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Tuesday
Feb102015

GREENY SALAD WITH CRISPY CHICKPEAS + ROASTED JALAPENO DRESSING

Green Things Salad . Sprouted Kitchen

I deleted the words I was struggling through to sum up the responsibility I feel to Curran after listening to my cousins talk about their mom at my aunt's memorial last weekend. I'm not talking making baby food and reading him books, but the big stuff, or the in-between. I have the most intense dislike for the word "supermom" because it always seems to be used in a context which dumbs down the job of being a mother to sewing the best Halloween costumes or having the most crafts at your kids' birthday party while encouraging competition and comparing and blech. I listened to how her boys' spoke of how much she taught them through gracious discipline, humbled generosity, taking them on adventures and quiet listening. If the phrase existed before my generation of parenting, my Aunt actually would have been a textbook supermom, but her boys didn't praise her sewing or baking or gardening or crafts. They spoke of how she made them feel - how she built them up and encouraged them to find a way that made them truly happy. Our parenting is so much more relational than we see in the small picture. To nurture that is a role you don't read about in a baby book, you get a clear picture when you hear young men describe the sort of mother they knew. The honor is mine.

“You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.” 
- Cheryl Strayed

It's been warm here this week and all the plans of stews and roasted this and that don't sound right. I have a salad in our new book that is full of all my favorite green things, and this is similar. It looks gorgeous in all it's monochromatic colors while still having contrast of texture and flavor. The chickpeas are like a teeny crouton and with the snap of the seeds, this is almost closer to a slaw with all it's crunch. Anyway, it's nice to change up the routine I've been in of roasted squash and see spring around the corner.

Green Things Salad . Sprouted Kitchen

Green Things Salad . Sprouted Kitchen

Green Things Salad . Sprouted Kitchen

GREENY SALAD WITH CRISPY CHICKPEAS + ROASTED JALAPENO // Serves 4

The smoky chickpeas adapted from The First Mess

This should yield enough dressing for a second salad. When I ate the leftovers of this, I added on some pom seeds and sheeps feta (my staples) and they work so well here. If you want a little color, sweetness and salty cheese, they're a welcomed addition.

 

  • / smoky chickpeas /
  • 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans, rinsed and towel dried
  • 1/2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • few pinches of sea salt and pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 400'. On a parchment lined baking sheet, toss the chickpeas with the maple, oil, paprika and a few picnhes of salt and pepper. Spread in a single later and bake for 20 minutes until crispy. Set aside while you prepare the rest of your salad.

 

  • / roasted jalapeno dressing /
  • 1 roasted jalapeno*
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped shallot
  • 1/2 cup (a handful) roughly chopped cilantro
  • juice of one lime (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar or honey
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

 

Stem the jalapeno and remove all, half or none of the seeds depending on your spice preference (I used half and found it plenty spicy). Into a blender or food processor, combine the roasted jalapeno, shallot, cilantro, lime juice, white wine vinegar, agave, olive oil and salt. Blend until well combined. 

* To roast the jalapeno, coat the outside in oil and roast at 400' for 20 minutes. This can be done while you're baking the chickpeas. 

 

  • 4 packed cups baby kale
  • 2 cups shredded brussels sprouts
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup finely diced cucumber
  • 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and quartered

 

 In a large salad bowl, combine the baby kale, shredded brussels, green onions, cucumber and half of the pumpkin seeds. Toss with desired amount of dressing and top with the remaining seeds, crispy chickpeas and avocado. 

Green Things Salad . Sprouted Kitchen

Thursday
Jan292015

BUTTERNUT + GREEN CHILE ENCHILADAS

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

We lost Aunt Suzy this week. It has felt strange and sad and I am in no place to speak on grief here. My heart hurts for her boys and husband, my mom and grandma and the gaggle of friends she had who adored her. Talking about anything else feels cheap right now, so excuse my brevity.

