Entrée

Salad, Summer, Entrée

BABY KALE SALAD WITH CHERRIES, MARINATED LENTILS + GOAT CHEESE

Baby Kale Salad with Cherries and Lentils . Sprouted Kitchen

To better explain the experience, I must first introduce you to Elyse. I know her by way of mutual friends; our paths have crossed a handful of times, but ever since I started listening to her new podcast project, I knew she would be someone I would really enjoy. She has the kind of personality that draws people in - warm, confident, intentional, wise, assertive. She has a crazy story herself, one that could lead you towards darkness and despondence, but she exudes light. And consequently has the easiest, and best laugh I've ever heard. She's a trained therapist, so you expect some of that, but to experience her is different. An extensive education doesn't compare to someones' natural strengths. Like I said, I knew I liked her before I attended her retreat last weekend, but what she is building - creating a space for people to feel vulnerable and seen and to be moved out of their own way - is remarkable. 

It was essentially two days, with a group of five other women, while Elyse led us through her curriculum of, as she puts it, "looking at a practical evaluation of your history, and the current repercussions of your experiences and core beliefs." We wrote a letter to our younger selves, broke down a timeline of our own lives, shared stories with each other that near broke us - stories of loss and abuse and silence and shame -  each woman had something to share from such different perspectives and circumstance.  I left feeling like I had untangled a few things that were leaving callouses on my heart. I left feeling motivated about how to practically move towards what I need - both professionally and personally. One of the exercises had a line that stuck with me: "you are already the woman you want to be." I needed a push out of my head, out of some old stories and self doubt to believe that. Go for it! Do it! Have the conversation. Engage in the conflict instead of always keeping peace. Start the business. 

On the heels of the terrible loss of Anthony Bourdain, I feel responsible to point you towards soul food just as much as I do literal food. This past weekend was that for me. In my experience, pulling things out of your head, into the light and looking at them with another perspective, goes a long way towards putting them back under your control rather than the other way around. The internet sells us things all day long; promising things to fix our insecurities.  There is quieter messaging about seeking connection; reaching out a hand when you can't dig yourself out. So I'll say this for whomever may need to hear it - invest in the friendships, invite people over, ask for what you need, seek knowledge, spend the money on a therapist, do the thing, ditch the life sucking boyfriend, take the risk, get down and play. 

It's actually pretty difficult to put it all to words honestly, it was so personal and needed. I'm still riding my high of bringing some power back to me, and I want to give some of that to you. You are enough. You are capable. You are smart and beautiful and worthy.

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.” 

― Rainer Maria RilkeLetters to a Young Poet
Cherry & Lentil Baby Kale Salad . Sprouted Kitchen

BABY KALE SALAD WITH CHERRIES, MARINATED LENTILS + GOAT CHEESE

Serves 2-4

I'm into having a salad special and eating it a few days in a row so I don't have to reinvent the wheel every day. I prep the components, then it is just ready to throw together with little fuss. In this case, I double up the dressing, cherries pitted and halved, lentils marinated, clean lettuce stocked. Then when it comes to making a salad, it takes 2 minutes instead of starting from scratch.
Swap in peaches for cherries as needed, their seasonal window is short. Grilled salmon or chicken works on here too, otherwise it's great and easy as is. 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • maple mustard vinaigrette
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt and pepper
  • tip of dried herbs - basil, oregano, Italian blend, whatever
  •  
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper
  •  
  • 4 cups/5 oz. baby kale
  • 1 cup pitted and halved cherries
  • 4 ounces soft goats cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it all together (I clean out old nut butter and jam jars to store condiments). Set aside. 

Mix the lentils, oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and pepper together and stir to mix. This can be done a day or two in advance and kept covered in the fridge. 

Toss the greens and cherries in desired amount of dressing. Top with a scoop of the lentils, goat cheese and almonds. 



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Feeding Babies, Entrée, Snack

FEEDING BABIES: TODDLER VEGETABLES EDITION

toddler_vegetables_01.jpg

My most frequent request is for more feeding babies posts. The consensus being: carbs, cheese, meat are no problem for their kids, but there is concern over vegetable consumption. I don't really feed babies specifically any more, but we are still not quite all eating the same thing. I am feeding toddlers, which comes with both more options and more negotiating than babies. 

Another tip I am trying to implement, which I picked up from my sister in law, is to keep snacks after lunch to a minimum. Aren't we more apt to try new things with an appetite? She only offers veggies and hummus between lunch and dinner and I've been trying to do that. If they are not hungry for that, then they can't really be *that* hungry. No bars, crackers, string cheese, or whatever your kids' most requested snacks are. When I keep throwing snacks at them in that 4-6 window when they're asking for food and I'm trying to hustle back from an afternoon activity and get dinner together, they eat about one bite of dinner because they are not really hungry. They don't want to try new things or even sit at the table. The goal is to have them come to the dinner table hungry if you want them to eat what you're eating. Do you have any other good tips? 

Some of these "recipes" seem silly to write down, but I understand that some of us, especially with tasks outside of our wheelhouse, like to just be told what to do. Below are a couple things that my kids are into lately, and sides we adults enjoy eating too.  Roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce? Yes please. Forever.


