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ginger

Breakfast Millet with Peanut, Ginger & Turmeric Apple Compote

Breakfast Millet with Peanut, Ginger, & Turmeric Apple Compote

I’ve been on a turmeric kick lately, which is great because there are 101 health benefits associated with it. It’s a huge antioxidant-powered anti-inflammatory, meaning it can aid in everything from reducing arthritis pain to heart disease prevention.

It’s also frequently used in Chinese Medicine to treat depression, and it’s been shown to delay liver damage. With how brutal this winter’s been, it’s no wonder I’ve been consuming so much of the stuff. How else am I going to counteract all that alcohol I’ve been consuming as a result of my snow-induced depression? Kidding of course.

I will admit, however, a ginger-lemon-honey-turmeric tonic makes a great morning choice after a night out on the town. As does this breakfast.

Breakfast Millet with Peanut, Ginger, & Turmeric Apple Compote

In drink form or not, my turmeric intake often goes hand in hand with my ginger intake. The two make great partners in the kitchen, both in terms of health and flavor rationale. (Ginger’s another one of those anti-inflammatory, detoxifying godsends.)

Thus, it seemed only natural to take them to my apples for a Saturday morning breakfast. Sweetened with a little raw honey, which gets counter-balanced with a little lime, this brings a wonderful way to wake up. Plus, did I mention there’s peanut butter in this? Is there any better way to wake up than with that? For this PB-junkie, the answer is no.

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Winter Squash & Quinoa with Curry Lime Vinaigrette

Winter Squash & Quinoa with Curry Lime Vinaigrette

Sorry, no Super Bowl recipes here. Although, depending on your crowd, I bet you could show up with this and it’d get eaten. Or maybe not. But then lucky for you, you’d have a hell of a Monday lunch already made. Touchdown.

Winter Squash & Quinoa with Curry Lime Vinaigrette

Put anything with a label next to it that says Ginger Curry Lime Vinaigrette, and I’d jump on that faster than any football player moves on the field.

Speaking of fast, did you know the actual time the ball is in play, on average, during a game is 11 minutes? This leaves 174 minutes for everything else. Like walking away from the TV and eating quinoa, yeah?

Winter Squash & Quinoa with Curry Lime Vinaigrette

I’m not football-obsessed. And when the Eagles aren’t in the running, this becomes even more blatant. It reaches the point where I don’t even realize the Super Bowl is  airing until the Tuesday beforehand. So forget planning any game day snacks on Food-Fitness-FreshAir and pretending I’m a fan. In actuality, I’m not really a fan of most Super Bowl snacks, anyway. I’d much rather have a huge bowl of this winter squash and quinoa in front of me. Although, these Cauliflower “Wings” do have me eyeing (and Pinning!) them.

I would love to hear what you’re cooking up this weekend, Super Bowl related or not. Hit me with a curveball so I can get behind all the party food, please.

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Pumpkin Coconut Veggie Curry over Black Rice

Pumpkin Coconut Veggie Curry over Black Rice

I’ve been doing a ton of cooking with friends lately, which I love. There’s something special about gathering around cutting boards and cookbooks, and creating something from scratch. Especially when it means spending time with people who make you laugh and forget all your worries. Nights of food and laughter will always be my favorite.

This month has been filled with lots of those, making it feel as if Christmas came early. Minus all the Christmas cookies. I have yet to bake one holiday treat this year! Gasp. Throw me some ideas, friends. This weekend, I  shall bake. And get down with some DIY gifting.

Because all that free time spent cooking lately means I have lots and lots of gifting to catch up on this weekend. Cue morning yoga and evening wine to keep my sanity. And some of this leftover pumpkin coconut curry from an earlier silliness-filled cooking sesh with the help of Louie, my new sous chef. (Every food blogger needs a sous chef, right? My mom likes to think I need a dishwasher, too…but that’s another story.)

Pumpkin Coconut Veggie Curry over Black Rice

Coconut curry holds a sweet spot in my life. As of lately, black rice does too. Combine the two, and you’re in for a treat. Not only does the orange pumpkin in this recipe look beautifully with the rice, but it compliments its nuttiness as well.

Creamy and slightly rich, but packed full of so many healthy ingredients, this is the kind of meal to bring out when dining with company. Want to show the world vegan food can taste great? Make coconut curry. And add pumpkin, cashews, veggies and cilantro.

This is not faint on flavor. Add it to your dinner rotation and it too will feel like Christmas came early, all times of the year.

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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.

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Summer Sides: Creamed Collards with Fresh Corn

Creamed Collards with Fresh Corn

If there is a time to eat raw corn, it’s in the summer. For the home-grower, you arrive straight from the garden. Your shoes get kicked off, mud washed from your hands, and then barefooted, you head straight back outside. From there, you start tearing. First it’s the rough husk that falls to the ground, then the silky strands that lay beneath.

This was my childhood. If you can’t tell, I’m still a little nostalgic for the days when a backyard existed just outside my bedroom. Especially one with a small corn forrest in its corner.

Currently, as I live out my urban dwelling days, I’m more of a farmer’s market shopper. Although, this too can open up opportunities for raw corn consumption. In this instance, you truck home with a boundless bounty of dinner options, and with no room left in the fridge, Cholula bottles and dirty mugs get thrown aside. A local-grown bag of corn takes the counter-side space. And from there, you get shucking your mid-afternoon snack while dreaming up what to make for dinner.

In either situation, your stomach will be empty, your corn sweet. Summertime is the only time that corn is ever sweet enough, and not too starchy, to eat straight from the cob, no cooking in between. In times of ravenous impatience, fresh corn becomes a luxury.

Collards

As I’ve told in recent posts, I’ve been working a farmer’s market every Saturday throughout the summer. After hot mornings spent outside, I generally return home famished, with little desire to turn on the stove. This past weekend proved no different, which left me delving straight into my newly acquired 1/2 dozen of corn. Taking ten minutes to boil water? Get real. I went straight for the raw cobs with little time to waste. Two ears later, I felt alive again, and decided I should really start cooking some of the other produce I left sitting out on the table. Like the collards that were quickly beginning to wilt. I mean…who has time to put greens in the fridge when there’s corn waiting to be eaten? Obviously not me.

I continued on with the raw corn theme, tossing it with some lime and butter to top off this summer side. Feel free, however, to steam the corn beforehand, especially if your cobs aren’t particularly fresh. Either way works to add some sweet crunch to this creamy, but light, nutrient-packed dish. It’s a bowl you can easily pass around at a potluck or friend/family dinner, and an excellent way to get some veggies onto the plate.

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