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Thursday
Oct102013

SMOOTHIES: HIS AND HERS

his & hers smoothies . sprouted kitchen

We're keeping things simple today. I have been testing for the book and had a few quick-turnaround freelance jobs. There has been so much food I'm passing out tupperwares to anyone who stops by. There were a few food-heavy weeks, followed by drought. I was burnt out and uninterested in cooking unless it could be easily stuffed in a brown rice tortilla or blended up and considered a meal. I left Hugh in charge where I typically have a plan, so we had a solid handful of breakfast burritos and taco meals. No complaints from either side. When thinking food, and writing food, and making food becomes your work, part of its charm is sometimes lost. But only part and only sometimes. I love what I do, but I am not much for excess. I keep a fairly minimal home and prefer to have around the items we actually use as opposed to cling to clutter. So when it's all food all the time, I have to step back for a few days to avoid going completely nuts. 

When needing hardly a meal, more of an in-between, tide-you-over, on the run mini-meal in a cup sort of deal, we make smoothies. Hugh makes his off a memory from his childhood. They'd shop at a health food store and the kids would get a shake at the juice bar on the way out. To his memory, it was a creamy combination of milk, peanut butter, banana, date and a little chocolate. It's delicious, but on the shake side of smoothie. Actually no, it's just a straight up shake. I am ever the fan of frozen mangos because they're creamy themselves and then stuck with the tropical theme. Hugh assured me everyone would like his better. My love, I even like yours better, but someone had to go the slightly lighter route here.  

Sometimes I find smoothie recipes insulting - isn't it all just thrown in a blender? Yes, yes it is. But this is what we're eating 'round here so take your combination however you wish. This looks tasty if you're on the pumpkin train right now, and this looks Fall-ish as well, or something completely unique with sesame milk, and while the fresh are gone, this blueberry basil one could be made with frozen blueberries. Browse through Sarah's tips on smoothie boosters too!

MONKEY FLIP // Makes 1

As told by Hugh Forte

 

  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 date, pitted
  • 1 scoop chocolate ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • 1 cup milk

 

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until completely smooth, adding more milk or ice for desired consistency.

TROPICAL COOLER // Makes 1

 

  • handful of crushed ice
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup coconut yogurt or plain yogurt (or coconut sorbet)
  • flesh of half a seeded and peeled papaya
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • squeeze of honey
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until completely smooth, adding more milk or ice for desired consistency.

 

his & hers smoothies . sprouted kitchen

Thursday
Sep262013

QUINOA CAULIFLOWER PATTIES

pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen

We were going to be leaving for Yosemite tomorrow. It's sort of hard to believe that I have lived a bit less than a half-day's drive from the park my entire life and I've never been. We woke to the news of the National Park closures today, so we'll have to think of a plan B. Hugh has some work up there this weekend, so we'll know what to do once that gets figured. There is a pop-up tent on the roof of the car and a fridge full of food for the road so we'll certainly be going somewhere. I don't know if I ever craved wilderness until the last few years. I've always had ocean, and that fills me with inexplicable gratitude, but giant mountains and trees and waterfalls - a lady needs majesty like that every now and again. Both of us are a tad rusty on our rusticness, but the desire to be out in the wide open space and the trees is there, so we'll figure something out.

I made these patties with some items I had in the fridge. They are simple and intentionally simple-flavored as to be an addition anywhere you wish. I wanted these as a car snack, so I have a tupperware full with one little dish of this cilantro pesto and another of hummus for dipping. I like them on a pile of dark leafy greens or Hugh stuffed a couple in a pita for a handheld situation. I'll be trying one under a poached egg with hot sauce and avocado. You get the idea.

pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen

QUINOA CAULIFLOWER PATTIES // Makes 12

Barely adapted from Vegetarian Everyday

I try to make a dressing or two on days I'm cooking so I just have them on hand when I need a quick meal. I don't really have a recipe for the one pictured here, but it was a quick whiz in the food processor of garlic, tahini, lemon, chives, cilantro, olive oil and a teeny splash of white wine vinegar. If you're the measurement sort, it'd be something like the dressing here but double the tahini.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 1/3 cup sheeps milk feta
  • zest of one large or two small lemons
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ghee, for cooking

pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen

Rinse the quinoa. Put the quinoa and 2 cups water in a medium pot. Bring it up to a boil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, turn it down to a simmer and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, turn off the heat, set the lid ajar to rest.

