Browsing Tag:

Nuts

Kale and Strawberry Salad over Bulgur Wheat

Kale and Strawberry Salad

Strawberry picking in the city is a funny thing. Or I guess I should technically say just outside the city – the ‘burbs.

You see, where I grew up, when you wanted to pick fruit, you drove to the local farm. You’d stop and say hello with one of the old-timers, who was of course part of the family farm. Usually, he be missing a few teeth. Always, he’d be armed with directions to the sweetest patch of fruit. He’d give you a basket or box to go pick, and then you’d be on your way.

It was always a swell time.

Kale and Strawberry Salad

In (or just outside) the city, it’s certainly a swell time, too. But the scene looks a little (and by that I mean a lot) different.

When you roll up to the ‘burbs farm, or at least the one I recently visited, you find not old geezers hanging around in their holey shirts and overalls. Nope. Instead, you find a parking lot packed with 200+ cars. I kid you not.

You also find kids. And cameras. And hot dog stands. And maybe even a carnival ride. Not sure if that last part actually existed where I went, but there was definitely some kind of train riding and face painting action going on, and I felt as though I might as well have been at a carnival. Although again, the only thing that was missing was the guys with no teeth.

What really set the experience apart, however, was the part where I had to pay $5 before even going to pick the strawberries I dreamt about all morning. Pay-before-you-pick? City picking isn’t cheap, I tell you. In fact, you might be better off just buying a few pints at the store. But that’s obviously no fun, right? It’s okay. I ate my weight in strawberries while out in the field to make up for it.

Kale and Strawberry Salad

I left my gorging-on-strawberries, red-stained, kid-like self in the strawberry field, and decided to become an adult again once I returned home. The results are this salad.

After this, I can tell you for once, I feel okay about getting older. Strawberries in my kale salad? Heck, I’ll call myself an adult any day if that’s what comes from it. Just don’t quote me on that when I’m eating a large bowl of strawberries and ice cream for dessert. And the strawberry juice is running all down my face. Because I’m licking the bowl. Because I’m a kid. At heart.

A little salty (thank you feta), a little sweet (cheers to local strawberry season), and a little earthy (thank you almighty kale), this salad hits every note in all the right ways. Plate it up over cooked bulgur to make it a meal, or send it off to a picnic and become the star of the party.  It won’t let you down – even if your strawberry experience is a bit more dubious.

Continue Reading…

Thai Peanut Spaghetti Squash Bowl

Spaghetti Squash with Thai Peanut Sauce

Making peanut sauce is like having an old childhood friend come to visit. Not the kind of friend you avoid after spotting in the grocery store during a trip to visit your parents. Rather, the kind you actually want to see. The kind you wish you could run into more often.

This, for me at least, is how it feels when I’m whizzing away peanut sauce in the food processor. Upon first taste from the spatula, I always question myself as to why I don’t let the occasion occur more often. Peanut sauce should be a current friend, not a long lost one.

Peanut Sauce

I found this recipe over on a newly discovered blog, Produce on Parade. Katie whips up some awesome vegan dishes, including the one I’m sharing with you today.

It joins a relatively new pal of mine, spaghetti squash, with that old friend I mentioned above. It’s hard to go wrong when you put those two ingredients together in a bowl, and top it with fresh herbs and salty nuts.

Consider making one and a half batches of the sauce. Heck, go crazy and double it and you could have leftovers to dip tomorrow’s broccoli in. I tend to like things on the saucy side, so I upped the amounts listed in the recipe below. If your tastes lean the same way, I suggest you do the same.

Continue Reading…

Easy Fruit Crisp in a Jar

Fruit Crisp in a Jar

Who doesn’t love eating out of mason jars? Or drinking for that matter.

I bought a simple glass water jug with a swing-top, and find myself drinking so much more water throughout the day as a result. There’s something majestic about glass.

Spooning fruit crisp out of it feels divine.

