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Monday
Nov102014

CURRIED YELLOW SPLIT PEA SOUP

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup . Sprouted Kitchen

"You'll need coffee shops and sunsets and roadtrips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but eople more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else - a living, breathing, screaming invitation to believe better things." - jamie tworkowski

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup . Sprouted Kitchen

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup . Sprouted Kitchen

CURRIED YELLOW SPLIT PEA SOUP // Serves 4-6

I bake up an extra sweet potato and scoop out the flesh to thicken up the soup. I find it deepens the flavor to not taste so legume-y. Perhaps a personal preference. You could use pumpkin puree or even cooked carrots if you have them on hand. Add more ginger or a sprinkle of cayenne if you'd like some heat. The soup will keep for a week but will thicken up in the fridge, so simply reheat with a touch more liquid.

I wish we'd had some naan on hand. Soup + naan. That would make for a wonderful dinner.

  • 2 Tbsp. ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. each sea salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 3/4 cup roasted sweet potato
  • 12 ounces dry yellow split peas, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk, remaining for garnish
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • chopped cilantro, black sesame, micogreens for garnish

 

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup . Sprouted Kitchen

In a large pot or dutch oven, warm the ghee or butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, turmeric, cumin, curry, sweet potato flesh, yellow split peas and broth. Stir and bring the mixture up to a boil, down to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 45-55 minutes until the peas are very soft. With an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender, puree until mostly smooth. I like mine a little chunky. Return to the pot. 

Stir in the coconut milk, orange juice and taste for seasoning. Add cayenne or more ginger if you'd like it spicy. Serve each bowl with dollop of coconut milk on top, cilantro, black sesame and microgreens for garnish. 

This post is sponsored by the U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup . Sprouted Kitchen

Tuesday
Nov042014

BERRY-GINGER COCKTAIL

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

I went over to her house to pick up some chairs on loan for our dining table. My Aunt Suzy wasn't using them, it will take me months to pick out chairs for our new table, and I like to get Curran out to say hi. I've mentioned my Aunt before - my mom's sister, the only aunt I've grown up close to, geographically speaking, who has been fighting ovarian cancer for six years. She had a beautiful drawing of a skeleton sitting out and I couldn't believe she drew it herself. Actually I could, she's good at a lot of things, art being one of them. As she pulled the drawing closer, she pointed where she had drawn arrows to all the parts in her own body where tumors have grown. She used the technical names of the organs, as you would expect a very conscientious woman would. A lump rose in my throat as she talked about it so matter of factly, like it was no big thing to go through your cancer records and make an illustration of the sick parts of your body that are designed to keep you alive. I didn't say much because it made me sad and I'm certain that as unbelieveably positive she is, it had to have made her sad too. She wiped a few treasured baby toys clean and played with my son and he smiled back at her. I thought of taking a picture because the moment felt important to me, even though I was just going by to pick up chairs, but she has been a supportive, encouraging and generous role model for me, and seeing Curran gaze at her with the affection I feel but infrequently express, was special. But I believe we can take pictures in our minds too, and I'll always hold that image. The drawing keeps popping in my head and I've been thinking about how we deal with grief - how to humbly empathize with someone I love who has been fighting for six long years. That terrible, cliche saying, "live like you're dying" (which we all are at some rate), what does that look like in a practical sense? Not in the hike a major mountain or skydive sort of way, but in the everyday. The small moments.

In this recent interview I read from Anne Lamott she answers a handful of questions about her new book and on life in general. She's speaking on self-consciousness here, but I love theses lines:

"It gets infinitely better as you get older. You’ve lost your parents and some friends, and you feel so amazed and grateful that you still have the gift of life. You figure out that what your butt looks like is 143rd on the list of what is meaningful here, during our brief stay. You throw stuff out of the plane that keeps you flying too low. And yet; and yet. It’s still a struggle." 

I've wasted a good amount of time lately concerned about fixing up our house, my post-partum body, our "long term plan" but then I saw Suzy's drawing. What I wanted to tell her was that it's not over. Cancer hasn't won. I'm so proud of her and grateful for the person she has been to me in the thirty years I've been her niece. I have nieces and nephews of my own now, and I hope to be as good to them as you've been to me. This weekend a big group of family and friends are hiking to raise money and awareness for womens cancer research and to celebrate Suzy. It honors a remarkable woman. So, a cocktail. Cheers. Bottoms up. To the strongest fighter I know. May your plane be flying high. 