I did however want to share this enchilada recipe. You see, this is the recipe (and I use that term very loosely since I make them different every time) I make when I deliver food to friends in need. Mostly families with a new baby. I got extra ingredients this week to make a batch for friends who are battling cancer with their baby girl, and I passed off a plate today to a friend who stopped by who has been sick with a flu this whole week. It feels good to feed someone. I read my pal Ashley's post this week and saw much of myself in her words. Of course I like food; I enjoy eating and I find it somewhat of a challenge to make wholesome food more tasty, but, BUT, I like cooking because I'm a nurturer. It's what comfort I have to give when there are no words. In my language, it says I care for you when a gesture is the only thing that can fill silence. I made a few notes on details below, but enchiladas are pretty forgiving. These are not particularly authentic. They have more vegetables than cheese and a fresh, green topping for color and contrast. Use more sauce if you like them saucey or more cheese if you want a little more decadence.

Give extra hugs. Make your wrongs, right. It's a fragile life we lead, friends. xo

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

BUTTERNUT + GREEN CHILE ENCHILADAS // Serves 4

If squash are no longer good, or available, sweet potatoes are a great alternative. I would say about two large potatoes will give you the same yield as the squash here. Spice level is subject to what sort of sauce or salsa you use.

Because I think this is a great meal to deliver to someone in need, it can be made halfway and finished off by the receiver of said enchiladas. Prepare everything and simply don't bake them, just cover in foil and leave the directions for the cook temp + time. You can replace the black beans with two small shredded chicken breasts if you're looking for something more omnivorous but I venture to claim these are plenty filling for the meat eating sort. The cilantro topping can be made in advance but I wouldn't suggest salting it if it will be eaten more than a half day later. The salt makes the vegetables get a little mushy.

 

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 5-6 ounces soft goat cheese, divided
  • milk or broth as needed to thin
  • 1 1/2 cups/ 15 oz. can cooked black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup/ 4oz. can mild, fire roasted green chiles
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 12 oz. green salsa or enchilada sauce*

 

 

  •  // cilantro topping //
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • juice of one lime
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 avocado, diced

 

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'. Peel, seed and cube the squash. Line a baking tray with parchment. On the baking tray, toss the squash with the oil, chili powder, smoked paprika and salt to coat. Spread in a single layer and roast on the middle rack for 30-40 minutes or until nice and soft. Turn the oven down to 350'.

Put 4 oz. of the goat cheese in a mixing bowl, reserving the rest for garnish. Add the squash to the mixing bowl with a generous splash of milk or broth and mash until roughly smooth. 

Mix the black beans and green chiles together. Char the tortillas over the stove. Gather your assembly line with the tortillas, beans, and squash mash. In a 13x9 baking dish, spread 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom. Into the tortillas, spread about a heaping 1/4 cup of the squash mash and a few spoonfuls of the beans on top. Roll the tortilla and put it in your dish, seam side down. Continue with remaining tortillas for as many will fit in your dish. Spread remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle on remaining goat cheese. Lightly cover with foil and bake at 350' for 20 minutes to warm through. Take off the foil and broil another 5 minutes to char the tops. 

While the enchiladas bake, make the cilantro topping. Roughly chop the cilantro and put it, the green onions and pom seeds in a small mixing bowl. Add the lime juice and a pinch of salt and stir to mix. When ready to serve, gently stir in the diced avocado. Serve the enchiladas with a scoop of the cilantro topping on top.

* I use a jarred enchilada sauce or salsa but you could make your own should you have the desire and time. This batch I tried the hatch valley salsa from Trader Joes but I also really like their red enchilada sauce. I am anxious to try Laura's next time (those enchiladas look amazing). 

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

Friday
Jan162015

FEEDING BABIES. PART 1

Baby Food . Sprouted Kitchen

My sweet boy! I love this first photo because if you peek beneath the table, that is Curran mid leg flail. When he gets in his little eating seat he starts swinging his legs around like he's getting ready for take off. The kid is quite the enthusiastic eater and it may be one of my favorite qualities about him. In his limited communication skills, when he is not kicking his legs, he is squawking at me to feed him quicker and not dare leave my post as spoon manager.

I know this post will only appeal to a fraction of you, but when I started making baby food I figured it'd be no big deal. I cook, I can mash up food. But turns out it does take a second thought. It's not necessarily rocket science, but I figure the more I expose him to now, before he realizes he has a choice, the better. I'm not a master by any means, but thought I would share a few notes that have worked for us in case they may be helpful for anyone else. Curran is almost 8 months old and pretty close to eating the same things we're eating (generally speaking) but here are a few things I've learned so far:

--

- I've mostly been using my immersion blender to get things smooth. I know there is special equipment to make baby food but I think that's a gimmick. Outside of baby food, I use my immersion blender for soups all the time and think it's a great tool to have. 

