walnuts

Breakfast, Gluten Free, Snack

NUT'NOLA

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Months ago, I may have mentioned that Hugh was doing the ketogenic diet? Surely you've heard of it. Most of the cookbooks at my local Costco are keto books so you know it's mainstream. He humored me and went off it for the holidays and is back to it these days. I refuse to make a third version of whatever I'm cooking, but I will compromise. How saintly of me, right? I have my current granola recipe pretty nailed down, but I gave it a spin with less sweetener and replaced the oats with more nuts. It replaces the carbohydrates with more fat, so I don't know where your nutrition paradigms lie, but it tastes good either way. You can use this as a topping for plain yogurt, oatmeal, as a snack or I used it as a crunchy bit for a green salad with arugula, red onion, and roasted butternut chunks and thought it worked perfect. I made a few notes below on seasoning options. 

NUT'NOLA // Makes about 5 cups

You can find the coconut flakes (the wide shards, not the same as shredded coconut) at Trader Joes, larger conventional grocery stores or Amazon. The kind of nut isn't as important as the yield. Swap in pecans or macadamia nuts, whatever you prefer. We use this as a breakfast sort of deal, if you want a more savory route, a dash of cayenne and some fresh chopped rosemary is a great swap, or that Everything But The Bagel seasoning from Trader Joes is pretty amazing here too, especially if you want to use these as a crunchy salad topper. 

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, warmed
1/3 cup maple syrup
3/4 tsp. sea salt
heaping 1/2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

1 cup raw whole almonds
1 cup raw whole cashews
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes/chips

Preheat the oven to 325' and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine the warmed coconut oil, maple, salt and cinnamon/spice. Stir to combine. 
Give the almonds, cashews and walnuts a rough chop. Add them to the maple mixture along with the pumpkin seeds, sesame and coconut flakes. Stir everything to coat. Spread the mixture in an even layer on the baking sheet and pop in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, stir, bake another 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to cool completely. The nuts will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight container for a couple weeks. 

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Gluten Free, Entrée

SPICED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS WITH WALNUT SAUCE

More cauliflower! Oops. But I do love it and it didn't cross my mind we had cauliflower on here for the last post as I was thumbing through Laura's new book. I have dozens of recipes bookmarked but I am looking for new veg mains in our rotation lately and this one popped out at me. I was shocked at how short the ingredient list was and how quickly it came together given how beautiful it looked. I'm an easy sell on pretty food. Especially quick, pretty food. Next up is her homemade coconut creamer with dates, a warm balsamic mushroom salad, and a second round of those brownies I made months ago when I first saw the pdf draft of this book.

I've been a long time fan of Laura's, both for her easy going disposition and plant-based food that is magically wholesome, creative, all while still being something you can whip up easily for dinner. I don't always see those things going hand in hand but she is extremely good at what she does. She's responsible for the arugula cashew sauce I've made three times already that goes on pretty much everything. I like vegan food and an ice cream sundae all in the same breath, so a book that doesn't feel lacking is a keeper. You'll have to flip through a copy yourself or better yet, add it to your collection. Clearly forever a First Mess fangirl. Congrats, Laura!

SPICED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS WITH WALNUT SAUCE // Serves 2
Recipe from The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright

I am putting Laura's recipe here verbatim. The only thing I did different was up the garlic and lemon a bit and added a pinch of cayenne to the spice blend for heat. Those are personal preferences. The recipe is so concise you can add here to taste. This serves two well after roasting the extra bits of cauliflower. You could easily double it if you have a large enough pan or even do it in shifts and keep the cauliflower warm. 