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

BERRY GINGER COCKTAILS // Make 1 drink

Adapted from Bon Appetit

I know we're all into apples and squash and such but my car thermostat said 76' this afternoon and there are still berries at my farmers market. If you can get your hands on juicy, bright red berries, go for it. Thawed, frozen berries will give you the same pretty color with likely a little less flavor but it's still worth the cocktail, if you ask me.

Lemon Ginger Syrup

  • 4 ounces peeled, chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4-1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/3 cup agave nectar

Blitz the ginger in a food processor to form a coarse paste. Put it in a saucepan along with 3 cups of water and simmer for 30-40 minutes until reduced by half. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and strain it into a container. Stir in the lemon juice and agave nectar (I used roughly 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup agave. Adjust to your taste). This will make more syrup than you need but can be stored, covered in the fridge for two weeks. 

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

 

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

  • 3 strawberries (fresh or thawed frozen berries)
  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 2 oz. lemon ginger syrup
  • glug of soda water
  • ice and super thin lemon slices for serving

In your glass, cut up the berries and muddle them in the bottom of the glass. Fill it up with ice. Add the tequila, ginger syrup and a splash of soda water. Give it a stir, taste and add more of whichever you fancy.

Garnish with lemon slices and drink. I suppose you could make a pitcher of this for a party or shower just multiply each ingredients by about eight. 

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Wednesday
Oct222014

ROASTED VEGETABLE + QUINOA BOWL

Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

The past few months I have been working as a personal chef for a couple who work long days and want their fridge full of healthy meals to come home to. It's a pretty great situation seeing as I get to do what I enjoy, can stay in my gym clothes, and it's flexible hours with Curran. I don't necessarily come home wanting to cook for my own family, but such is life. The wife was asking for me to leave some of the recipes of the foods I've been making them and I still haven't responded because I don't, um, have recipes to leave. I'm not one for rules, with practice, cooking has become an intuition sort of deal, and I think that's only because I understand the basic principle and can go off on my own from there. Anyway, I've been making big batches of roasted vegetables for them and realize that while it's not always a recipe, understanding a few things about doing them well, is helpful. A few tips I've learned only by doing them wrong a lot of times:

* They need a generous coat of oil. Vegetables are mostly water, and a generous coat of oil creates a barrier between the heat and their water, allowing them to retain the natural moisture as opposed to it cooking off and the vegetables just getting dry. It also dresses them at the end, so while you don't want them sitting in a big pool of it, you should see the oil coating everything.

* You want to use vegetables with a similar cooking time, and cut their size appropriately. For example, here, I know delicata will get soft before the fennel, so I cut the delicata on the large side and the fennel on the thin side so their cooking times balance. Make sense? Autumn vegetables usually need a little more time than summer so if you are cooking seasonal things, your timing should work out. Summer items like zucchini, peppers, eggplant have more water and less natural sugar in them so I find they roast in about half the time. 

* A large, rimmed baking tray is key. Oil and season on the tray and just toss with your hands there for one less dirty dish. A thin lip lets the moisture escape so you get a good crust. 

* Out of the oven, let them sit for a few minutes. Don't smoosh them all in a bowl so fast as they will steam each other and get moosh (technical term). Give them space to breathe before putting them on a serving platter. When I cook for work or make roasted vegetables in advance, I let them cool completely before packing them up for the fridge. 

* Salt enough. Not too much. I can't tell you how much, that's a personal taste deal. But don't get stingy, I'll say that much. 

* The other spices are up to you. I generally throw in something spicy, dried herbs and fresh herbs after baking. But you can be generous with these as well. I love za'atar on carrots, cayenne and maple on sweet potatoes, cumin and cinnamon on squashes, and lemon pepper and Italian herbs on zucchini. I like a little soy sauce or maple syrup on occasion but this adds moisture to the pan so only use a teensy bit to avoid steaming. 

Anyway. I am no master, but a trial-and-error, learn by doing sort of thing has left me with the above constants in my vegetable roasting experience. Feel free to share your tips or favorite spices in the comments, I love to have new ideas. 

Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

ROASTED VEGETABLE + QUINOA BOWL // Serves 6

 

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 1 small onion, red or yellow
  • 4 carrots, cleaned
  • 2 small delicata squash
  • 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (I used a chile infused one for a bit of spice)
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. everyday seasoning or Italian herb blend
  • pinch of cayenne 

 

 

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • few big handfuls of baby kale
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, to taste
  • microgreens, for garnish

 

Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'. Prepare all your vegetables and collect them on a large baking tray. Halve the fennel and slice it into wedges. Peel the onion, cut off the ends, and slice it into thin wedges, cut the end off the carrots and slice 1" pieces on a diagonal. Scoop the seeds from the squash and slice it into thick half moons. Halve large brussels and leave the small ones whole. Drizzle the olive oil, salt, a few pinches of pepper, everyday seasoning and cayenne. Toss to coat well and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Dividing into two sheets if it looks over crowded. Bake in the upper third of the oven for twenty minutes. Turn the heat up to 425' and cook another 20 minutes or until the edges of the vegetables are browned and crisp. 

While the vegetables roast, cook the quinoa. Put the quinoa and broth in a pot. Bring it up to a gentle boil, down to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add a few handfuls of baby kale and leave the lid ajar so it cools. This will barely wilt the kale so its not quite so raw. Once it is room temperature, drizzle in the olive oil, red wine vinegar and a hearty pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer to your serving bowl. Top with the roasted vegetables, pine nuts, feta cheese and microgreens.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday
Oct152014

LEMONGRASS + COCONUT SUMMER ROLLS

Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen

I have waxed on about how helpful it is to stay on track eating healthfully when you have things ready in the fridge. This usually requires a "cook day," where I just embrace the mess and make about six things that will keep a few days. Always a batch of granola, a treat (recently these! and I'm making these next!), some quick protein like this egg salad or the beach day tuna salad from our cookbook, and a sturdy green salad that can sit like this fabulous kale goodness. I have found this to be especially crucial when working from home (due to frequent grazing) and now having a mini person, simply because I am not always interested in making myself lunch and would rather eat another few handfuls of trail mix and a piece of toast than make a mess and wash dishes. I value home cooked meals, eating wholesome and seasonal dishes, I'm passionate about the art of cooking and the joy there is in feeding people well, but the ebb and flow of life just changes the pace at which I am able to do these things. I know the same goes for you, as I am flattered by the emails I receive from people asking me for recipes that are ideal for travel, to freeze, for sick friends, or to make ahead for busy work weeks. I know our recipe index here is not user-friendly at all and a website make over is totally on the radar, but in the meantime, I will say that summer rolls are sort of amazing for all said circumstances. They keep well for a few days, fit most dietary issues by being gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian and don't need to be warmed which makes them extremely portable. 

The thoughtful couple, David and Luise, write the blog Green Kitchen Stories and I am a huge fan of their first cookbook Vegetarian Everyday. They've created a new (incredibly gorgeous and inspired) cookbook that showcases a collection of photos and recipes from their travels around the globe. It's the sort of book that takes you somewhere else and jump started me out of a bit of a rut that was happening in my own kitchen. I was flipping through looking for something that I could bring to my sister in law and her family who are welcoming home a new baby boy. We ended up keeping these rolls because I ate too many to warrant covering them for a full meal, but I will be packaging up a polenta mushroom situation from the book that is perfect as these nights are cooling down. All to say, I keep my cookbook collection pretty tailored and I'm proud to have this beauty on my shelf. 

Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen

Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen

LEMONGRASS + COCONUT SUMMER ROLLS // Makes about 8

Recipe adapted from Green Kitchen Travels

Maybe it is the California girl in me but I would add avocado next time. I like some creaminess with my veggie packed rolls, so just add some thin slices with your collection of other filling ingredients if you wish.  

  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, smashed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • juice of one lime
  • // dipping sauce //
  • 1/3 peanuts or 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 package rice paper
  • 1 head of butter lettuce, cleaned and separated
  • 1 big handful of mint
  • 1 big handful cilantro
  • 1/2 a cucumber, cut into match sticks
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into match sticks
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly toasted
  • 2/3 cup sprouts of choice or grated carrots
  • sesame seeds, optional

Drain and pat the tofu dry. In a large dish, combine the lemongrass, lime, maple and soy sauce. Add the tofu and marinate for 30 minutes. 

