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Thursday
Aug212014

GREEN SALAD OF NECTARINES, CORN + PEANUTS

Green Salad of Nectarines, Corn & Peanuts . Sprouted Kitchen

Not in the head space to write much, but I wanted to share this salad we had at a backyard dinner with friends last week before another weekend passed. It was the perfect late summer salad - a place for those sweet nectarines that I cannot get enough of (also been throwing them in my morning steel cut oats with cardamom and salted pistachios. Recommended). It was one of the better salads I've thrown together, perhaps because I wasn't expecting it to be such a delicious and easy combination. I feel like a much better cook when I am not trying hard to be a good cook...that must make sense for those of you who write recipes and blogs about food. It's annoying really, and maybe the demon of people who do creative work for a living. Anyway, here is the recipe, give or take, and I'm wishing you all a full weekend ahead. Heidi's salad looks amazing, I want these wraps, Ashlae's cookies and will never pass up a berry crumble. Go eat outside!

Green Salad of Nectarines, Corn & Peanuts . Sprouted Kitchen 

GREEN SALAD OF NECTARINES, CORN + PEANUTS // Serves 4

The first time I made this, I used a mix of baby arugula, kale and romaine. You really can use any greens you like, but if you go with something sturdy like kale, cut it with another soft lettuce as well. For aesthetics and texture contrast, I'm a proponent of mixing lettuces and greens. 

When a dressing is this simple, I (lazily, because I don't want to wash another bowl) drizzle everything on top and just toss it well to distribute. Do as I say, not as I do and whisk it all before it that sounds a little haphazard to you. I like to live on the edge and risk a mouthful of mustard in one bite. 

 

  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 cups chopped red leaf lettuce
  • 4 cups mixed greens (I used a 'power green' pack)
  • handful of roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 ripe necartine, diced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted peanuts, plus more for garnish
  •  
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • sea salt and pepper

 

Green Salad of Nectarines, Corn & Peanuts . Sprouted Kitchen

in a small pan, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Cut the corn kernels away from the cob and add them to the hot pan with a sprinkle or salt and the smoked paprika. Saute, only moving once or twice so the edges char, for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the corn cool completely. 

In a large salad bowl, combine both greens, cilantro, the diced nectarine, shallot and half of the feta, peanuts and cooled corn. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, white balsamic, agave, mustard and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Dress the salad as desired and sprinkle the remaining feta, peanuts and corn on top. Serve immediately. 

Green Salad of Nectarines, Corn & Peanuts . Sprouted Kitchen

Wednesday
Aug062014

CORDOVA, AK

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

This small town isn't even accessible by road - you must come in by air or sea. It's not an island, but it functions like one - small population, expensive groceries, lots of boats. Nelly, who works for the Copper River Salmon Marketing Board, picked us up in her old Westfalia van which we packed full of extensive baby equipment that only new parents on their first trip with a baby would imagine was necessary. There is a beautiful thing that happens when you don't have expectations. I was busy with a new baby and a few catering jobs and didn't have time to build any before we left and regret that's unlike me. I didn't know I was going to fall in love with Alaska. It wasn't a destination high on my "must visit" list, which made the beauty and charm all that much more appreciable.  

We eat wild salmon. It costs more but it tastes better and I care about the sustainability and quality, so I find the price tag worth it. There is a charming story behind the wild salmon from the Copper River that I felt privileged to get a peek into. The salmon season last a few short months in the late spring/early summer and the fishermen work hard during that season to fish the Copper River Delta. We spent some time on a commercial fishing boat and the job is not an easy one. You must revere the water and the fish; it's what the industry hinges on. What the whole town hinges on, really. The fishermen head out rain or shine and fish virtually around the clock for as long as the Fish and Game Department allows them. Clearly these families fish for a living, but in talking to the the fisherman, there was a united respect they have for the ecosystem which they depend on. The Watershed Project, a local non-profit, is dedicated to preserving the salmon by researching their environment and teaching kids how to preserve their habitat.

We had a chance to meet with a small team that spends the summer along side Childs Glacier monitoring salmon escapement via sonar (literally counting the fish that swim by for months). We had a salmon pot luck with the fishermen's wives, gaped at glaciers and bald eagles and a pod of Orcas, caught some salmon, and enjoyed a tiny bit of the vast landscape that makes the state remarkable. We met so many people who love this town, who care about the salmon and the Copper River, and want to tell its story. What an honor it was to be a part of it for a short week.

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Copper River Salmon . Cordova, Alaska . Sprouted Kitchen

Hugh's photos are gorgeous and it still doesn't do the place justice. This trip was sponsored by Copper River Salmon and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday
Jul292014

FIESTA KALE SLAW WRAPS

ZFiesta Kale Slaw Wraps . Sprouted Kitchen

It's been nearly a month since we posted last and literally it feels like we were just here last week. Every stranger keeps telling me "time flies" or "it'll go by so quick!" As if that's just something you say to moms when you see a little baby. But it's not only that they grow quickly, which they do, but because your time and attention gets so enraptured in this tiny person that it's really true what they say - the days seriously whiz past. The mortgage is due AGAIN? Didn't I just mow the lawn? How are we already out of groceries? I feel like I just had a baby last week but I suppose it's appropriate to jump back into real life now. Real life, but with a newborn. Which, of course, changes absolutely everything. 

