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Monday
Jul222013

CURRY ROASTED ALMONDS

curry roasted almonds . sprouted kitchen

I'm not incredibly interested in shopping or putting together the cutest outfit, she would rather go out to eat than cook. My sister and I have a mutual respect for the creative work the other does. I find it pretty special that people can come from the same parents, same house, and be different in so many ways. Sure there are similar mannerisms, but we're different people, which is why I find her consistently interesting. We recently exchanged clothes for snacks - which means I am going to be making A LOT of snacks. I thought I would share part of the recent care package that went out to her today. Care package snacks need to be things that will last a few days in the mail and then a few more days after that to be enjoyed. I also made these peanut butter bites and coated the outside in cocoa powder hoping that would keep them from sticking too much. There are often occasions to give edible gifts that need a longer shelf life than a cookie or loaf cake, both of these options travel well. These nuts are a tiny bit spicy, sweet and textured from the flakes of coconut. There is a kick of salt, as any good nut snack should have. I made the first round with all maple as the sweetener and roasted them at 350'. The coconut burnt before the nuts dried up and nothing stuck together. Second round, as reflected below, I tried them at a lower heat to keep the coconut from burning, as well as a bit of cane sugar to help everything adhere to the almonds. I used the dried coconut I had on hand, but I suggest some of the big flakes if you're heading to the market.  

curry roasted almonds . sprouted kitchen

CURRY ROASTED ALMONDS // Makes about 3 1/2 cups

Watch these closely as the coconut can burn on you pretty quick. I say around 30 minutes but keep your eye on them after 15, turning the heat down if need be. The coconut flakes will be more forgiving on timing than the shredded.

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed to a liquid
  • 1 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet curry powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup large coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, white and/or black

curry roasted almonds . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 325'. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, agave or maple, cane sugar, curry powder, red pepper flakes, salt and mix together. Stir in the almonds to coat. Stir in the coconut and sesame seeds. 

On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread the nuts in a single layer and bake for 20-30 minutes on the middle rack, until the coconut is just browned. Stir them halfway through, being careful to pull them if the coconut starts to get too brown. 

Remove to cool completely before eating. (They may taste chewy at first, let them cool all the way!)

curry roasted almonds . sprouted kitchen
Thursday
Jul182013

GRILLED SERRANO SALSA

grilled serrano salsa . sprouted kitchen

This all started when a good friend brought over a package of gluten free oatmeal apricot mini cookies and told me to please read the back and recreate them. In some way, I was flattered that she found me capable of unraveling a recipe like that. She has my complete empathy at the moment for some tough stuff she's going through, so of course I did it. I took my favorite cookie recipes, read the ingredients on the back, did some very scientific exchanges of sweeteners, flours etc., tested one cookie at a time and added from there making sure they'd hold together. They didn't have nearly the same texture as the package, a more homemade shape and tenderness (which I prefer, even if they didn't mimic the suggested cookie) and the taste, while not the same, was close enough. I apparently gave a mouse a cookie, literally, because then she asked me to please write a recipe for salsa. So here we are. Apparently my bleeding heart takes recipe requests.

I've written about the tomatoes at our local farm in summers past. I'd guess you have a place for great tomatoes too, and this is the time to use them. For something as simple as salsa, the better the ingredients, the better the end result. Something tells me you've heard that before? There isn't much to cover up a mediocre tomato here. I charred most of the vegetables, and leave a few raw to stir in at the end. This gives some of the sweeter tomato and onion flavor, while also including the sharpness of the raw onion and texture of tomato and pepper chunks. Take liberties to play around with the amounts depending how you like it. Just promise me you'll find great tomatoes.

grilled serrano salsa . sprouted kitchen

GRILLED SERRANO SALSA // Makes about 2.5 cups

I hesitate to call this mild because so much will depend on the heat of your chiles. Mine were not that hot, so even with two and their seeds, this salsa was very mild. With the quantity of other vegetables, it should keep things from getting too spicy, but you could add one at a time to your processor if you know you are super sensitive to heat.