To make the dipping sauce, toast the peanuts and blend all the sauce ingredients together. 

Arrange all the filling ingredients and prepare a large bowl of warm water. Dip a sheet of rice paper in the water to soften, and lay it out on a damp dish towel or cutting board. Layer a lettuce leafs, a pinch of mint, cilantro, a slice of tofu, cucumber, mango, coconut flakes and sprouts and/or carrots. Fold the top over the filling, then the sides and roll tight to close. Repeat with remaining rolls. Serve with dipping sauce. These will keep in the fridge under a damp paper towel for 2-3 days. 

Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen

Wednesday
Oct012014

PUMPKIN BREAD WITH TOASTED WALNUT CINNAMON SWIRL

Spelt Pumpkin Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen

Oof. We had a whirlwind of tying up a few loose ends for our cookbook (out this coming spring, so crazy!) and I sort of abandoned this space. While this is a place I want to share good food illustrated by Hugh's gorgeous photos, it is also a place I come to write. In an inevitably vain way, I suppose a blogger mostly has his or her own life story to draw from, and my reality as of late has been about rearranging our work, marriage, schedule, chores, social life, alone time etcetera with Curran in the picture. Most definitely for the better (not to be confused with easier), the day to day looks different now and my story is currently about figuring out who I am now in all of these things. It sounds dramatic and woeful, but honestly, as any big change goes, it just takes a little time to create a new normal. Both my thoughts and iphone pictures used to be all food all the time and now I have a mini person who hijacked all that. Our little baby bug is tall and thin as babies go, so says the pediatrician. He has a big gummy smile, is a little stingy with giggles despite his mom and dad being completely hilarious, rolls and always wants to be grabbing something to put in his mouth. At night, he lays his head between my chin and chest and rhythmically coos as I sing songs from church and/or Beyonce and rock him to sleep... I'm not sure there is any sweeter feeling in the universe. It is all so wonderful and yet so very hard. Many parts of being a new mom are really tough. I didn't anticipate the high highs met with low lows but I can see balance on the horizon. I worry by nature, so 'choosing optimism' is my mantra for this fall. Everything will be OK. It is always OK. 

Don't roll your eyes. Another pumpkin loaf! Just what you needed right? I have a good handful of things bookmarked in Amy Chaplin's gorgeous new book, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen but I was in need of a fresh start, to ring in a new season, and a hearty, fall loaf seemed just the thing. This loaf is dense, barely sweet, is just the thing fresh out of the toaster with a swipe of good butter or coconut butter. It doesn't taste like dessert - it tastes like a breakfast loaf and that is the side of the loaf-preferences-fence I sit on. Hugh sits on the other side of said fence but nothing a little cinnamon sugar can't fix. Amy's cookbook is so comprehensive, beautifully designed and jammed full of recipes for the vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free and generally health nutty folks. There are a grip of fabulous cookbooks coming out this fall and next spring and I'm so anxious to try things and share them here. 

Spelt Pumpkin Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen

PUMPKIN BREAD WITH TOASTED WALNUT CINNAMON SWIRL // One 9-inch loaf

Recipe adapted from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin

The recipe is great as is, and as mentioned above, it is not super sweet as most breakfast loaves can be. I added a bit more spice and a little turbinado sugar on top for crunch. Amy suggests roasting a squash yourself and using the puree for the bread but canned pumpkin will work as well. 

 

  • // cinnamon swirl //
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. muscavado, brown or maple sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • -
  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin or squash puree
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. almond or soy milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350' and lightly oil a loaf pan, lining it with parchment for a cleaner removal. 

Steam your squash for 10-12 minutes if making a puree by hand.

To make the swirl, mix the walnuts, maple, sugar and cinnamon together and set aside. 

Into a large mixing bowl, sift the spelt flour, baking powder and salt. Add the nutmeg and cinnamon. Whisk together the squash puree, olive oil, almond milk, vanilla, egg and maple syrup. Fold the flour mixture into the squash mixture until just combined. Spread half the batter over the bottom of the loaf pan. Layer cinnamon walnut mixture evenly over batter and top with the remaining batter. To create a swirl, run a knife in a zig zag through the batter. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before removing the loaf. 

The slice is served best warmed with a generous spread of coconut butter or real butter. 

Spelt Pumpkin Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen