Entrée, Gluten Free, Salad, Side, Summer

ROASTED TOMATO + CORN SALAD

Roasted Tomato & Corn Salad . Tomatoes . Sprouted Kitchen

Every now and then I do a cooking class or cook for small dinner parties and a version of this salad has happened a handful of times lately. It's not so much that it's a life changing combination of ingredients, as it is an example of how I build a green salad in general. A friend called it "my spiritual gift" so I suppose I may be in the field I was made to be in. I start with greens, often mixing lettuces for monochromatic shades of green (kale and romaine, arugula and butter lettuce etc.). I add another fresh, seasonal vegetable (here, shaved fennel), something sweet (here, both corn and roasted tomatoes), crunch and fat (nuts and cheese). I also keep color and texture in mind, using my mandoline frequently for raw vegetables because a huge chunk of carrot throws off the loveliness and ease in eating a green salad. Dressings are a wild card but this is where I can tie things together. Maybe it only needs oil and vinegar and salt if there is plenty going on or kale slaws can handle something extra lemony. I like heat with corn and tomatoes so I threw a jalapeno into an otherwise basic vinaigrette below. I add a sprinkle of parmesan for depth of flavor and to thicken it up a bit but it by no means tastes super Italian. Perhaps this all makes more sense in my head than written but I feel like once you have a general proportion you like, you can make a great salad with whatever is in your fridge. Sometimes it's helpful to start with a recipe, so tweak the one below however you'd like.  

Roasted Tomato & Corn Salad . Corn . Sprouted Kitchen

ROASTED TOMATO + CORN SALAD // Serves 4

I understand roasting the tomatoes takes some time, but I do a double batch in advance and have them on hand for both salads and eggs. You could substitute ripe peaches or nectarines here, as they can stand in for your tender and sweet element (I also love this salad from the archives while we're talking nectarines). I have been really into pine nuts lately but am bummed they have become so pricey. You could sub in almonds or walnuts here. 

1 pint baby tomatoes
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper
1 head of butter lettuce
1 small fennel bulb, shaved thin
1 ear of corn, grilled and cooled
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
4 ounces sheeps feta cheese

// jalapeno dressing //

1 jalapeno
handful of cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
juice of half a small lemon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
 

Roasted Tomato & Corn Salad . Tomatoes . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350' and line a baking sheet with parchment. Halve the tomatoes and toss them in the olive oil, salt and pepper. If they aren't good ones, you know the type, I'll sprinkle a bit of sugar. Spread them on the baking sheet cut side up and roast for 20-25 minutes until dried on the edges. Remove to cool completely. They will dry up more as they rest. 
Blend all dressing ingredients together and set aside. The dressing can be made up to a week in advance. The remaining salad ingredients are written prepped, so from this point, you just need to dress and assemble. Because butter lettuce leaves are larger, this salad plates best with the lettuce and fennel being dressed, and then the tomatoes, corn, pine nuts and feta cheese sprinkled on top of each portion. This prevents all the heavier goodies from falling to the bottom.

Roasted Tomato & Corn Salad . Sprouted Kitchen
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Dessert, Gluten Free, Summer

CANTALOUPE AND MINT YOGURT POPS

Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen

It may be beach season but our past few weekends have been spent working on the yard. I am hosting one of my best friends' baby shower here next month and while I can't completely overhaul it how I'd like, it has been in need of some sprucing. Curran runs around naked with the hose, Cleo rolls around on a blanket under a striped umbrella, yelling when she's on her tummy for too long but refusing to flip over. Hugh is sore and his back is completely sunburnt from weeding and planting ground cover but the "American dream" or something right? I trim the few plants that I haven't killed yet and water judiciously given the drought situation. Everything looks on the brink of being completely parched - which I am not sure whether to blame on my water conservation or lack of interest in gardening all together. Probably both. Naps. Food. Work. Crying. Laundry. The days are spent so quickly and I go to bed regretting that we didn't do anything "special" today. Maybe it's the news lately or my sensitive spirit but I know that our days are finite. I've been teary over the recent tragedies in Istanbul and Orlando. It could be any of us, really. And while I can't guarantee my people are safe at all times, I want our days to feel rich in love. At the end of each one, I want to feel like that day was marked by something and it's tough to keep in perspective that sometimes those marks are delicate and small and don't necessarily have to take much effort. I want some sort of miraculous balance between fun and new and intimate and social and productive but I know we don't get to have all that in the scope of the day. It is only when I can sit alone and quiet, that I see that even these days in the backyard with the baby buns and sunburns ARE a beautiful part of our finite days. Our memories and photos of these first few years with young kids may largely be at home and I am only recently starting to come to terms with that. I do need a vacation, but watching my boy giggle through the sprinklers and request that his sticky popsicle be cut in pieces because it hurts his teeth is it's own brand of wonderful. 

As a major fan of fruit in desserts, I was so excited to flip through Yossy's new cookbook. It's divided by season and then ingredient but still has adaptations for other fruits within the recipes. It's admittedly on the richer side of my normal fare but I find desserts to be more crowd-pleasing that way anyhow. And sometimes Hugh and Curran are my crowd. She has this pistachio pound cake in there that looks amazing and a super simple looking strawberry tart. It'll be perfect for summer meals outside. Curran chose these popsicles and while I'm sure he would have eaten anything from the book, they were perfect for these warm summer days.  

Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen
Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen

CANTALOUPE AND MINT YOGURT POPS // Makes 6-12 depending on molds
Recipe from Sweeter off the Vine by Yossy Arefi

Yossy asks for a teaspoon of orange-flower water which I do not stock. I went for the zest and juice of one lime which I thought was a perfect substitute with the melon and mint though I am sure the original is wonderful. We have a small, flimsy $1 popsicle mold from Walmart as our freezer is configured in such a way that makes it hard to fit in a full size mold. If you don't have molds, you could churn it in an ice cream maker for frozen yogurt or even just drink it as a smoothie. The sweetness dulls once frozen so keep the mix a little sweeter than you'd like your finished product.

12-ounces seeded and chopped cantaloupe
1 cup full fat greek yogurt
1/3 cup mild honey, to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, packed
zest and juice of one lime or 1 tsp. orange-flower water

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste the mixture and adjust the level of sweetness if necessary by adding more honey, one teaspoon at a time (I did not find it needed any more). Pour into frozen pop molds and freeze the pops until completely firm, at least 6 hours or overnight. 

Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen
Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen
Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen


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Entrée, Summer, Gluten Free, Spring

WEEKNIGHT VEGETABLE CURRY

Weeknight Vegetable Curry . Sprouted Kitchen

Weeknight dinners. These are looking different than they did pre kids. I remember thinking that people with meal plans were inflexible and rigid but I understand the intrigue now. It’s far more efficient and I loooove efficiency. I see now that it does not have to be about creativity, or lack thereof, but rather reducing your market runs. So sensical, you meal planners. I stay pretty adaptable within my plan, but paused are the days of wandering multiple grocery stores grabbing whatever looks good. They say there is a season for everything. I repeat meals far more often than I used to and I take a handful of shortcuts but I am still fumbling through my days with the wee people at my feet (or on my hip and in the cupboards, more specifically). I plan for two easy staples, try two new things and then leave room for something impromptu, going out or having people over. There are usually burrito bowls with lots of grilled vegetables and avocado, a chopped salad night, something in a big pot like tortilla or lentil soup and we’ve started weekly grilled pizzas. It's simpler and that's alright. I have also taken to making more than we need so I am halfway through another meal. For example, the leftover rice and grilled portobellos from burrito night, get blitzed with a few other things in the food processor for veggie burger patties. I find it some sort of personal challenge to use what I have. Anyway, this curry was from one of my big pot situations and I just kept adding vegetables to stretch the great sauce. It is creamy, full of spices and there is just enough peanut butter for richness without making it a “peanut sauce” - I got that idea from the True Food cookbook. I am aware it is not authentic in any sense of the word but it makes for a flavorful bowl of food and a pretty quick dinner.

I don’t get asked frequently about kitchen equipment, but when I do, it is for my opinion on high powered blenders. They are quite expensive and take up a lot of cupboard real estate; I understand wanting to do your due diligence. But until KitchenAid® sent me their new ProLine® model, I actually didn’t own a blender. Well no, I have a NutriBullet which is great and has done everything I’ve needed in a blender, but that’s not the answer people are looking for. So much depends on what you use a blender for, I think. I smoothed this curry sauce in there and good gracious that thing is powerful. I knew I didn’t need to chop the garlic or ginger or worry too much about the size of my onions because the blender would take care of that. And as far making enough for two meals, this sauce was better the second day. I added another handful of vegetables, lentils and a bit more broth to stretch it with success. 

This post was created in partnership with KitchenAid® and their new ProLine® Series Blender.

Weeknight Vegetable Curry . Sprouted Kitchen

WEEKNIGHT VEGETABLE CURRY
Serves 4

The heat here will largely depend on your curry powder. I buy some from Penzey’s but know people are partial to paste versus powders as well. If you prefer paste, sub in about 1 tsp. red curry paste. Long as you use a sweet curry powder, the sambal oelek (chile paste) here should offer enough heat but adjust to your taste. You may add a pinch of cayenne if that is what you have. Taste as you good, I suppose. 

1 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
3 inch nub of peeled ginger
1 tsp. sea salt, to taste
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. muscavado or brown sugar
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1/2 tsp. fish sauce, optional
3/4 cup canned, diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups coconut water or vegetable broth, as needed
1 tsp. sambal oelek (chile paste)
handful of cilantro and basil leaves
juice of one lime 

14-ounce package of extra firm tofu, drained well
3 medium carrots, 1” thick sliced on a diagonal
2 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, cut in 2” pieces
8 ounces mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
3/4 lb. snap peas, larger ones halved

cooked brown rice, for serving

whole milk yogurt and cilantro, for topping

Weeknight Vegetable Curry . Sprouted Kitchen

In a dutch oven over medium heat, warm the ghee or coconut oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and salt and saute until softened but not browned. About 5 minutes. Add the cumin, curry powder, turmeric, muscavado or brown sugar and saute another minute. Add the peanut butter, coconut milk, fish sauce (if using), tomatoes and coconut water or broth and stir to mix. Let everything simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add the chile paste and cilantro and basil and transfer sauce to a blender. Run the blender until the sauce is smooth and then transfer it back to the pot. Stir in the lime juice. Taste for seasoning. It should be somewhat thick, but still thin enough that the vegetables will cook in it’s heat. Add broth or coconut water if needed. 

Cut the tofu into 1” cubes and prepare all your vegetables. Add the carrots and shallot to the pot first and cook for 5 minutes, then add the tofu, bell pepper, mushrooms and snap peas and cook another 10-15 minutes until all the vegetables are just tender but not mushy. 

For serving, serve each bowl with a scoop of rice and a generous portion of vegetables and sauce. Garnish with whole milk yogurt and cilantro. 

Weeknight Vegetable Curry . Sprouted Kitchen


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