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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

Monday
Dec082014

GIFTS + THINGS

Happy holidays! I've purchased about two of the twenty something gifts I need so I'm still on the lookout. I'm certain you've seen a lot of these lists as of late, but I can't help but find them intriguing. We are sharing a few of our favorites finds from this year - a couple we own, others we want. I put a (H) next to Hugh's contributions :) As a tortured soul of a gift giver, I appreciate reading other peoples' favorite things to help jog ideas. I shared a few good finds with Yahoo Food and here is our list from last year in case you fall down a shopping rabbit hole. Because Amazon makes things too easy, they also have a wishlist where you can send toys to children in the hospital or here is a list of resources for toy drives or adopting a family in the Los Angeles area but I'm sure you can research a similar list in your own city.

Holiday Goods 2014 . Sprouted Kitchen

Breville SmartOven : Hugh picked this out as our aniversary gift. It was a rec from The Sweet Home and we are both equally obsessed with it for different reasons. Hugh can manipulate the perfect piece of toast and  I can fit a 9x13 pan in there (!!). Our toaster oven is likely the most used appliance in our home - which is weird or sad or awesome I don't know. But since that is the case, we were alright splurging on one that was amazing. It's just super well thought out and designed. I always appreciate when I can get a solid recommendation on a kitchen appliance and this is our top pick this year. 

Stone Cold Fox Handtowels: Because a guest bathroom should be more put together than mine. I want a set of those tan linen ones!

Madewell Transport Tote: I am not a purse person so the fact I am suggesting one speaks volumes in itself. There aren't a ton of pockets or details and that's maybe why I love it. It is aging beautifully, holds a little or a lot and matches everything. Never ever in my life have I owned something that my fashion designer sister purchased after me and she recently bought one for herself so there's that.

Holiday Goods 2014 . Sprouted Kitchen

Sunday Suppers Everyday Plate: Karen and her team who have the gorgeous blog, book and studio in NYC just opened a shop on their site. There are a handful of things I would love, but I have a special place in my heart for plate/bowl vessels and these are simple and stunning. 

Mod Fox and Little Woolf Kids Bedding: It's harder to find cute crib sheets than you'd think. Both of these shops have some different and fun prints that would be a great gift for an expectant mother on your list! Gah, that little boy. I can hardly handle his cuteness.

Hatched Baby: Speaking of cute baby things. If you are looking for something special for a mini person, there are some adorable items here. Curran has this super soft coverall and if there wasn't sweet potato mash on it consistently, he would wear it daily.  

Holiday Goods 2014 . Sprouted Kitchen

Noonday Collection: I was recently introduced to this company and while the jewelry is pretty, I extra double like that they work with artisans in developing countries to create economic opportunity for the women making the goods. I have worn these earrings most days since I got them. 

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 Pancake: (H) This is my current "daily life" lens. It's a compact little guy at a fun focal length and it yields some quality imagery for the price point. The real bonus is it's size. DSLRs can be obnoxious, and while this lens won't suddenly allow you to pocket your camera or anything, I've found it much more pleasant to casually carry around and photograph with compared to any other DSLR (or point and shoot, tbh) set up I've tried. 

Death by Living by N.D. Wilson: (H) This is the best book I read all year. Laughter. Tears. Highlighter and dog eared pages. Rereading. Telling anyone who'll listen about it. It's that kind of book. 

Holiday Goods 2014 . Sprouted Kitchen

UE Mini Boom Wireless Speaker: (H) I know, sort of random, but I think the point of these sorts of lists is to pass along the things we use and love, and we end up using this thing just about every day. Our kitchen cleanup dance parties, garage organizing dance parties, and impromptu yardwork dance parties (you get the idea) are vastly improved beyond what the built in iphone speaker ever allowed for.

Cookbooks: So many favorites this year! Many of which I've shared recipes from. I am anxious to cook from Plenty More from the famous Ottolenghi. Ashley's book Date Night In comes out in a handful of days and I can confidently speak to its striking recipes and sweet stories. For the vegetable heavy cooks I've really enjoyed At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen, Green Kitchen Travels and Vibrant Food. And for the entertainer, they'll need Sunday Suppers, or the self published dream project from The Yellow Table.

Quitokeeto Mason Studio Apron: I don't usually wear aprons but maybe I would if I had this one. Those pockets!

Sunday
Nov302014

HOLIDAY SLAW WITH ROASTED SHALLOT DRESSING

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

I had the best of intentions to share this simple salad, one that goes with everything, before Thanksgiving but one thing led to another and maybe this will fall into your weeknight plans. I made the mistake of purchasing a Costco bag of peppermint pretzel thins so the only way to make that right are giant salads. This past weekend we hung lights, wreaths and put out a few poinsettias. I don't own a bunch of holiday decor, but I am eager to make our home feeling cozy and festive this time of year. I have memories of the stuff my mom put out - an old nativity scene with shredded paper hay, stockings with a disney character and our name embroidered on them and the alternating red and white lights that go around the roof. Even though Curran has no idea what's going on yet, I want to build traditions he'll look back on. It's amazing how a mini person can inspire so much intentionality. And I mean that in more ways than just Christmas lights.

I'm on this bender of vegetables being chopped small or sliced paper thin. I've mentioned that I finally found a mandoline I'm keen on and it makes the whole situation easier. For Thanksgiving round two with Hugh's family, I shaved multi-color carrots super thin and tossed them with some red quinoa, lentils, micro greens, toasted walnuts and an apple cider vinaigrette. It didn't appear as popular as the mashed potatoes but I will for sure be making that again.

I know the crazy starts now - may there be rest and thankfulness in between it. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

HOLIDAY SLAW // Serves 6

 

  • 3 cups diced butternut squash (1/2")
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • pinch of salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon
  • -
  • 2 bunches Lacinato/Tuscan kale
  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup shaved parmesan
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
  •  
  • // roasted shallot dressing //
  • 2 small or 1 large roasted shallot*
  • handful fresh chopped chives
  • 1/4-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. each sea salt and ground pepper

 

* roast a shallot much like a head of garlic. Trim the end, toss it (skin on) in a little olive oil and pinch of salt, wrap it in foil and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes until softened and caramelized. Time will vary by size of the shallot or how many you do. Simply peek in to check it's texture. Remove to cool to the touch before squishing it out of it's skin. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'. On a large rimmed baking tray, toss the butternut cubes with the olive oil, salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon to coat. Spread in an even layer and bake for 20 minutes until just tender but not mooshy. Set aside to cool completely. 

In a blender or food processor, whiz all the dressing ingredients together until smooth.

Stem the kale and chop it ultra thin. Using a mandoline or excellent knife skills, shave the red cabbage and onion. Collect these items in a large salad bowl. Add the cherries (I chopped mine in half if you feel so inclined), parmesan and pecans, drizzle desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. The kale and cabbage can handle, if not improve, by sitting in the dressing for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

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