In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it resembles cous cous. About 10-15 times.

In a large bowl, whisk the 4 eggs together well. Add the cauli cous cous to the eggs. Back to the processor (it's fine if it still has cauli crumbles, leave them), add the scallions and oats and pulse a few times to roughly chop. Add this to the egg bowl along with the cooked quinoa. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper, the crumbled feta, lemon zest, chopped parsley and stir to mix well. Let the mixture rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Warm a nub of ghee in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Form the quinoa mixture into patties about 4'' wide and 1'' thick. Cook them for about 4 minutes on each side until just crisped, covering them after the flip to completely warm though. The patties will keep covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen

Thursday
Sep192013

PASTA WITH FENNEL, ARUGULA + LEMON

pasta with fennel, arugula & lemon . sprouted kitchen

I suppose now is as a good a time as any to let you know I am working on a second cookbook (!!!!). A number of the details are still to be worked out as far as official dates, tentative title, how it will all be laid out, etc. but it's in motion. I am excited to be working with Ten Speed Press again as well as Hugh, my trusted, however easy to argue with, photographer. It should be due out sometime in 2015. I think it's such a privledged that I am able to call this my job. This is so huge! We are proud of our first book, but also feel there was a learning curve that was only possible by being in it. With both feet in, we learned, and we know a few things on the other side that we will do differently this time around. One of those things, for myself, is to try to create food that is personal to me, to us, and not struggle in trying to please every readers taste preferences and dietary or health principles. My hope is that people will tinker around as they prefer. Sometimes there will be pasta with a bit of cream and other times there will be dairy free, gluten free items. Sometimes dietetic recipes and other dishes food for company. This is how my real life works - all real foods, a majority of the time very healthful and especially produce focused, with room for ice cream and a little indulgence in between. The book will be a collection of bowlfoods - dishes that are served in a single vessle, which speaks comfort, ease and community in the way I see cooking and food. There will be green salads, whole grain salads, rice and noodle bowls, a chapter with a few of my favorite sauces for said bowls and treats (ice cream!) of course. I have an inclination that if you relate to the way I cook and eat here, foods in a bowl make complete sense to you. I wanted a narrower focus, something authentic, and when I think about how food applies to my favorite parts of the everyday - it is family-style eating with friends and family, picnics, having sturdy salads that last a few days for Hugh and I to snack on in the fridge or take for work, salads of any and all sorts, really - I kept coming back to the humbleness of the bowl. The best creative work is the kind that is most meaningful to the artist. Cooking is no exception. Sure, it limits me in some ways, and the critic could argue one could eat a salad or berry trifle just as easily on a plate as they could in a bowl, but they'd be missing the intention. The bowl is a point of inspiration, not a rule and I am excited to work on this project. I am back in the throws of some ideas working out as planned and others still far from the mark after 3 or 4 tries. It is not a process for the weak of heart, but I've found myself here again, willing, excited and anxious, and I am grateful to have your support. Life, how I ended up here, it's still kind of crazy to me.

This recipe is from UK based chef Hugh Fearnley. He has a series of books and this is my favorite yet. Unlike American cookbooks, the recipes are more loosely written, leaving some responsibility to the cook and I love that. They don't give amounts for salt and pepper or an estimated time for each step. It's refreshing. We're not huge pasta people over here, but when I do make it, I only have success in small batches. The recipe is printed for two and it worked out great as such. I suppose it could be easily doubled if you're feeding more. Or maybe a side dish with a good piece of salmon. Lastly, against my sprouted nature, I have to say completely whole grain noodles are intense, almost two distracting here in their sturdiness. I like a good brown rice spaghetti or maybe a thinner one than the sort I have in the photos if you're going to use the grainy stuff. Anyway, I'd bet you know what you like as far as noodles go.

So, a book! Here we go, party people. Thanks for being great.

pasta with fennel, arugula & lemon . sprouted kitchen

PASTA WITH FENNEL, ARUGULA + LEMON // Serves 2

Adapted from River Cottage VEG

It's simple and lovely as written, I only changed a couple things as mine was looking a tad dry (likely because of my uber sturdy noodles). Nothing is particularly fussy here, just be prepared to move quick, everything comes together in a snap.

  • 1 large fennel bulb, fronds reserved
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces pasta (papparadelle, linguine, spaghetti etc.)
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche, to taste
  • zest of one large lemon, juice reserved
  • 3-4 good handfuls of arugula
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
  • sea salt and pepper
  • parmesan or hard goats cheese, to finish

pasta with fennel, arugula & lemon . sprouted kitchen pasta with fennel, arugula & lemon . sprouted kitchen

Bring a large pot of liberally salted water to a boil. 

Cut the fennel in half lengthwise. Remove the tough core and slice it into 1/4'' wedges. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the fennel, give it a stir and let it cook, undistrubed (that's how you get the nice brown bits) for 5 minutes. Give it a stir, turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic, a pinch of salt and another splash of oil if the pan looks dry. Start cooking the pasta.

To the fennel, add the creme fraiche, lemon zest and stir to coat. Add the arugula and give it another toss.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4-1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the noodles to the creamy fennel pan and toss to coat, adding a pinch or two of salt, pepper, squeeze of lemon juice and pasta water as needed.

Serve each portion with a generous grate of the parmesan and a few fennel fronds.

pasta with fennel, arugula & lemon . sprouted kitchen

Monday
Sep092013

MUSHROOM BURGERS WITH ASIAN SLAW

mushroom burgers with asian slaw . sprouted kitchen

Caroline, 

I remember when I first got your email. It was the week after some negative comments had gotten the best of me, I mentioned it here and you'd written just to say hi. You appreciated my work; the food, yes, but also the way I wrote. I don't consider myself a "writer." I like writing, I can write letters, and I err on the side of vulnerability... you could classify me as a journaler, perhaps. Anyway, I keep coming back to your email because you remind me that I want to be relatable here. Even when vulnerability feels risky.

"I found your blog a year or two ago, and bookmarked it just for salad inspiration. But recently I've realized that your blog has become to me inspiration not just for salads and "bowl foods" and good food in general, but for good LIVING too. In the past 3 months, I've graduated college, gotten married, started a 9-to-5, and moved to a depressed inner-city. Our car has gotten broken into, we've started paying bills, we've learned that good communication in marriage is a full-time job, and, and, and, -- you know: real life happened. The better and the worse."

That's a lot to soak up in 3 months, lady. It wasn't the fluffy pep-you-up type of email, but the real-life-happened part of it that reminded me that we're all in a mess of things. I stop writing in fear of judgement but those aren't the people I'm writing to. We went to the beach late in the afternoon last weekend in search of a bit of perspective. I had let the prospect of a house purchase swallow me up and I needed out of my own head. I had gotten home from work in time for a late afternoon in the sun, and after a weeks-long-swell-drought there were finally some waves, so Hugh was eager to get in the water. He had been working at home all day and needed time in the waves with his buddies. I had been with people all day, so I needed to sit by myself and stare out into the ocean whose endlessness always puts things in perspective. The house was a massive decision, but not the most important we will ever make. And while it certainly comes into play, it is not the single point at which our future happiness and success will teeter upon. It is a house. Sitting there at the edge of the Pacific, so much that I had not thought about all week while I'd been wrestling with the "right decision" filled my heart.

My aunt who continues to fight cancer for the fourth time, sick and discouraged.

Friends with babies in their bellies and friends who desperately want babies in their bellies.

Health. Marriages. Lonliness. Divorce. Loss. All of it right in front of me or just a degree away.

I've re-read your email a dozen times now, Caroline. I keep the entirity of it in my personal email folder to remind me why I love this space and the awesome people I'd have never met if not for this website. Thank you for reminding me that there are people on the other side of this blog - some of whom are here for recipes or maybe the pretty photos, but most that are simply other people doing their best to craft a beautiful, meaningful life. 

I hope more better than worse for you, lovely.

Best,

me.

mushroom burgers with asian slaw . sprouted kitchen mushroom burgers with asian slaw . sprouted kitchen

MUSHROOM BURGERS WITH ASIAN SLAW // Serves 4

For the slaw, I have this julienne peeler and think the quality is excellent. It is easiest to use when the vegetables are fresh and cold, the firmer the better for peeling purposes. A regular vegetable peeler works fine as well, your shreds will just be thicker. A great thing about marinating vegetables or tofu is that unlike meat, you can put them back into the marinade after cooking to soak up a bit more of the flavors. That said, chicken or fish, salmon maybe, could work here too if you're making food for a more omnivorous crowd.  

