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Grace Dickinson

Cuban Black Beans with Plantain and Coconut

Cuban Black Beans with Plantain and Coconut

I recently moved into a new apartment, and daily, I now awaken to so much beautiful sunlight spilling across my kitchen. It is glorious, and I am looking forward to the many culinary adventures that lay ahead within the space.

Up first, this Cuban-esque bean dish, perhaps inspired by all of the new warmth within my dining space. Or the endless daydreams I have of escaping winter.

I have no upcoming trips planned, so in the meantime, I’ll be keeping myself content with tropical dishes on the dinner table. And hopefully plenty more plantain.

Cilantro

I love pairing sweet plantain with savory elements. Most often, though, I’ll just bake it in the oven and drizzle it with ample amounts of peanut butter and honey.

Here, it compliments classically seasoned black beans cooked up with cumin, sautéed onions and peppers, and a dash of spice.

Cuban Black Beans with Plantain and Coconut

Upon serving, lime and cilantro freshen up the dish, while toasted coconut flakes add a bit of crunch.

Quick and easy, the one pan dish makes for a great healthy weeknight meal.

Cuban Black Beans with Plantain and Coconut

I like to serve this over brown rice, but feel free to get creative with the grain component beneath. Enjoy!

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Green Beans with Coconut Thai Curry Peanut Sauce

Green Beans with Coconut Thai Curry Peanut Sauce

Cheers to a new year!

If you’re looking to start off 2019 on a healthy note, add this veggie dish to your recipe roster. It’s a flavor-packed side that’s bound to get you excited about making January a month filled with green. No boredom to be found here.

Green Beans with Coconut Thai Curry Peanut Sauce

Thai coconut curry forever remains one of my mealtime mainstays. Swimming with veggies, a hug pot of the soupy dish is often simmering on my stove, at least twice a month and usually more.

It serves as one of the simplest and tastiest ways to load up on broccoli, bok choy, mushrooms, and other garden goodness, all waiting to be poured over brown rice or long-stranded rice noodles.

Thai Curry Peanut Sauce

For this particular rendition, however, I chose to focus on one single veggie, green beans, which can be served as is, or with rice, too, and to fuse the curry with a peanut-sauce-type recipe.

It’s likely you’ll end up with a little extra of the sauce — it’s rather addictive, and I’m sure you’ll easily find future ways to put its sweet creaminess to use. (I.e., as a dip for steamed broccoli, topping for rice or soba noodles, etc.)

Green Beans with Coconut Thai Curry Peanut Sauce

Or, feel free to use the extra sauce and turn this dish into a full meal, adding 1/2 block of cubed tofu, sautéed with soy sauce, and serving it all atop rice or other base of your choice. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Here’s to another year of many more healthful recipes to come.

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Baked Herbed Chickpea Bites

Baked Herbed Chickpea Bites

This is essentially a recipe for baked falafel. But to me, if the batter is not crisped up in the deep-fryer, it’s not falafel.

That’s not to say these flavorful bite-sized discs aren’t delicious. I just felt that they deserved their own name, as falafel deserves its own identifying title. So, let me introduce you to Baked Herbed Chickpea Bites (or if you prefer, baked falafel), a healthy and homemade accompaniment for your next tub of hummus.

Baked Herbed Chickpea Bites

I chose to pack these with flavor using not only a heaping dose of cumin, but also a good amount of herbs.

The herbs add some freshness to what’s a fairly dense dish, and even a hint of color, too.

Baked Herbed Chickpea Bites

These are definitely served best aside a creamy tahini-based sauce, whether you opt for hummus or baba ganoush or your own sesame-garlic-lemon creation.

For the latter, all you need to do is finely mince a small clove of garlic and whisk it with several large spoonfuls of tahini and a pinch of salt. Squeeze in a wedge or two of lemon, add some warm water to thin it out, and you’re left with a ready-to-drizzle sauce that took five minutes or less to make.

Baked Herbed Chickpea Bites

I recommend grabbing some pita for these bites, too. Although, you could also serve them as a party app, with toothpicks and tahini dip on the side, and forgo the sandwich idea altogether. Enjoy.

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Vegan Enchiladas

Vegan Enchiladas

Enchiladas are one of those dishes I dream of often, but rarely think to make.

At first glance, the idea seems complicated, requiring layer upon layer of…labor?

Make these, however, and you’ll learn, as I did, that the dish needn’t be more challenging than crafting a good taco night. In fact, some might consider it easier, as the oven does a good majority of the work involved in meddling all of the flavors.

Chili peppers

After doing a little research, I discovered the sauce — perhaps the most critical component to enchiladas — is actually quite easy to make, too.

You could certainly go the store-bought route, but I assure you, this requires little more than picking up the right ingredients, most of which you likely already possess, and giving them all a quick whisk on the stove.

Many recipes call for flour, but I opted to keep this on the lighter side and simply used tomato paste as a thickener. I really didn’t notice the difference, especially once everything came out of the oven.

Cilantro

I also wanted to do a vegan version.

Excessively cheesy enchiladas turn a healthy dish into a hefty one, and with all the spices involved, that’s simply not necessary.

I did want to add a little bit of richness though, so you’ll find Daiya layered in this recipe. Feel free to use as little or as much as you desire.

Vegan Enchiladas

I’m looking forward to crafting more of these casserole-style dishes, perfect for stretching throughout the week and also adding warmth to a Sunday night meal. Give me a shout in the comments if you have any special requests.

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Farro and White Bean Vegetable Soup

Farro and White Bean Vegetable Soup

Hey there blog fam. It’s been awhile.

I’m unsure how nearly an entire year has gone by without a single new recipe post, but I assure you that my kitchen has remained equally as active as I’ve been over these past few months. A lot of impromptu meals have replaced calculated ones, but cooking is still happening daily, and I’m hoping to start livening up this blog again as we move into winter.

Someone hold me to that.

Farro and White Bean Vegetable Soup

First up is this vegetable-loaded soup, a detox-inspired creation stemming from just a little too much prior holiday feasting. If you’re like me and turn into a cookie monster whenever sweets are in sight, likely you’ll benefit from a recipe like this right now, too.

It’s light, yet warming and hearty from ingredients like farro, one of my new favorite grains, and serves as a one-pot meal you could make on both weeknights and/or for a quick, cozy weekend lunch.

Farro and White Bean Vegetable Soup

Feel free to serve this with a side of crusty bread. However, each bowl can easily function as a meal in itself, with beans, grains, and veggies all filling every bite.

Use less water for more of a stew, or add an extra cup and an additional dash of salt if you seek a lighter end result.

Kale

Here’s to hoping I have a new recipe for you before the year’s end. In the meantime, thanks for sticking with me.

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