VEGGIES AND MONSTER HUMMUS

Makes about 2 Cups

Cut and prep this in advance so it's ready in the fridge when wee ones start asking you for food. The hummus will keep about 5 days before the color begins to brown. When you see how silly easy it is to make hummus at home, you can use it as a base for all sort of vegetable add ins: a cooked beet, jalapeno cilantro, roasted red pepper. I also love the one made with red lentils from Near and Far.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces baby spinach or power greens mix
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • juice of half a lemon, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt and pepper
  • prepared carrots, bell peppers, Persian cucumbers, for dipping

Instructions

Barely wilt the greens, for just a minute, in a tablespoon of water. Set aside to cool.  Into a food processor, combine the garlic, tahini, chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and process until smooth. Tip in the wilted greens and blend again until fully incorporated. Taste for salt and pepper. Thin with lemon juice or water as needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Serve with cut vegetables, crackers, or as a sandwich spread. 

Toddler Vegetables . Monster Hummus . Sprouted Kitchen

ROASTED SWEET POTATO WEDGES WITH HERBY YOGURT DIP

Serves 4

I like the taco seasoning from Trader Joes, it does have some sugar, but doesn't have a bunch of other junk in it. If you are looking to just pull from your own spice cabinet, a mix of cumin and chili powder will be great alternative. Rolling them in cornstarch or arrowroot powder first, helps create a barrier to soak up the potatoes' natural moisture content and ensure a bit more crispiness. Even a very discerning toddler will not notice, but I am adding this step because I like to eat them this way :) If you have leftovers, they are a perfect addition to a breakfast burrito with some scrambled eggs, greens and shredded white cheddar. 
A dairy free option for the dip would be to use one large, ripe avocado in place of the yogurt. 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder, optional
  • 1-2 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 tsp. taco seasoning, see headnote
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup whole plain greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. well chopped cilantro (or parsley)
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400'.

Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges, no more than 1/2" thick. Toss them in the cornstarch or arrowroot to roughly coat (optional). Drizzle with the oil, toss again. Sprinkle the seasoning, toss again. Spread the potatoes in an even layer , using two pans if necessary to avoid too much overlap. Roast for 25 minutes until tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, mix up your yogurt dip. Stir together the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Toddler Vegetables . Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Herby Yogurt Dip . Sprouted Kitchen

EVERYTHING BAGEL CAULIFLOWER

Serves 2-4

The beautiful thing about cauliflower is that is doesn't have much flavor on its own, so it can go any direction. I let my kids sprinkle the seeds on and put this on their plate with a dollop of the tahini sauce or ketchup, when I'm in a pinch. It's also great mixed into some mac n cheese or into cooked brown rice and call it a complete meal. 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. everything bagel seasoning from Trader Joes or make you own*
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated/li>
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • tiny dash of cayenne
  • salt and pepper

* Mix 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp. poppyseeds, 1 tsp. dried onion flakes, 1 tsp. dried garlic flakes, 1/4 tsp. sea salt and pepper.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425'. Break the florets off, away from the core of the cauliflower and cut the core into 1" pieces as well. Toss everything in the oil to coat. Sprinkle on the salt and bagel seasonings and toss again. Spread the cauliflower in an even layer and roast on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes, tossing the vegetables halfway through roasting. Remove to cool.

While the cauliflower roasts, mix the tahini sauce ingredients. Stir together the tahini, garlic clove, maple, water, lemon juice, cayenne and a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Toddler Vegetables . Everything Bagel Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce. Sprouted Kitchen


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Entrée, Side, Summer

ROASTED VEGETABLE ORZO

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables . Family Style . Sprouted Kitchen

I posted a photo of this in my insta stories a few days ago as part of the meal prep I do for another family. So, per request, it will live here too. This is an older Ina Garten recipe that I changed by adding more vegetables and herbs and using a lighter hand with the dressing. My aunt used to make Ina's version for parties and showers and it was such a hit. The leftovers keep well and go with just about any grilled protein you'd like to add to round out the meal. I like my vegetables to pasta with a 3:1 ratio, so I'll dish this up for myself over some arugula to make a pasta salad-salad. I added a few other notes on alternatives in the recipe headnote. 

I have had quite a few inquiries about meal planning, and a request for more tips on that. I'm thinking of taking on a bigger project along those lines, so stay tuned! But I hear you and I'm totally with you on wanting an easy plan to keep dinners simple, healthy-ish and tasty. I've gotchu... things just take me awhile these days. 

Orzo . Sprouted Kitchen
Vegis for roasting . Sprouted Kitchen
Parsley, basil and chives . Sprouted Kitchen

ROASTED VEGETABLE ORZO

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Wheat-free readers, don't write this off. There are so many gluten free pastas now, and it doesn't necessarily have to be orzo here. Most are made from corn, and I know a number of you are sensitive to that too. You can swap in 1.5 cups cooked quinoa or cauliflower rice that you've just super briefly sauteed. In either case, you want to keep a bit of crunch and texture, be careful not to overcook either. 

If you cannot or are not eating dairy, sub in some pitted olive for the feta to compensate for that rich, salty bite. 

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 lb. orzo
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for roasting
  • zest and juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup) plus a splash of white vinegar if you like it zippy
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, largely crumbled
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425'. Trim and dice the eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini and red onion into 1" cubes. Collect the vegetables on two, large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle the vegetables with oil, oregano, a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss everything to coat well. Spread them in a single layer and roast for 25-30 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through, until the edges are browned. Remove to cool.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously. Cook the orzo according to instructions. Drain. Rinse. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let it cool. Drizzle on the oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir. Add in the cooled vegetables and herbs. Stir again. Crumble in the feta cheese, season to taste (I like it sippy, so I added about 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar).

At this point you can serve it at room temperature, or keep it chilled in the fridge for up to a week.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables . Sprouted Kitchen


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