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce/tamari
  • 2 Tbsp. maple 
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil/ extra virgin olive oil
  • squeeze of lemon or lime
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small english cucumber
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce/tamari
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 avocado
  • sriracha mayo*
  • 4 buns

mushroom burgers with asian slaw . sprouted kitchen

Wipe the mushrooms clean and remove the tough stem. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. In a shallow pan, mix together the soy sauce/tamari, maple, oil, splash of citrus and pepper. Add the mushrooms and rub the marinade into all of the surfaces. Let them sit for 5-10 minutes to soak it up. 

Using a julienne peeler or vegetable peeler, shave the carrots and cucumber into thin or thick shreds respectively. Put them in a large mixing bowl with the red onion. Make a quick dressing by whisking together the tahini, soy sauce/tamari, sesame oil and vinegar. Pour it over the vegetables and toss to coat. Add the chopped mint and cilantro and give it all one more toss. 

Grill the mushrooms for 5 minutes on each side or until they are soft throughout. Grill or warm the buns.

To assemble the burger, smash half of an avocado on the bottom of the bun, top with the grilled mushroom and a big scoop of the asian slaw. Spread a bit of sriracha mayo on the top side bun and enjoy. 

* For the sriracha mayo, I use 1 part homemade sriracha to 2 parts veganaise or mayonaise. Stir and spread. The bottled stuff works just fine but try the homemade stuff at some point, it's a treat and has no preservatives. 

 mushroom burgers with asian slaw . sprouted kitchen

Tuesday
Aug272013

PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

Besides that I adore it staying light much later, I regret it hasn't felt incredibly summery over here. We have done a few picnics by the beach, my shoulders are tanned and I'm eating my weight in fruit, but I can't say I have felt this season. I think it's easier to see summer with kids or a school schedule, as these three months are marked by a break in routine. Now it's nearly Labor Day, the holiday that reminds us summer is fading, I just now feel called to be more present in this time. Maybe I'm not in school and my work demands carry on just as they did in the spring and winter past, but I want to be here. It's likely not just summer I'm needing to witness, I think it's the curse of the (primarily) self-employed that there is always something to do, which takes away from rest and presence. There is so much wonderfulness to take in if we'll stop and pay attention. I wish I'd stop and pay attention. Luckily September and October are my favorite months around here. Time to suit up and jump in. 

I keep tinkering with granola bar recipes to find just the right texture. Typically, I use brown rice syrup in granola-type bars, but wanted to try the maple route this round. I will say that the rice syrup creates a stickier bar, making everything hold together more easily. The maple is great, but expect the bars to be more loose and fragile. I added a few more dates and peanut butter in the written recipe than the photos reflect so they stay together a bit better. I toast the oats for a little extra favor, but otherwise these guys are no-bake, so they yield a chewier bar, not the crispy shattering sort. You can play around with the nut or seed butter, maybe a different dried fruit besides dates, but it's nice to have a tasty snack for your beach bag or lunch box. 

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS // Makes 12 in an 11x7 pan

An adaptation from Minimalist Baker

I used a 7x11inch dish. Try to use something close, they will be thinner bars in a 9x13 or super thick in an 8x8. 

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. chia, buckwheat, flax seeds or a mix of these (I used this blend)
  • 2 cups pitted dates (about 14 large Medjool dates)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or nut or seed butter of choice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate

 

 

 

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350'. Toast the oats on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crisp rice, almonds, seeds, cooled oats and stir to mix. Chop up the dates well to make a chunky paste (this could be done in the food processor but I hate cleaning it for one small task). If your dates seem dry, add a splash of warm water to get them tacky. Think toothpaste sort of texture.

Warm the maple, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt and stir to mix. Pour the PB mix and dates over the dry ingredients and mix everything together, breaking up the date clumps with your hands to disperse. Just get your hands dirty, you need a big sticky heap.

Line a 7x11inch pan with parchment paper. Press the mixture down in an even layer, using the bottom of something flat to push the mixture down tightly as possible.

In a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate (or spread it evenly) on top of the bars. Chill in the fridge for one hour before cutting. Keep covered in the fridge for optimum freshness or wrap them individually and store in the freezer.

The bars will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

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