Roasted Pumpkin Pilaf

Roasted Pumpkin Pilaf

I hosted my wine club last week and wanted to be sure

to have some gluten free options. I’m a little tired of

quinoa at the moment so I went ahead and tried this

pilaf dish. I also learned recently that wild rice is not a

grain, it is actually a seed! It is full of B vitamins and has

more protein than brown rice so opt for that if you can

find it, otherwise brown rice will do. Enjoy this flavorful dish!… 

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Vegan Split Pea Soup

Vegan Split Pea Soup

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of a homemade split pea soup on Instagram and had several people ask me for the recipe. I actually didn’t really follow a recipe for that soup because I had looked at one that used a pressure cooker and I don’t have one. So I made it my mission to find a split pea soup I felt comfortable sharing with you all. I decided to try a slow cooker version because I love putting something in the crockpot in the morning and coming home to a warm meal. I added in the cauliflower because it gives the soup some extra veggie goodness and also thickens it a little bit (maybe next time I will try it with broccoli)! I enjoyed this last night and can’t wait for the leftovers tonight :).

For updated recipes and photos, check out The Simple Kitchen!
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Breakfast Break: Top FLB Breakfast Foods

Breakfast is one of my favorite parts of the day, especially when I get to enjoy it slowly. I always begin my day with a homemade green juice but  generally want a little something in addition to that. Here is a list of my favorite FLB breakfast dishes, some a little on the sweeter side (but still healthy of course) and others a little more savory. Click on the links below the pictures to get directed to the recipe!

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Green Juice

Raw Veggie Taco

Open Faced Veggie Taco… 

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Mostly Veggie Potato Salad

Mostly Veggie Potato SaladFrom the recipes on this site, you guys know I love sweet potatoes but I received some red potatoes in my Full Circle box last week so needed to get creative. Aside from the fact that you get fresh local veggies delivered to your doorstep (which is awesome!), I also love getting these CSA boxes because they present me with challenges. I knew I didn’t just want to roast the potatoes so I searched around and came across this recipe in Super Natural Everyday, Heidi Swanson’s cookbook. It is a very easy dish and a different take on the traditional potato salad. Scott and I have been using the leftovers on top of salad all week for lunch and I imagine this would be a great additional to a summer potluck!

Mostly Veggie Potato Salad
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4 small pink or red skinned potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
  • 2 cups of green beans, trimmed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup whole grain mustard
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • Sea salt
  • ¼ cup chopped dill
  • 1 leek, trimmed and chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
  • 1 small cucumber, unpeeled and cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Salt generously, add the potatoes and cook until tender but not falling apart (approx 10 minutes). One minute before potatoes are done, add in the green beans. Drain potatoes and beans and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, sautee the dill in a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add a couple of pinches of salt, stir in the leek and saute until golden and slightly crispy (about 4-5 minutes).
  3. In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking together mustard, vinegar, oil and salt. Taste and adjust as needed.
  4. In a large bowl, gently toss the potatoes, green beans, celery, cucumber, chives and leek with the dressing. Salt to taste. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Photo credit: Hello There Home.

Get Your Juice On!

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I had heard about juicing for quite a while before making it part of my daily routine. It seemed too time consuming, too expensive and too much for someone with a teeny tiny San Francisco kitchen. Well, after reading Kris Carr’s Crazy, Sexy, Diet, I decided it was about time to start juicing. Below are just a few of the benefits of juicing:

1. By removing the plant fiber during the juicing process, you get a direct shot of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins and oxygen without your body having to do any of the work of digestion, which helps nourish your cells and restore the immune system.

2. When you juice, you use more fruits and vegetables than you could actually eat. As a result, you are drinking a densely packed amount of vitamins, minerals and other plant-based nutrients.

3. Vegetables are alkalizing and your body is designed to function at its best at a slightly alkaline pH level. Many of the things we do in our daily lives (certain foods and drinks, stress, etc) create an acidic environment (it is MUCH easier to become too acidic than it is to become too alkaline) so by juicing you help bring your pH levels back into balance. An acidic environment is a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast and lots of other yucky things that in turn make us feel yucky!

4. Lots of juicing means lots more vitamins and minerals which are responsible for all sorts of necessary chemical reactions promoting health and vitality and therefore lots more energy.

5. And just a few more: Juicing helps to slow the aging process, reduces inflammation, helps cleanse the body (which is especially important post-holiday season), improves the look of your skin, regulates digestion and can help peel off pounds… sold yet? If not, for some real motivation check out Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead!

Here is a simple juice to start with but as you become more comfortable with the taste of veggie juice, the produce isle will become your best friend. Rule of Thumb: At least 3 veggies to every one piece of fruit and the greener the better!

Get Your Juice On!
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2-3 cucumbers
  • 1 head romaine
  • 3-5 stalks of celery
  • 3-5 stalks of kale
  • small bit of ginger
  • Carrots, apple, pear or grapefruit (if you want to sweeten it up a bit)
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • ½ lemon
Instructions
  1. Juice.
  2. Sprinkle with turmeric and cinnamon.
  3. Squeeze lemon on top. Enjoy!

 

Easy Overnight White Beans

White Beans

So what’s the deal with using dried beans rather than the canned kind? I had asked that question for a long time before actually doing it because I thought it was too time consuming and didn’t really make that much of a difference, boy was I wrong! Here are just a few reasons why dried beans are much better than canned:

1. Price. Buying dried beans in incredibly inexpensive. 1 can beans = Almost 2 cups and costs on average $1.00. 1lb dried beans = Almost 8 cups and costs on average $1.00. You do the math.

2. Sodium. Canned food is loaded with sodium where as you can determine how much salt you use when making your own.

3. Taste. I eat a lot of beans and there is no doubt that dried beans taste far better and more fresh than the canned variety.

4. Environment. Using dried beans is much better for Mother Earth than the processing it takes to can, ship, distribute, etc. canned beans.

5. Ease. Most people think it is so much easier to just buy canned beans, well sorry guys but with this recipe you can no longer use that excuse. Two steps, go to sleep and you wake up with delicious meal!

Easy Overnight White Beans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8 cups
Ingredients
  • 1lb bag of any kind of bean (for this recipe I prefer white beans i.e. cannelini, great northerns, etc. I use a slightly different recipe for pinto, black, etc.)
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup carrot, diced *Note: Trader Joes has a soup starter that has these three ingredients already diced for you for an even easier option.
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and cloves kept whole
  • 32oz vegetable broth + more water if needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak 1lb dried beans in 6-8 cups of water for about 8 hours. Helpful hint: Place beans in a bowl of water right before you are about to leave for work or if you are doing the quick soak method do this about an 1.5 hours before going to bed.
  2. Remove and beans or shells that float to the top. Drain and rinse soaked beans.
  3. Combine vegetables, vegetable broth (and extra water if needed), garlic and rinsed beans in a crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Helpful hint: Just turn it on right before you head off to bed.
  4. After about 8 hours, check beans and season with salt pepper and any other spice of choice. I like to add some hot paprika to mine! Cook until beans are the texture you want them.

Serving suggestion: Serve as a soup or drain and use on top of salads, as a side dish or in other recipes.

Crock Pot Jambalaya

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This is one of my favorite crock pot dishes. Very little prep time and you come home to an absolutely delicious meal!

For updated recipes and photos check out The Simple Kitchen!

Average Time: 10 minutes prep, 4-8 hours cook time

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted with green chilies)

1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained

1 cup long grain brown rice

1 Tbsp hot sauce

2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced (or 2 tsp dried)

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 Tbsp spicy paprika

2 C water

3 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Directions

1. Place onion, garlic, celery, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, rice, and beans in the crockpot in that order.

2. Add hot sauce, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika and water.

3. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

4. Once it’s finished cooking, toss in parsley and stir until well combined.

Serving suggestion: Serve with brussel sprouts or vegetable of choice. To make a non veggie version of this, add in sausage during step one and/or throw in shrimp and hour before it is done cooking.

Photo Credit: Aine Carlin

Vegetarian Chili

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There is that time of year each fall where chili seems a distant memory and I get so excited about making it! And I love a good slow cooker recipe. I have tried several chili’s and this one has always been a tried and true good choice.

Ingredients

1 large onion, peeled and diced

1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained

1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained

3 bell peppers, seeded and diced (I prefer yellow, red and orange over green but any will do)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes

2 carrots, diced

1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dried oregano

Cheddar Cheese, chives, avocado (optional)

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a crockpot.

2. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.

3. Serve in individual bowls, topping with cheese, chives or avocado.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over sweet potatoes or with corn bread.

Photo Credit: Cooking Light