- To not make myself crazy and feel like a short order cook, I try to have one bulk baby food session that gets us through most of the week, maybe takes me an hour if I have the groceries. A little squeeze of lemon juice preserves them for a week no problem. I prepare a decent size container for the fridge and freeze another small bag full for back up. Then sometimes when I make meals for Hugh and I, Curran has some of whatever we're having to try new things. For example, I made us a minestrone soup a few nights ago and just whizzed some with the immersion blender for him. It sounds obvious, but babies can get bored of foods too, so giving them some of yours changes things up AND it starts the habit of everyone eating the same thing. 

- I can get Curran to eat most things but if I've made him something he's not thrilled about, I just hide it in with something he does like so I don't waste it. He will eat anything with a sweet potato or banana so I make the super green mash below and while he doesn't love it plain, mixed into a little potato or banana, I can get tons of greens into him. 

- On the go. I was gifted these and they work great. Hold a decent amount and don't leak. Bananas have also saved me in a pinch and you don't even need a container. I just slice it in half and dig out of the banana itself like it's own little bowl. Because I mentioned he is a yeller when he's hungry, I also keep the Happy Baby snacks (the happy creamies and puffs) in my bag. It also helps him pick things up. And speaking of feeding himself, halved blueberries, ripe pears, bananas and avocados have gone over well. Roll them in flaxmeal, oat flour or crushed rice cereal to keep them from getting too slimy to grab or just expect a mess and be ok with it. 

The recipes below are general amounts. A mash can be pretty forgiving but it's always easier to add water than take it away. If you've made it too thin, a little mashed sweet potato can help thicken things back up. 

Baby Food . Sprouted Kitchen

CARROT LENTIL MASHIES // Makes about 2 cups

I've used turmeric in here but it stains both his fair skin and clothes so use at your own discretion. 

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/2 tsp. everyday seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, cilantro or parsley
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil

Boil the carrots and garlic clove in the water until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the lentils, seasoning, herbs and salt and pepper. Use the immersion blender to puree chunky or smooth as you need. Stir in the coconut oil while it is still warm. 

BERRY OATS // Makes 2 cups

I can leave this chunky for Curran's age. If your baby is younger, blend it with an immersion blender after you add the coconut milk. I also add flax meal but know that can sometimes be an allergen so add when appropriate. I also eat this in the morning on occasion so doubling it has never gone to waste.

  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries, slightly mashed
  • pinch of salt and cinnamon

Bring the water to a boil and add the oats. Cook until softened and most water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and berries and cook another 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in the salt and cinnamon.

Baby Food . Sprouted Kitchen

SUPER GREEN MASHIES // Makes 2 cups

You want to steam everything until just soft enough to blend but not to the point it gets brown and mushy. Just keep an eye. A squeeze of lemon helps it stay fresh. Double this recipe if you want a bag full for the freezer. Curran doesn't love this plain, but I sort of use it as a concentrate of goodness to mix into other things. I put a spoonful or two with some mashed avocado and he eats it no problem, or I'll just mix it into any other food he's eating. More greens the better!

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 lb. green beans
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 a pear, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • 2 cups roughly chopped kale

Bring the water to a gentle boil. Add the green beans and broccoli and boil for 2 minutes. Add the pear, spinach, kale, cover and steam another 2 minutes until wilted. Add a squeeze of lemon and blender everything until chunky/smooth. 

SQUASHY QUINOA // Makes 2 cups

I roast whole acorn, butternut or kabocha squash and mash half for him and I eat the other half for lunch. To roast, preheat to 400', halve the squash, scoop out the seeds, rub the flesh with oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and roast for about 25-35 minutes depending on the squash. Whatever it takes until very soft. 

Goat dairy is much easier for them to digest than cows milk. They sell it at Trader Joes, Whole Foods and health food stores.