 

  • 1 1/4 lbs. tomatoes (roma, beefsteak, heirloom - whatever smells amazing)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 3 cloves garlic, in their peel
  • 1 tsp. smoked salt or sea salt
  • 1 large, juicy lime
  • 1/3 cup well chopped cilantro

 

Clean and heat your grill to medium high heat or preheat the broiler.

grilled serrano salsa . sprouted kitchen

Slice the tomatoes, onion and bell pepper into large wedges. Pull aside one wedge each of the tomato, pepper and two of the red onion. These will get added at the end. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes, onion, pepper, serrano and garlic cloves in a thin coat of oil with just a pinch of salt. Grill the items over direct heat for about 10-15 minutes until charred on the edges, keeping the garlic cloves in a little foil pouch to soften. If using the broiler, set the tray in the upper third and broil about 15-20 minutes until the edges char, but the vegetables to do not completely break down.

Set everything aside to cool completely. Discard the stems of the serranos, leaving the seeds in tact and push the garlic out of it's skin. In a food processor, pulse the cooled, grilled vegetables with the serranos and garlic until just chopped up. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Finely chop the reserved raw tomato, pepper and onions and add them to the salsa. Stir them in along with the salt, lime juice and cilantro. Adjust seasoning to your taste - a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes aren't super tasty, chipotle powder if you like it smoky/hotter, more cilantro if you are me, etc.

Salsa will keep for about a week.

grilled serrano salsa . sprouted kitchen

Tuesday
Jul092013

MINI ROASTED STRAWBERRY ALMOND MEAL MUFFINS

mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen

Earlier this week, our pillow talk included a how-long-can-you-hold-you-breath contest. I lost, Hugh capable of cutting off oxygen about twice as long as I could. I likely could have gone longer but I was afraid of passing out. This has less to do with my lung capacity, more to do with fear of pain, but that's another issue. This tumbled into looking into the world record for breath holding. You guys. TWENTY TWO MINUTES. I can do a lot of things in twenty two minutes, surviving under water is not one of them. What is so fascinating is that this Dutchman's method for dropping his resting heart rate is meditation by recalling childhood memories and imprinted mental imagery. Stig! You breath-holding genius. So I played the game myself, except I included breathing, as I tried to fall asleep. This is usually a process for me, falling asleep that is - going to the bathroom a dozen times, tossing and smushing my pillow for optimum head elevation and trying not to think about my list for tomorrow.  I also gave it a go as I was having a cavity filled. Novocaine shots! They make my hands clammy. I need major calming and to mentally go to a happy place.

I got thinking about past family vacations from when we were kids. We never did anything extravagant, but they are some of the most vivid memories I have of childhood. We had yearly trips with other families to San Clemente (yes, 15 minutes south) for beach camping. I remember my dad cursing every time while putting up the tent, orchestrating those long poles in a mangled X over the top, dirt sticking everywhere, we came of age when he offered to pay the teenage boys in the group to do it for him. The kids made the rounds on bikes as the parents unloaded for the weekend. It was here that I timidly rollerbladed, not completely grasping how to use the brake on the heal. Never the athletic one. Always cautious. The Costco size bag of powdered donuts we chipped away at for breakfast, the ones with so much powdered sugar they made your mouth dry or the tuna salad with Ritz crackers my sister and I ate under the bridge that the Amtrak train went over. Us and our favorite girlfriends put our backs up against the wall to feel the heavy vibration of the train rumble through our bodies as it went right over our heads. It was at this campground that we all sat around a campfire with the radio playing through a car stereo the evening Princess Diana died, and where I learned to shave my legs in those public showers that cost a quarter for five minutes of warm water. None of these memories euphoric in nature, but I can see them, like pictures, in my memory, and they are calming for the mere fact that these moments existed. Days, weeks, they're always in motion, but I can think back and time stands still. Maybe that is what is so peaceful about good childhood memories. They never include a hustle, weighty emotions pushed to the periphery of our memory, but they can be recalled as fine, almost delicate snapshots of our own story. 

We have no camping plans coming up, but if I were to replace those powdered donuts today, I would bring along these muffins. They're barely adapted from Rebecca Katz' cookbook. It's a naturally gluten and dairy free recipe, which most of her book is composed of. What I love most is all the great nutritional information in the beginning and how she promotes eating to enhance life, longevity and good health.  I swapped out blueberries for some roasted strawberries, but any small pieces of fruit will do here. Maybe a peach with cinnamon? With mini muffs, you want to be certain the pieces of fruit are small or they take up too much space in the muffin, not leaving enough room for the batter that holds it all together. Take that and run with it, the base recipe is just lovely and simple. The season of the super sweet, gorgeous strawberries is fading, so I roasted some down to stir into the almondy batter. Even if you do use another fruit, promise me you'll roast some strawberries before the summer is over just so you can soak in that smell. Sweet heavens, that smell is going on the list of my happy places next time I get a shot. "I know when to add chocolate chips to a backed good. Always." Thank you, chez Hugh. The chocolate takes them into the perfect afternoon snack category when you need a little something special. Glad to have these in the rotation.

mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen

MINI ROASTED STRAWBERRY ALMOND MEAL MUFFINS // Makes 24 mini muffins

Recipe adapted from The Longevity Kitchen by Rebecca Katz

The original recipe calls for two cups almond meal. I subbed in a bit of cornmeal because I love how it pairs with berries, the occasional bit of crunch, and wanted to see if I could just barely pull the flavor through. Either way should work. I am new to playing with coconut sugar and really love the sandy texture and almost smoky, caramely smell. It turns the end result a bit more murky brown but I'm not too concerned with that. A maple sugar, muscavado or natural cane sugar would work fine here as well. 

If using a standard muffin tin, I am guessing you'll want to add about 5-7 minutes to the baking time. Haven't tried it yet, so just keep an eye on them. 

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup roasted strawberries*
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips, optional

mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 375'. Prepare a mini muffin tin with paper liners, or coat the pan generously with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, cornmeal, baking soda, coconut sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, olive oil, honey, almond and vanilla extracts together. Whisk it up real well until fully combined and even in color. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir to mix. The batter will be fairly thick. Fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips. Fill the muffin liners to the top, they don't poof too much.

Bake on the middle rack for 16-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Turn the muffins on their sides in the pan, or remove to a wire rack to cool. 

*Roasted Strawberries: Oven to 350'. Toss 4 cups quartered strawberries with a pinch of salt and 2 tsp. melted coconut oil (or olive oil works too). This will do for ripe, juicy berries. If yours are dry or lacking flavor, add a splash of maple or honey to sweeten. Spread them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until juicy and reduced in size. Set aside to cool. This may yield more than you need for the recipe. Mix the extras in plain yogurt or in your morning oatmeal. 

mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen

Friday
Jun282013

MACHE + PEACH SALAD WITH JALAPEÑO VINAIGRETTE

peach & mache salad . sprouted kitchen

"Have patience with everything that remains unresolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to A Young Poet

Living the questions. I love the image of "living everything" (thank you, Sarah, for sharing this quote with me!). I want to keep moving when fear paralyzes me. When big decisions seem too big, or I seem stuck or defeated within them before I've even truly lived them through - before I've lived my way to the answer. As someone who assumes the outcome of circumstances before they actually play out, I need to be doing a lot less projecting and choosing more joy in the process. Oh, the process. But I love answers! Anyway, wanted to pass on the quote to you too.

It's been overcast and humid over here, so the 4th celebrations may not be as sunny and glorious as we hope for. Regardless of the sunshine, there will be a beach, friends, a BBQ and a weekend with both work and family. Because I am always "the salad girl" I made a big batch of this dressing to have on hand for all the get togethers. I am a fan of the salad construction below. It is a perfect use of all those ripe peaches this time of year, a bit of heft from the lentils and avocado and a spicy yet slightly creamy dressing. I have not burn out on my good quality sheeps feta phase, so I couldn't help myself here either. We used mache for a tender texture that wouldn't compete with the peaches, but the lettuce choice isn't strict here.

Wishing you all a nice holiday weekend. May there be fresh and tasty salads between all the bbq's and chips!

peach & mache salad . sprouted kitchen

peach & mache salad . sprouted kitchen

MACHE + PEACH SALAD WITH JALAPENO VINAIGRETTE // Serves 4-6 as a side

Dressing recipe inspired from Bon Appetite

I doubled the dressing because I like to keep extras on hand. It was great drizzled on some grilled vegetables and livened up a bowl of quinoa. You could halve everything if you want just enough for one or two salads. I added creme fraiche to the original because I prefer things a little creamy, but a vegan version would be fine without, or even substitute some vegan mayonaise. 

  • 1/2 cup tangerine or orange juice
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • generous handful of fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. creme fraiche 
  • 6 cups mache or tender green of choice
  • 1/2 cup micro greens
  • 2 avocado, cubed
  • 2 peaches, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils (French or Black hold up well)
  • 2 oz. / 1/3 cup crumbled sheep's milk feta, optional 

peach & mache salad . sprouted kitchen

Simmer tangerine/orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to roughly 3 Tbsp., about 8 minutes. Let cool.

