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kale

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Hey there – it’s me, Grace. Remember me?

Yeah, I know. It’s been awhile.

But I’m back, just in time to bring you this bowl full of all things fall and all things that’ll nourish you as we prepare to take on the changing of the seasons.

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Is it just me or is everyone seemingly getting sick a few weeks too early this year?

No one likes being sick. But nearly everyone likes butternut squash soup.

And this one packs a punch of healthful ingredients – i.e., a powerhouse, germ-fighting tonic of turmeric and ginger. (Praise hands emoji.)

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

I love this soup because it’s both warming and hearty, yet at the same time it’s clean and light. Lentils add both a solid source of protein and some crunch while kale adds to the texture swimming in this soup’s oh-so velvety base.

Place it in a blue or green bowl, and its golden goodness really shines. Inside and out.

I’m telling you, it’s a winner all around.

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

 

Serve with a side salad or a crusty slice of bread, or both. And then you’ve easily got a full meal – one that’s perfect for the autumn days that surround us!

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Rainbow Nori Rolls

Rainbow Nori Rolls

I was recently asked to review two of Urban Outfitter’s cookbooks, both centered around clean and wholesome eating. First up,?Power Snacks, chock full of 50 pages of healthy snacks abundant in energy-boosting nutrients.

Broken down into several categories, the cookbook offers up classic “On the Go” snacks like Squash & Pumpkin Seed Muffins, “High Energy” bites like rainbow chard roll-ups, “Sweet Indulgences” including Chocolate Avocado Pudding, and more. Yummmmm-y!

Rainbow Nori Rolls

Full of color, I was instantly drawn to the Rainbow Nori Roll recipe, featured in the “Take to Work” section of the book. Laying out all of its ingredient on the table, it was hard not to be excited about all of the beauty going into this particular power snack. I mean, just look at that vibrant photo above. Pure awesomeness.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

I love snacks that are able to pack in a bunch of vegetables. So often, when we need a mid-afternoon refueling, we reach for something sweet, and often that means something that’s not too entirely healthy. With options like this – that feel entirely like a treat, but a savory one at that – it’s easy to keep snack-time the healthy pick-me-up that it’s meant to be. In other words, this recipe is far from the nap-inducing snack that too often steals away our second half of the day.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

Another pro, these nori rolls really pack in the flavor, especially for an all-vegan sushi option. The sauteed asparagus and ginger give them an extra boost, and the beets really add something here, too.

That being said, if you have avocado on-hand, definitely add it. You can rarely go wrong with avocado in vegetarian sushi.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

Likewise, there’s tons of room to play around with other ingredients in this recipe. You could add baked tofu for a little extra protein, or cucumbers, or other veggies of your choice. You could play with the grain, for instance, like I did, and try swapping the risotto rice for brown rice. I used a short grain brown rice, cooked it with a little extra water (1 cup rice to 2 1/2 cups water) and for a little extra time until it achieved the sushi-ready stickiness that it needed.

You could add wasabi to the roll or to the dipping sauce. You could add herbs. Or mango. Or whatever your heart may desire.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

Keep in mind, this isn’t a whip-up-in-5-minutes kind of snack. While the veggie prep is simple, there are a lot of ingredients to chop here, and the assemblage is a process, particularly if you’re new to sushi-making. That being said, sushi is easier to roll than you might think, so don’t let intimidation get in your way.

To save time, buy beets (unseasoned) that are already cooked. You can usually find them in cans in the veggie/bean section of the grocery store. You could also make the rice the night before, or prep some of the ingredients ahead of time.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

While these are best eaten the day-of, they’ll definitely last if you make them a day-in-advance. In fact, I’ll be enjoying some leftovers for lunch today.

Prep them on a Sunday and when the Monday stomach rumbles roll around, you’ll have a beautifully fresh snack waiting for you full of that extra zest you need to get the week going.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

 

You can check out the cookbook for other fun snack ideas. And stay tuned for a preview of Urban Outfitter’s other book,?The Clean Eating Kitchen, in the days to follow! Continue Reading…

Herb Socca Pizza with Kale Pesto

Herb Socca Pizza with Kale Pesto

I’ve been cooking quite a bit lately. And blogging…not so much.

Sometimes a girl just needs to let loose in the kitchen, you feel me?

More-so, professional photo work is keeping me busy, and on that note I can’t complain.

