The finished product – and a well deserved Chang beer!

 

Crazy Sexy Kale Salad + a little extra!

Kale and Sprout Salad

For those of you who are not familiar with Kris Carr, you should become familiar…quickly. Her story is incredible! She was diagnosed with a very rare and incurable form of stage 4 cancer which encouraged her to make a total lifestyle upgrade inside and out. She focuses on a nutrient dense, plant-based diet and her books (and now her recipes) are so much fun. Her cookbook came out not too long ago so it’s no surprise that my girlfriends thought it would be the perfect hostess gift for me – thanks ladies of WC! The reason I like this kale salad so much (other than the fact that I am obsessed with kale) is that it uses avocado to give it such a great texture. It a modified version of her salad in the book and is oh so yummy (and super easy to modify to make your own)!

For new and improved recipes, please visit my new site The Simple Kitchen!

Crazy Sexy Kale Salad + a little extra!
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale, shredded by hand (I prefer dino)
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1½ avocados, pit removed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp flax oil
  • 1½ Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best!)
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (I prefer orange, yellow or red over green)
  • 1 cup pea shoots, chopped in half
  • 2 cups of sunflower sprouts, chopped in half
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Cucumber, sliced (for serving, see picture)
  • 2 Tbsp pepitas
Instructions
  1. Combine kale, parsley, avocados, flax oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Massage and mix with hands to wilt the kale and cream the avocado.
  2. Add the bell pepper, pea shoots, sunflower sprouts and salt and mix to combine.
  3. Serve on a plate and wrap with cucumber slice.
  4. Top with pepitas.

Valentine’s Day Beet Salad

Valentine's Day Beet Salad

You cannot ‘beet’ giving your loved one the gift of health this Valentine’s day, so here is a fun little idea to help you out :). Beets contain fiber and potassium and are an excellent source of folate, which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. Researchers believe the red pigment (called betacyanin) in beets could protect against the development of cancerous cells and may play a role in reducing the inflammation associated with heart disease. And on top of all of that, one of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac… soooooo, Happy Valentines Day to you and yours <3!

Valentine’s Day Beet Salad
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 lb beets (red, golden or a combination of both), roasted and sliced – check out a great tutorial here
  • 3 cups arugula or mixed salad greens
  • ¼ cup fennel, sliced
  • Prepared Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, cubed or crumbled – goat cheese is great too!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off ends and green of beets and roast (wrapped in foil) for 45 minutes. Roast longer if needed. You should be able to easily pierce a knife through the center of the beet.
  2. Remove beets to let them cool. Lay walnuts on a baking sheet (you can line it with foil or parchment paper for easy clean-up). Roast walnuts until they start to brown and smell toasted, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, once beets are cooled enough to handle, rinse under cool water to peel off skin and then thinly slice. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter create heart shaped beets and set aside.
  4. Combine arugula (or mixed greens), fennel and walnuts. Mix with dressing.
  5. Place the mixed ingredients onto the serving dish & set the heart shaped beets around the dish. Top with cheese of choice.
  6. Serve with lots of LOVE!

Notes:

Dressing recipe can be found here.
More detailed instructions on how to roast beets can be found here.

Here is another fun little idea of how to serve your beets, courtesy of NoBiggie.

Cupid Beets

Avocado Cabbage Rolls

There is nothing I love more than some good spring rolls! However, it is not always easy to have rice paper at your disposal. Tip: order it from Amazon and just keep it on hand because there is nothing better than a nice homemade spring roll when you have a craving. You can enjoy the pleasure of putting whatever you want in it and they are a total crowd pleaser for a dinner party appetizer… and if you are my like my husband it can be fun to make it the size of a small burrito :). Anyhow, I saw this recipe on Whole Living and thought it was a great way to still get the look, feel and taste of a spring roll but with a little more ease. It is a bit messier who cares about a mess when peanut sauce is involved, right?! Feel free to play around with the filling – I’m sure they would be awesome with the spring roll filling as well!

Average Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

Peanut Sauce – found here!

2 cups watercress, chopped

2 carrots, shredded

2 cups jicama, thinly sliced

1/2 bunch basil, stems removed

1/2 bunch mint, stems removed

1 avocado, pitted and mashed

Salt

4-8 cabbage leaves (depending on size and number of rolls you want to make)

Directions

1. Toss watercress with carrot, jicama, basil, mint, avocado, and salt.

2. Roll in cabbage leaf and serve with peanut sauce.

Photo Credit: Whole Living

 

Coconut Curry Cauliflower Mash

We enjoyed a drink with our dear friends Joel and Shanna the other day and what came up? Food, eating and recipes we enjoy, shocking I know! This recipe is courtesy of Tim Ferris and we actually enjoyed it at a dinner we had with him a few months back but I totally forgot about it until our friends reminded us of it. This recipe is an awesome alternative anytime you feel like a potatoe-y goodness but want a bit fewer cals and carbs. It tastes delicious and given that is it pretty much all vegetables, it is packed with a ton of nutrients and is quite filling. Last night we made some homemade curry and put it over this. It was phenomenal!