Walnut Sauce
1/2 cup raw walnut halves, plus a few more for garnish
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Spice-Crusted Cauliflower
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350'

Make the walnut sauce: In a large, ovenproof skillet, toast the walnuts over medium heat until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a blender. Return the skillet to the stove and heat 1 tsp. of the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic. Saute until edges of the onion soften, about 2 minutes. Scrape the onions and garlic into the blender. Add the almond milk, lemon juice and generous pinches of salt and pepper and whiz on high until you have a creamy sauce. Keep warm while you prepare the cauliflower. 
Cut two 1" thick "steaks" from the center of the cauliflower (you'll loose pieces on the sides that don't stay intact but just roast those up in an oil and spice mixture and enjoy them on the side). You should have a nice cross section of the vegetable that holds together. Moisten the steaks with water and season both sides with the paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. 
Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the cauliflower steaks and sear until evenly browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the cauliflower over and transfer the skillet to the oven. 
Roast the cauliflower in the oven until the center core or stem section is tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. 
Serve the cauliflower with warm sauce and garnish with parsley and chopped walnuts



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Entrée, Side, Gluten Free, Spring

BUCKWHEAT BOWL WITH ROASTED ROMANESCO

Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

It took a long overdue (albeit very short) trip to the gym to flip through a few of the food magazines I'd been stockpiling. I am so behind that I was reading December issues, which were all holiday themed, and then we swiftly get into the healthy January issues and then back to somewhere in-between come February. I was dog-earring and reading some of the recipes word for word just to learn. I remember when I was first figuring out how to cook and I would read through a Bon Appeitit or Gourmet like a novel. Even if I didn't want to cook a pork loin or master a cheesecake, I would read the recipes just because I wanted the knowledge. Flipping through those magazines and soaking in some new perspective reminded me how much I love the craft of preparing a meal (yes, I'm aware I was at the gym, slowly burning off a single piece of toast while I was reading but that's besides the point). I've become much less efficient with Curran around and cooking for fun falls towards the bottom of my list in the course of a day. I allow that to happen... and so does the teeny person who has a thing for electrical sockets but I think there is a compromise. 

I picked up a bag of buckwheat groats in an effort to try something new. It took me a couple times to figure them out but I'm a fan. Naturally gluten free, pretty quick cooking, full of magnesium and has a texture that Hugh referred to as "steel cut oaty rice". Maybe this isn't news to you but like I said, we've been in a rut over here. I bagged a gorgeous chartreuse romanesco and a couple of leeks that didn't look nearly as fresh but I didn't care because I love them. It felt so nice to not necessarily have a plan, but to just cook and move with the confidence that at the end, it would in fact be edible. Simple, colorful, wholesome and maybe not something you'd find in a glossy magazine, but dinner in a fasion that got away from me.

Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

BUCKWHEAT BOWL WITH ROASTED ROMANESCO // Serves 2

I made a more moderate portion here but this could easily be doubled if you're feeding more or prefer leftovers. I actually prefer the buckwheat at room temperature or cooled, I was getting a super fermented flavor when they were warm. If the groats are toasted, it's sold under the name 'kasha' and that will work fine here as well. You should be able to find one or the other in the bulk bins of your local health food store. I know romanesco can be hard to find and nubs of cauliflower will do well in it's place. Don't be shy with the olive oil. You'll miss out on the caramelized, toasty edges otherwise and end up with rubbery vegetables. 

  • 1 large romanesco (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Dried Italian Herbs
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • soft goat cheese, for topping
Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'.

With the romanesco, cut the florets away from the core. Leave the smaller ones intact and halve the large florets. Toss them onto a baking sheet. Clean the leeks and discard the tough dark green parts. Slice them into 1" coins and add them to the baking tray. Drizzle on the olive oil, nutmeg, herbs, pepper flakes, sea salt and toss well to coat. Make sure all the outsides of the vegetables are covered. Roast in the upper third for 30-35 minutes until the edges are browned.

While the vegetables roast, prepare the buckwheat. Rinse it well in a fine mesh strainer and drain. Bring the water to a gentle boil and add the buckwheat. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for 7-10 minutes until just softened. If groats start to get mushy turn down the heat. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then drain well. Into a mixing bowl, combine the drained buckwheat, olive oil, honey, lemon juice, chives, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. 

I throw my walnuts onto the baking sheet to toast in the last 5ish minutes of roasting or you may toast them on their own if you prefer. Assemble your bowl with the herby buckwheat, a big heap of the vegetables and garnish with a handful of toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. 

Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Romanesco & Leek Buckwheat Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
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