I'm taking the blame for passing on this personality trait, but Curran is a particular little fellow. The boy knows what he likes and what he doesn't. He's really happy and flirty when he's well rested and has a full belly but he makes it quite clear when his environment is less than ideal. He prefers to be held at all times, has gas volume that rivals that of a grown adult, a natural mohawk inside his infant bald spots and a smile that makes the exhaustion and baby-mind-reading (or lack there of) a barely noticeable speed bump. I just stare at his sweet face and smile back over the complete joy that my son recognizes me. He knows me! Who'd have thought something so simple would make me so happy. I will gracefully admit this season has taken some getting used to. I'm tired and I lose my patience beneath his crying sometimes and I miss when I could just come and go when I wanted, but life feels so much more full with him here. We're living this life of relationship and experience and he is the character in our story that had been missing and it feels so right to have him here. 

Meals have been pretty simple lately and I suppose it'll be that way for awhile, but I'm making big bowls of sturdy green or grain salads that we can keep in the fridge and grab when we only have one free hand to eat with. This is my recent favorite so I made it again for you. Hugh added bacon to his, so there 's that, but I think you could add in a variety of different proteins if you prefer. I'm including a picture of our baby Bug, down at the bottom, because he's just the cutest thing and I wanted to show you :)

ZFiesta Kale Slaw Wraps . Sprouted Kitchen

ZFiesta Kale Slaw Wraps . Sprouted Kitchen

FIESTA KALE SLAW WRAPS // Makes 4

I try to chop everything small so it's easy to wrap up. They turn out to be a little messy but they taste great. The wrap makes it more filling and portable but the salad can stand alone as a meal as well. I wrapped up a few extras in parchment to keep in the fridge. Note the tortillas will give under the moisture of the slaw so if you're planning on eating it any further than a day away, keep the slaw and tortilla separate until ready to eat. 

 

  • 1 Tbsp. muscavado or brown sugar
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 small bunch kale, stemmed and shredded
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 small english cucumber, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cooked lentils, black or green preferably
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • juice of two limes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or non dairy sour cream
  • 4 brown rice or flour tortillas for wrapping

 

ZFiesta Kale Slaw Wraps . Sprouted Kitchen

In a small, nonstick skillet over medium low heat, warm the muscavado or brown sugar with a pinch of cayenne and salt. Add the pepitas and stir so the sugar sticks to the nuts and they smell toasty - about 5 minutes. Remove to cool on a piece of parchment (or left in the pan is fine). 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, carrots, tomatoes, green onions, cucumber, cilantro, lentils, avocado and feta. Add the juice of both limes, olive oil, hot sauce, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and the cooled pepitas and toss everything together to mix. 

Warm the tortillas over the stove. Add a spoonful of sour cream down the center of the tortilla, add a pile of the kale slaw and wrap 'er up. Wrap everything in parchment to keep it together for portability or to make in advance and keep in the fridge. 

ZFiesta Kale Slaw Wraps . Sprouted Kitchen

Tuesday
Jul012014

SUMMER SQUASH PASTA WITH GREEN GODDESS DRESSING

Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing x Vibrant Food . Sprouted Kitchen

I remember exchanging emails with Kimberly a ways back about the book writing process. I was humbled she asked me, as I've known that Kimberly would create a beautiful and inspired book by echoing the same style she shares on her blog. There seems to be a common thread between those who set out to create and photograph their own cookbooks - an equal measure of uncertainty, fear, excitement and determination. Truth is, I am not exactly sure what I am doing either and I stumble over how to guide someone else. We sing a "learn by doing" tune over here. How I respond to those emails asking advice for books or starting a blog, friend or stranger alike, is less with direction and more with encouragement to be more deliberate in doing what you already know. Authenticity is of greater value than you expect. Thankfully... or at least I like to think. I don't believe there is a formula for success with creative work. There are people who have done extremely well, make a nice living off blogs and books, but they cannot tell you how to do the same. The theme I see throughout the books and blogs I am attracted to is they are real people simply sharing an extension of something they are passionate about. Start a blog because you have something to share or make a book because there is a story you need to tell about food. Clearly it's not the end goal, but you should want to create despite how many people read your blog or book. It should begin because YOU need it to. When you hit a wall or get negative reviews, that's what you'll have, a project that nourished you first, and it makes you want to keep going. Sure it takes time and intention to design a beautiful space or a compilation of recipes but I think a desire and hope to create said things is a majority of the key to success. And ok, reading this over I may sound a little hippy dippy but my kumbaya message can apply to a lot of things - just find something that fills you up. 

That said, Kimberly's book is a job well done - a real treat for anyone who cooks with a lot of produce. It's colorful and seasonal and delicately assertive if I may use such a juxtaposition. Hats off to you, my friend. These summer squash noodles are simple, quick and super light for how warm it's been. I'm going to grill a big filet of wild salmon this weekend and this will make a perfect side to fish. Happy 4th weekend to you all!

Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing x Vibrant Food . Sprouted Kitchen

SUMMER SQUASH PASTA WITH GREEN GODDESS DRESSING // Serves 4

Recipe barely adapted from Vibrant Food by Kimberly Hasselbrink

This makes for a cold zucchini salad and the drained shreds have just the right amount of crunch. If you prefer it as a warm side, give the zucchini a quick saute in a slick of olive oil after you press out the excess water to warm through.

I upped the goddess dressing amounts so I'd have enough for leftovers. Extra dressing never goes to waste around here. This is the peeler I consistently recommend, it's great. 

  • 2 lbs. mixed summer squash
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped basil, plus more for garnish
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped tarragon
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 anchovy (minced) OR 1 Tbsp. drained capers
  • 1/4 shaved parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
  • fresh ground pepper

 

Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing x Vibrant Food . Sprouted Kitchen

Cut the squash into thin strips using a julienne peeler or spiralizer. Sprinkle the squash with salt, toss gently, and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes. Carefully squeeze the squash over the colander to release excess liquid and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. 

In a food processor or blender, combine the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, basil, parsley, chives, tarragon, garlic and anchovy or capers and blend until smooth.

Toss the drained squash with the parmesan, pinenuts and desired amount of dressing. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with more parmesan, pinenuts and basil and serve immediately.

Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing x Vibrant Food . Sprouted Kitchen

Thursday
Jun122014

FIG BARS

Fig Bars . Sprouted Kitchen

We took the teeny snuggle bug for a picnic at "our spot" yesterday. He doesn't do much yet, but he does throw (be they accidental) smiles every now and then so we're going to assume he likes it there too. I've eaten on that hill dozens of times and have yet to pack as simple a meal as I did last night. Things have changed, we keep telling each other that. It didn't matter that the salad only included greens, dressing and parmesan, we needed out of the house. Curran is 18 days old, just tipping the scale somewhere over 8 lbs., so strangers are quick to come and look at him and coo. Two ladies, moms themselves, came over to our blanket as we were packing up and told me how proud they were of us for leaving the house with such a wee one. They wanted to know how I was doing, commiserated about how painful the healing part is, assured us that eventually it won't take an hour to pack a simple picnic and get out of the house. Or maybe it will, but it will become normal. I love where we live, but strangers don't engage in conversation all too often around here. It's sad, really, that it surprised me how friendly these ladies were. I was taken back at first and then so grateful. So grateful for their honesty and enthusiasm and friendliness. It was a small gesture but it reminded me of our need for community, our need for other people to draw from our humanity and be warmed by chatting about what we have in common. Be it motherhood for 18 days or years. Noted: talk to strangers. 

Don't think of these bars as a healthy Fig Newton. They taste nothing like them in a very good way. They taste light and barely sweet. I've been enjoying a larger bar for breakfast with some yogurt or packing up smaller pieces for running errands...yes, I pack snacks for errands. I imagine you could make a puree of dried apricots for the filling or another dried fruit you fancy. Either way, I am always collecting snack bars recipes and this is a keeper. 

Fig Bars . Sprouted Kitchen

FIG BARS // Makes 8 large or 16 small

Recipe adapted from The Vibrant Table by Anya Kassoff

These make for a perfectly sweetened snack or breakfast option. They are delicate and tender, so don't travel quite as well as your typical granola bar but are no less delicious. They are subtly sweet, not overly so which I really liked, but if you want more of a treat, simply add another few tablespoons sugar to the dough. These are wheat, dairy and egg free so work great for people with allergies. 

Figs come in two different colors, same goes for the dried variety. I used the lighter shade for these and it's the same color as the dough. Next time I will use dark ones so the contrast shows up. Tastes great either way but I'd prefer seeing the line of fig in between.

 

  • 1 1/2 cups dried figs, soaked overnight in water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, divided
  • 5 Tbsp. coconut sugar, plus more for sprinkling (turbinado works as well)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

 

Fig Bars . Sprouted Kitchen

Drain the figs, reserving the soaking liquid on the side. In a food processor, blend the soaked and drained figs with the honey and half the lemon juice. If your paste needs more liquid, add the soaking liquid 1 Tbsp. at a time. You want it thick, like jam, so use the liquid sparingly. You can make the fig puree up to three days in advance. 

Preheat the oven to 400'. In a mixing bowl, combine the oat, brown rice and almond flours along with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine. Add the remaing lemon juice and zest, almond milk, almond butter, half the oats, coconut sugar and vanilla and stir everything together to combine well. 

Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper extending up the sides. Crumble half the dough into the bottom of the pan and press it down with clean fingers. Spread the fig puree on top in an even layer. Crumble the remaining dough on top of the fig puree and press it down so it sticks together, being careful not to disrupt the fig layer. Sprinkle the remaining oats on top and sprinkle with desired amount of coconut or turbinado sugar. 

Bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes. Remove to cool completely. Remove the bars with the parchment and gently cut into bars with a sharp knife (I found mine to be quite soft. Put them in the fridge for an hour to firm up for a cleaner cut).

Cover and keep stored in the fridge for up to a week. 

Fig Bars . Sprouted Kitchen