  • 1 half a roasted acorn squash
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup goat yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • grate of fresh nutmeg
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Scoop out the squash flesh and mash it with a fork. Stir in the quinoa, yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to blend. Thin it with a little water if the mash is looking super thick. 

Baby Food . Sprouted Kitchen

Monday
Jan052015

THYME + PARMESAN ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

Not Without Salt's Roasted Sweet Potatoes . Sprouted Kitchen

When it was just the two of us, a "date night" didn't seem all that imperative. Yes, of course for the reasons of continuing courtship and chivalry, but as for conversation and quality time, I didn't feel we were lacking that. Hugh's office is at home, we work together part-time, and we were both happy spending evenings in or grabbing something easy out. I never really felt like I missed him, for lack of better or longer explanation, until we had a baby. We have this spunky little fellow that while ridiculously cute, consumes time, attention, conversation and energy that we had more of to give to each other previously. And he doesn't even speak! Or walk! I wouldn't change a thing. Time simply becomes rearranged given the same amount of hours in a day, and I do miss Hugh. I see him most of my day, but I miss how easy and effortless our time felt before we had a 7 month old to fend for and figure out. You can adore having a child and pine for the days you could come and go without a second thought. I think that's healthy and normal. Especially for an introvert. So, one of my resolutions for this year, which I hope to make habit of, is to savor the hours we share between when Curran goes to bed and when we do. So starting now, I resolve to date my husband.

Inspired by Ashley's series on her blog, Dating My Husband, her new cookbook is a collection of genuine short essays about her story and relationship with her husband, Gabe, met with gorgeously photographed recipes that set up an entire menu for you. They may be good friends of ours, but bias aside, I am so touched by the humility and intention on each page. The story and purpose of the book are personal and truly, that is what sets a cookbook apart these days. Ashley cooks the kind of food Hugh wishes I made :) A nudge towards decadent while still being fresh and colorful. He has bookmarked the burgers and peanut butter frosted brownies and last night I made the raddichio and apple slaw and these roasted potatoes. I've made my share of roasted vegetables, but these, with their crust of parmesan and fragrant thyme, tinker to be described like a top notch french fry with a crispy outside and creamy center. They were super quick to throw together and such a fabulous texture. So here's to a fresh start - the best of intentions for time well spent with people who fill us up. Grateful I can always start over again in months besides January if I don't get it right this time around.  

Not Without Salt's Roasted Sweet Potatoes . Sprouted Kitchen

Not Without Salt's Roasted Sweet Potatoes . Sprouted Kitchen

Not Without Salt's Roasted Sweet Potatoes . Sprouted Kitchen

Not Without Salt's Roasted Sweet Potatoes . Sprouted Kitchen

THYME + PARMESAN ROASTED SWEET POTATOES // Serves 2

Recipe from Date Night In by Ashley Rodriguez

All I tweaked here was the salt for our taste. I used two medium-smallish sized sweet potatoes and found 1/2 tsp. to be plenty, could maybe even go for less. Personal taste. Adjust to your preference. 

 

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" coins
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 450'. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • In a large plastic bag, toss the sweet potato coins in the corn starch to coat. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl, drizzle the olive oil and toss to coat. Add the thyme, salt, parmesan and a few grinds of pepper and give it a couple more stirs to coat. 
  • Transfer the coins to the parchment lined tray and bake for 30-45 minutes, flipping halfway through so both sides get nice and crisp.
  • Serve with bbq sauce, ranch dressing or dip of choice. 

 

Not Without Salt's Roasted Sweet Potatoes . Sprouted Kitchen

Not Without Salt's Roasted Sweet Potatoes . Sprouted Kitchen

Wednesday
Dec172014

MARRAKESH CARROT SALAD + BOOK PRE-ORDER!

Carrot Salad . A Bowl Food . Sprouted Kitchen

A few months back I had a lunch date with a wise friend of mine and we got to chatting about this recent cookbook project. She's the sort of friend I don't give general answers to - she asked how I was feeling about it and I immediately shared my insecurities. You see, people have expectations when they buy a cookbook and it is tough, absolutely impossible really, to meet all of them. We are all different cooks with different experience, definitions of easy, too healthy, not healthy, creative, complicated, difficult-to-find ingredients and such. As I told her about the recipes and my worries about how they'd be received, we realized they made sense with what was simultaneously happening in my own life. I was pregnant and moving into our first house and those big life events were affecting how I was cooking. Some recipes were coming up simpler to save time and I seemed to find whipped cream appropriate for each dessert which I blame on the tiny person I was growing in my belly. I became muddled in the trying to do it *right* for positive feedback and lost sight of it being mine. Her encouragement stuck with me and changed my perspective, and I see me, us, in each of these pages. The beautiful thing about blogs, and cookbooks that come from blogs, is that there is more we can know of the story than just instructions on how to make food. Perhaps you become invested in the narrative and the food becomes personal. I think that's pretty unique.

So, if I may direct your attention over to the side bar you will see the cover of our cookbook that comes out at the end of March. March! Three more months! Ah!

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'm stealing a paragraph from the overview:

The seed for this book was planted by an indirect compliment from my husband Hugh about my cooking. Knowing I was an enthusiastic home cook, someone had asked him what my “specialty” was. He and I both know I don’t necessarily have a favorite cuisine. Through trial, error and money wasted, I’m mediocre at cooking meat. I am too unconventional for perfect baking and err on the side of health nut for classical dishes. What I do well, is what I care most about, which is produce. I have an affinity for seasonal vegetables and whole foods with bold dressings or sauces. I crave healthful, colorful foods that taste good. My specialty, per se, is food in a bowl - combinations of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, big salads - texture and flavor that go together to make a simple, nutritious meal that makes sense composed in one vessel. “Bowl foods” was Hugh’s answer to the question. First I took offense, then I laughed about it, and after telling the story, I came to realize that this is the way a lot of whole foods focused eaters cook. A dish colorful enough to serve when friends are over for dinner, the kind of meal you can bring to the couch with nothing but a spoon or fork, or where leftovers can be packed up easily for the following day. One could argue that food in a bowl has an aesthetic gentleness to it that falls stark on a plate. Ingredients nestled within each other, tangled to make sense as a sum of their parts. I am using the bowl as a point of inspiration for the recipes shared here.

--

There are breakfast bowls and dips and salads and full meals with a whole grain, protein, vegetables and sauce (like you see on the cover) and a brief sweets chapter with a frequent appearance of whipping cream :) The recipe below is one of the side salads. To make it a full meal, we make these herby falafels to have with it. I made the salad here with pretty purple carrots and lentils where the one in the book uses vibrant orange carrots and chickpeas. I think it could be a holiday side if that's what you're looking for but it's also nice to have a bowl prepared in the fridge to keep you from the sweets when you need a nibble. Anyway, it is one of my favorites. Bowl + Spoon is different than our first book in a way I can't quite describe outside of it having a theme. All I know is that I'm super excited for you all to see. I will update the book page after the holidays once I have a hard copy and some more information on events and such. 'Til then, preorder is available at these booksellers:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Google Books

ibookstore

Indie Bound

Powell's

Carrot Salad . A Bowl Food . Sprouted Kitchen

Carrot Salad . A Bowl Food . Sprouted Kitchen

MARRAKESH CARROT SALAD // Serves 6

This may be a good time for the grater blade on your food processor. It'll save you time. Go with a firmer lentil, like beluga or Puy, so they hold shape in the salad. Chickpeas are written in the original salad so use what you have or prefer. Though you could still make this without, I suggest the good feta cheese, one made with sheeps milk, not cow. It may be an extra dollar or two but it's worth it. Trader Joes sells an incredible one by Pastures of Eden in a yellow and green package. 

  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup cooked lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 7 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 5 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup toasted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • zest and juice of two limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper 

Carrot Salad . A Bowl Food . Sprouted Kitchen

Carrot Salad . A Bowl Food . Sprouted Kitchen

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, lentils, dates, red onion, scallions and cilantro. Break up any bits of dates that are sticking together.

In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, zest and juice of the limes, cumin, nutmeg, tumeric, red pepper, salt and pepper. 

Pour the dressing over the carrot salad and toss to coat. Give the pistachios a rough chop and sprinkle on top along with the feta cheese. Serve as is or cover and chill in the fridge. 

Carrot Salad . A Bowl Food . Sprouted Kitchen