Browsing Tag:

one pot

Simple Collards Wraps with Curried Lentils & Quinoa

Simple Collards Wraps with Curried Lentils & Rice

My first step off the plane back into my home of Philadelphia welcomed me with a rush of balmy hot air. Hello East Coast. Hello 90-degree summer. Hello “please take me back west”.

In all reality, transitioning from a vacation is significantly easier when done in the summer. This is the time of year when I love my city the most. It’s the time of year where Philly offers free yoga classes, outdoors, every day of the week. (Sweat & smiles, all around). The time when I can ride my bike effortlessly, no jacket needed. And when beer gardens pop-up by the handful to meet my bike-induced, thirst-quenching needs. (Although, I am still waiting for that California/Portland kombucha-on-tap scene to take over Philly and fulfill those needs, too.)

As for the west coast – I feel we may meet again one day. Sunny California, you stole a piece of my heart. And did a good job streaking my hair blonde with your sunrays.

Grace Dickinson

My recent travels took me through L.A., some smaller towns of Cali, all around Portland by bike, and up and down numerous, breathtaking mountains. There was lots of vegan food to be had, some of which I will be recreating (in particular, the Coconut Lentil Quesadillas from Real Food Daily!). An abundance of inspiration. Park picnics with friends. Fantastic & jolting iced coffee (Intelligentsia, for the win). Corresponding coffeeshop interactions. Adventures, surfboard crashes, and even a reality TV show recruiting.

I’ve never been so active on a vacation. Daily swim-yoga-hiking combinations unfolded, and its climbing those West Coast mountains that I’ll miss the most. I tell you, that’s where I truly feel alive.

Beluga lentils

Now that I’m back though, I want to keep that feeling of “aliveness” alive. That calls for healthy, nourishing food, and with this killer East Coast heat wave, some cool eats, too.

Shall this be the summer of collard wraps? I’ve already deemed it the summer of socca, but it can be both, right?

Simple Collards Wraps with Curried Lentils & Rice

I love how light and refreshing collard wraps feel, while also being able to easily pack in a bunch of flavor into one portable package. It’s the kind of meal that won’t weigh you down on blazing sunny days, and also one that can generally be enjoyed hot or cold.

Keep the filling hot if you’re feeling a warm but light dinner. Or roll these up, place them in the fridge, and have a cool, ready-to-go lunch for the next day. I, of course, did both.

Simple Collards Wraps with Curried Lentils & Rice

This meal would fit right into the forward-thinking cities of Cali (and Portland, too!). So in a sense, I’m just bringing my trip home with me. Working or not, I like to view every day of summer as vacation, and these are so easy to make, they fit well into that mindset. A one-pot meal? Packaged into fresh summer greens? With tomatoes and avocado? Ready to join me for the Cali-inspired summer of collard wraps? Yeah, me too.

But don’t worry. More socca is on its way too. And for my East Coast friends, I’m not moving just yet.

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Winter Nourish Bowl with Green Pumpkin Seed Sauce

Winter Nourish Bowl with Green Pumpkin Seed Sauce

I should’ve planned out the beginning of this year better.

I worked pretty hard at the end of last year. At one point, I was juggling 5 jobs. Literally. (The woahs of freelance life are, well, filled with woah.)

If I were smart, I would’ve planned a getaway for the first few months of 2014 to the land of warmth and the free. What land that might be, I don’t really care. This past week in Philadelphia was brutal, and I would’ve killed to be working remotely in a far away town. You feel me? Add some waves and fresh fruit, and we could’ve really rung in the New Year right. Forget all this cold January nonsense.

Cilantro

Looks like I’ll be hustling extra hard to make that happen next winter. Another New Years resolution to add to the list? Maybe. For all you other northeasterns (and everywhere else it’s cold), I say we do it together.

In the meantime, you can find me snuggling up with warm bowls of comfort like this. Think lots of hearty winter squash and sweet potatoes, and nourishing whole grains and legumes. This will be a year of health, an on-going resolution I strive to keep because I know when I’m eating my best, I’m feeling my best. I’m sure you can agree.

Winter Veggies

This particular wholesome meal was triggered by a recipe I saw on My New Roots. Sarah, the author, runs the kind of blog I could stare at for hours, filled with tons of inspiring photos and lots of inventive healthy recipes. Check her out if you don’t know her already.

Winter Nourish Bowl with Pumpkin Seed Sauce

Feel free to add your own winter ingredients to this. I could envision steamed turnips thrown on top, or kohlrabi sliced into matchsticks and included with the raw component. Toasted sesame seeds make a great addition too. I tossed a few on top the next day.

Winter Nourish Bowl with Green Pumpkin Seed Sauce

Stay warm my friends, and enjoy!

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Southern Skillet Black-Eyed Peas and Cauliflower

Skillet Black Eye Pea and Cauliflower

The New York Times does a beautiful roundup of vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes every fall. It’s rare that I get around to utilizing any of these ideas before Christmas, but they generally serve just as well for the days that follow. Regardless of the time frame, I strive to produce a couple of these each year in my own kitchen, even if it’s just for a self-serving dinner. This year, I started with this saucy black-eyed pea and cauliflower dish. Considering New Years Day already passed, I guess that makes me extra late on making this, but I’m putting my faith in the fact that black-eyed peas can bring be good luck all year around.

I was really impressed with the results of this recipe. Once again, the New York Time’s Well blog doesn’t fail. The dish reminded me of a slightly lighter, tangier version of baked beans, which surprisingly worked really well with the black eyed peas. I upped the cauliflower in this too, which lightened it up a bit further.

I’m not sure the combination reminded me of the holidays, or at least the dinners that are traditional in my family, but it did hold a spicy heartiness that definitely spoke of wintertime. I love the sweet variance that just a small dose of cinnamon can lend to a dish.

NYT’s suggests serving with biscuits. I would conquer, or a crusty slice of bread. Although, the recipe’s sauciness could lend itself to everything from rice to grains, too. A dab of yogurt on top also makes a nice compliment to the dish.

Skillet Black Eye Pea and Cauliflower

One Pot Curried Quinoa

For some reason, I’ve been neglecting quinoa in my diet. Once a weekly happening, I somehow have taken the college route lately, with pastas and sandwiches increasingly replacing cooked grains. Not cool.

Thankfully I ran into an old friend the other day who told me about the stockpile of cooked quinoa he keeps in his fridge at all times. This reminded me of my own stock I had tucked away in my closet. Mine was just sitting there, dry as could be, waiting to come out of the dark and get cooking.

I finally got to it the other day, putting a pot on the stove in between preparing some already-prepared ravioli (of course). While waiting the three minutes for the ravioli to be finished, I tossed in a few other ingredients I had handy. To the quinoa that is. Sometimes my patience and stomach prevents me from cooking anything elaborate. Not that this recipe is elaborate. However, after my hunger’s taken care of by some simpler version of a meal, occasionally I’ll get this cooking urge that just won’t leave. AKA, a rather glorious form of procrastination. Luckily, this leads to some rather handy leftovers, which I’ll put to use the next night when this scenario happens all over again.

Regardless, this recipe’s a good one for even when you’re busy. You’ll have to wait for it to simmer and stew, but the prep. steps are minimal, and all that will be dirtied is one pot and a cutting board. Use as a side, or serve as is, topped with a pan-fried egg or seared tofu.

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