Herb Socca Pizza with Kale Pesto

But alas, my creative kitchen-meets-camera-meets-recipe-curation desires have led me back to the blog. Readers, I hope you’ve stuck with me because this one’s a good one. And by that, I mean its made up of a whole lot of tasty and seasonal ingredients to make one heck of a good-for-you pizza.

For the base, we’re working with socca, a long time favorite on the blog. Why? Because it takes fewer than 15 minutes to create, no kneeding, rolling, whipping or anything else complicated required. Plus, it’s packed full of protein from all the chickpeas that go into the flour behind it. Win.

The pesto is derived from kale. It’s prime season for baby greens, which lend themselves so well to raw usages, like in this flavorful, nutrient-dense spread. I mean, look at the color on that pesto. Also a win.

Herb Socca Pizza with Kale Pesto

Feel free to play around with this. Add extra chickpeas on top, straight from the can or crisped up in the oven. You could sprinkle a few nuts around or experiment with cheeses, have some fun with a hot sauce of your choice or switch out the herbs for ones available in your own garden or farmer’s market. Get creative. And get hungry. Your appetite never fails in helping you to lead the way. Cheers!

Herb Socca Pizza with Kale Pesto

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Kale and Banana Muffins

Kale Banana Muffins

When I first saw the title of this recipe over on Prevention RD, I was immediately intrigued. Kale…in muffins? Genius. But could it actually taste good?

One look at the batter creation that ended up in my bowl, and I was feeling rather doubtful.

Kale Banana Muffins

It was beautiful nonetheless, so I decided to give it a go in the oven and see where the baked version would take me.

Somehow my final result ended up looking like those dyed green bagels on St. Patrick’s Day but in muffin form. Luckily, in my case, I could boast of this color being au naturel.

Kale Banana Muffins

I’m not sure if I packed my cups of kale tighter than Prevention RD, but the vibrancy was unexpected.

I would only be pleased with this verdant color if the muffins were edible though, so let’s get to the first taste. How were they?

Well, I wouldn’t be posting about them if they weren’t going on my repeat list.

These were surprisingly good. I’m talking eaten-in-two-days good by my surrounding friends and family. In fact, I’m already ready to make them again.

Kale Banana Muffins

My initial reaction was that these tasted like a Green Smoothie in muffin form. If that sounds strange, well, these are a tad on the unique side. They’re not going to resemble your average blueberry muffin…but who wants average? And who wants a muffin loaded with sugar and empty calories? Not me.

Despite the absence of a bunch of sugar, these are rather sweet, and given how healthy their makeup is, I’m declaring them a real winner on the muffin scale. Add some peanut butter to your first bite, and you’ll feel like a champion holding a golden green medal. Delish.

I love these as a nourishing option for breakfast or as a midday snack, and I love that these provide a muffin choice that you can finally feel good about, one that will make you feel good, too! If you already enjoy green smoothies, banana muffins, or simply beautiful bites to awaken you in the morning, then I 100% recommend giving these a try. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Butternut Kale & Cranberry Panzanella

Butternut Kale & Cranberry Panzanella

When looking for holiday recipes earlier last month, I came across this beautiful butternut adorned recipe from Cookie + Kate. I was seeking a veggie-centered side to bring to Thanksgiving. This one quickly made the cut.

Tossed with festive cranberries and a light, yet savory vinaigrette, this kale salad is the kind of side you want on your celebratory table. Among heavier eats, it continues to shine on its own. Yet, it won’t weigh you down even if it persuades you to go in for seconds.

Butternut Kale & Cranberry Panzanella

I offer this up now as a suggestion for the celebrations that remain as we ring out 2015. If you’re in charge of the salad for dinner, why not reach for something new?

Creamy squash. Crunchy pumpkin seeds. Chewy, sweet and sour cranberries. Flaky parm. And a hearty kale leaf at its center.

With so many layers and textures in one bowl, this is a salad destined for discussion.
Pumpkin seeds

Those layers also make this salad one that could satisfy you if eaten for dinner on its own. There are those rare days where I crave just a salad in my bowl and nothing else. This particularly applies after one too many hefty holiday meals.

In those instances, a simple spring green medley isn’t going to appease my palette. But this creation would.

If you don’t get around to putting this recipe on your holiday list, save it as a start for 2016. It has all the nourishing elements you need to fulfill any sort of healthy eating oriented goals. You could also throw some chickpeas or salmon on top for an extra oomph if salad-for-dinner makes you nervous.

Butternut Kale & Cranberry Panzanella

Have other veggie-centered suggestions for the holidays? Shoot them my way. I’m always looking for ideas!

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