Fruit Crisp in a Jar

Apples are quickly beginning to take over farmer’s markets, with wooden boxes that leave little room for other fruit. This past weekend, however, I managed to snag a few of the lone cartons of raspberries sitting on the table. From my freezer I grabbed some late August peaches, and went to work making this crisp.

I wanted one last taste of summer, baked to perfection.

Crisps are so simple to make, and baking them straight in a jar makes for an equally easy presentation. I love how healthy crisps feel, and how few of the ingredients really need to be measured. This compared to much of the rest of the baking world. A spoonful of cinnamon here, a dash of ginger there. It’s really up to you.

If you can’t find berries (and didn’t save any summer peaches), I’m sure apples would work well here too. Given the jar method, choose a softer apple and slice thinly. This way you ensure you’ll end up with a soft, perfect-for-ice-cream dessert. Adorable, right?

Continue Reading…

Vegan Eggplant Stuffed Peppers

Looking back over my last few meals (and posts), I’ve realized roasted has trounced the classic steam in my kitchen, and has become my new go-to for veggies.  The oven becomes a miraculous tool in terms of drawing flavor from veggies.  It’s not only the mastermind behind metamorphosing batter into sweet confections of sugar and flour.  The oven is also the ultimate sugar-engineer of vegetables.

Take a bite of raw garlic, and your taste-buds might scream from its pungency.  But give the bulb a roast, and each creamy, sweet clove will graciously go down with ease.

Olive oil, heat, and a little salt.  It’s that simple.  And this trick holds true for eggplant, onions, peppers, and a slew of other veggies, including beets, which when even when raw one wonders how they could become any sweeter.

So here we go again, another roasted vegetable inspired meal.  I’ve gone back at it with roasted eggplant and garlic, sealing them all up with a few other ingredients inside a pepper.  Then, I put the oven to use once more, and baked the whole dish.  Topped with Daiya, this was yet another satisfying, vegan roasted meal.

Continue Reading…

Blueberry Banana Overnight Oats

Growing up, my mom was always try to create new ways to fix our oatmeal for breakfast.  Simple salt and pepper, peanut butter and banana, soy milk and maple syrup, ground nuts, and the other countless combinations she’d try out on my brother and I were all her endeavors to keep us eating a healthy breakfast.  Never a fan of starting off our day with sugar, Fruit Loops (my favorite junk cereal as a kid) was almost always out of the question.  On the rare occasion, my mom would let my brother and I wander the cereal aisle and actually pick out what we wanted. She’d treat us with mini cereal boxes for camping trips or some other special outing. On an everyday basis, however, it was some kind of oatmeal concoction going into the breakfast bowl.  Luckily, she was a particularly talented oatmeal lady. Switching it up frequently, I was often fooled into thinking I was eating something new on a regular basis.

One of my favorite ingredient combos. that she came up with was blueberry oatmeal.  She’d start the oatmeal and then a few minutes before it was finished, throw in a large handful of blueberries. She’d continue to cook just until the blues began to burst.  The oatmeal was always finished off with a spoonful of sesame tahini and a drizzle of quality maple syrup. The result:  A  heavenly bowl of oatmeal that resembled blueberry pancakes. Pancakes, of course, were an item I would’ve eaten nearly every day for breakfast.

As I grow older, I’m filling in for my mom and creating my own ways to eat my morning oats.  While my mom could eat and enjoy a bowl nearly every morning, it takes a little more motivation for me to crave oatmeal on a consistent basis.  However, lately I’ve been eating overnight oats on the reg. and find I still look forward to them each morning they await my spoon.  Below is my latest O-Oats creation, inspired by my mom’s timeless blueberry oatmeal.  I’ve created a cold, summery variation that’s prepared the night before, perfect for those morning’s when you’re in a rush.  Make sure to use a ripe banana, which surprisingly eliminates a need for any extra sugar…that’s certainly Mom approved.

Continue Reading…