Coconut Curry Cauliflower Mash
 
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Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 small head cauliflower (about 1½lbs), roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup cashews, chopped (soak for 30min up to 8 hours prior to making)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk (feel free to use a light version if you’d like)
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp curry powder
  • Ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews for 30 min to 8 hours. Not required but suggested for a creamier mash.
  2. Place cauliflower, cashews, coconut milk, salt and water to a boil. Reduce heat cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in curry and a dash of cinnamon. Mash with fork or immersion blender until it is a mashed potato like consistency. Add more salt, cinnamon or curry as needed.
  4. Serve as a side with your choice of topping, or top with anything of your choice!

Photo Credit: Detoxinista

Brussels Sprout Chips

Brussels Sprout ChipsIf you like kale chips (and who doesn’t?!?!), you are going to love these amazing little bites of heaven. They take a bit of TLC to get all the leaves separated but it is oh so worth it. Feel free to sprinkle with Parmesan for a non-vegan version… Next on the menu: kale/brussles chips combo, can you say wow!

Brussels Sprout Chips
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp good olive oil
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off outer leaves. (I save the remainder of the brussels sprout to saute or roast).
  3. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside. Sprinkle with more kosher salt (I like these crisp and salty like French fries), and serve immediately.

Photo Credit: Nomnompaleo

Homemade Apple Cranberry Granola – Vegan & Gluten Free!

I have never made my own granola before so combined a few recipes to come up with something I thought would taste good. I was surprised how effortless this was, and I have to say it tasted pretty darn good. I did the lower fat version which used apple sauce in place of most of the butter and oil. If you wanted it to be a crunchier form of granola you could just swap out the apple sauce and add in some butter and oil. I made these as Christmas gifts for a few close friends/family and it felt really good to give loved ones not only something homemade but also healthy during the holidays.

Homemade Apple Cranberry Granola – Vegan & Gluten Free!
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups rolled oats (not quick oats) – I used gluten free
  • 1 cup almonds or pecans
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 1½ Tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dried apples
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce with the honey, canola oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Spread the mixture evenly on a large baking sheet.
  5. Bake the granola for about 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until the granola is golden brown. Remove from oven, and stir in the dried apples and cranberries. Let the granola cool completely. Store the granola in a large, airtight container. The granola will keep for up to one month.

Photo above: Two Peas and their Pod

Sweet Potato, Green Chile and Curry Soup

Happy 2013!!! This is a modified version of a soup from Andew Weil, as I found his recipe a bit bland and not hearty enough for my tastes. It has so many health benefits and happens to taste delicious. Just a few of the benefits are listed below:

Sweet Potatoes: They are a good source of Vitamin C and D, which play an important role in digestion, maintaining the skin’s youthful elasticity helping us cope with stress and overall health. Sign me up!

Tumeric: It is a natural liver detoxifier and one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available. It also has powerful antioxidant properties that fight cancer-causing free radicals.

Cayenne Pepper: The hotness produced by cayenne is caused by its high concentration of a substance called capsaicin. which has been widely studied for its pain-reducing effects, its cardiovascular benefits, and its ability to fight inflammation.

Sweet Potato, Green Chile and Curry Soup
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 onion
  • 1.5 lbs sweet potato
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 quart veggie broth
  • 1½ lb zucchini, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • 2 (4oz) cans diced green chilies
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 1 (15oz) can light coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Heat broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss potato, onion, corn, carrot, garlic, and oil in a large bowl. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on prepared sheet and broil, tossing once halfway through, until browned, about 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a dutch oven or medium pot, add oil and leek. Cook until leeks are turning brown. Turn off heat. Add 1 quart veggie broth.
  3. Transfer broiled vegetables and stir in zucchini, spices, salt, beans, chilies and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.
  4. Once everything is cooked through, stir in coconut milk Place and then transfer 2-4 cups (depending on how thick you like your soup) to a blender and pulse a few times. Pour this mixture back into the original soup pot and stir until mixed evenly.
  5. Serve and enjoy 🙂

 

The Best of 2012

I think these best of post’s are such a good reminder of all the goodness we have enjoyed over the year. It’s been a wonderful and healthy 2012 and I look forward to the many delicious bites we will take in 2013! Happy New Year 🙂

January: Spanakopita with Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce

February: Homemade Heart Shaped Granola Bars

March: Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

April: Easter Deviled Eggs

May: Dilled Green Beans

June: Baked Sweet Potato Fries

July: Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

August: Vegan Lettuce Wraps

September: Apple, Walnut, and Endive Salad

October: Mushroom Risotto

November: Tofu, Peanut Butter and Roasted Tomato Panzanella

December: Strawberry Santas