Cook jalapeno, turning occasionally until blistered and charred all over. About 8 minutes. I did this over the stove, you could use the grill or even a toaster oven to scorch that guy. Let cool, remove stem, skin, seeds and finely chop. In a small blender or food processor, pulse together the reduced juice, seeded jalapeno, shallot, salt, cilantro, vinegar, oil and creme fraiche. This can be done by hand if you like things chunky. The dressing can be made in advance and kept covered in the fridge for up to a week. Note that it may get a bit stronger in flavor and spice over time.

To assemble the salad, toss the greens, half the avocado, lentils and peach slices in desired amount of the dressing. Finish the salad with remaining ingredients on top, and crumble the feta to finish. Serve immediately.

peach & mache salad . sprouted kitchen

Wednesday
Jun262013

ARUGULA CAPRESE SALAD WITH KALE PESTO

arugula caprese salad with kale pesto . sprouted kitchen

"I had that feeing you get - there is no word for this feeling - when you are simultaneously happy and sad and angry and grateful and accepting and appaled and every other possible emotion, all smashed together and amplified. Why is there no word for this feeling?" -Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things

The ocean does this for me, I love it and hate it and need it; so I was happy to find myself there, feeling my proverbial currents, with the person who understands me best. We took this salad and a few other snacks to our favorite picnic spot. I've talked about it here, multiple times, but when I am feeling frazzeled and a bit out of control, I need to look out at the huge expanse of ocean and box up my worry in the face of perspective. The unrest is powerless against that dark blue horizon. Maybe more later. Maybe not. Had a few sharp comments around here lately which makes me want to write less. I keep thinking about Kelsey's post about how with blogs, you only get part of the story, not the full picture, but through inviting people into part of the picture, they take liberties to critque your "pride" or "perfect life." Let's just keep in mind that for anyone, blog author or not, you're only getting glimpses into the tangled and complicated workings of hearts. Practice grace.

I'm teaching a class this afternoon - talking about eating real food, my book, and serving a few appetizers. I prepped a few things yesterday and wanted to quickly share this salad with you. It's an adaptation of one of the recipes in our cookbook. I do love the printed photo with large, stacked beefsteak tomatoes. I typically don't love tomatoes, but I will eat a ripe summer tomato from our local farm when they're ready. Exceptions to every rule, even the self imposed ones. The presentation in the book makes a gorgeous starter for a dinner party, but I needed something I could plate easily for 20 people. This preparation makes the salad more portable, adds even more greens to the picture, and makes it perfect for family style summer meals. Hope you have fun plans for the weekend and some of it involves eating outside with good company. THE best.

arugula caprese salad with kale pesto . sprouted kitchen

ARUGULA CAPRESE SALAD WITH KALE PESTO // Serves 6

Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

This will make more kale pesto than you'll need to dress this salad. It is excellent on eggs, as a sandwich spread, an alternative to pizza sauce, tossed in with some noodles or as a dip. Baby tomatoes are up at the farmers market, I love the sweet 100's, but any ripe baby tomato is just fine here.

 

 

  • 1 small bunch Tuscan/lacinato kale
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • juice of one lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 lb. baby tomatoes
  • 8 oz. small mozzarella balls (bocconcini or pearline)
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • flaked sea salt, optional

 

 

 

arugula caprese salad with kale pesto . sprouted kitchen

For the kale pesto, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tough stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Blanch the kale leaves for about 30 seconds, transfer to a strainer and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Once the kale is cool, squeeze out the excess moisture. This should yield about 1 1/2 cups blanched kale.

In a food processor, combine the garlic, walnuts and pulse to chop. Add the kale, basil, parmesan, red pepper flakes, water, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Turn the processor on and drizzle in the olive oil until you get the consistency you like. Thin with a bit more lemon juice and a splash of water for a more dressing-like consistency. Taste and adjust as needed.

Slice the baby tomatoes and mozzarella balls in half and collect them in a large mixing bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of the kale pesto and toss gently to coat, adding desired amount of dressing. Toss in your arugula, add a pinch of flaky sea salt and serve.

Make ahead tip: The tomatoes and mozzarella can be dressed hours in advance and kept covered in the fridge, I actually recommend that they marinate in the pesto for better flavor. Just leave the mix at room temperature for awhile so the pesto dressing will distribute easily. Add arugula just before serving.

arugula caprese salad with kale pesto . sprouted kitchen

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