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Cleansing recipes for the New Year

Well hello there! I’m not really sure how a new year is on its way already, but I’ll welcome it with open arms. I’m hoping 2016 is every bit as great as 2015 was – filled with adventure, travel, photos, good people and good food. I’m sure we’re all raising our glasses to at least one of those gems. Now let’s get to that latter topic.

After one too many days of hefty holiday eats, I’m ready to start 2016 out on a light and refreshing foot. Are you with me?

I consider 99% of the recipes that go on my blog to be healthy. But I’ve rounded up a few that I particularly seek out when I’m looking for a truly nourishing cleanse for my body. These are recipes filled with whole foods. Bright ingredients. Produce. Fiber. And definitely not a lack of flavor. Let’s be clear, this is not akin or meant to be akin to a juice cleanse. This is meant to be a guide for wholesome recipes that’ll make you feel both energized and satisfied.

I’m already putting my spoon into that last one on this list. Happy New Year everyone, and cheers to a great year ahead!

Savory Japanese Oats

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Miso Tahini Soup

Miso Tahini Soup

Maybe I’m getting old. (But will forever want to draw at the kids’ table.) Maybe I had one too many Friendsgivings + Thanksgivings this year. (Forever thankful.) Maybe I just like soup best as December rolls in.

Likely it’s all of these and more – but regardless, I was ready to pass on all T-day leftovers this year. Another scoop of stuffing? No thank you.

Soup me, please.

Turnips

I was ready for a meal like this before the weekend even arrived. And whether you still need a few more days or not to reach that point, this remains one of my favorite cleansing, warming meals as the cool winter days set in.

It’s earthy. Light. Yet full of flavor that satisfies you within just one bowl.

I stumbled upon the recipe over on 101 Cookbooks after doing a quick Google search for turnips. They are still an item that leaves me clueless sometimes. (Although, lately I’ve learned a fast roast in the oven does wonders on the beauties.)

Miso Tahini Soup

This was first whipped up for a small gathering of friends, and again soon after in the week that followed. I look forward to utilizing the soup as the hefty holidays continue to roll forward.

Feel free to play around with the veggies you put into the pot. We did a steamed eggplant version the other night, which was wonderful. Just be sure to leave out anything too overpowering. There’s a delicateness to this soup that you won’t want to lose.

Turnips Continue Reading…

Summer Quiche

Summer QuicheEarly evening sunsets. Cool-breezed nights. Tapering tomato harvests. Weddings on weddings on weddings. September.

Can you believe it? Yeah, I can’t really either, especially as I sit here in a slightly steamy and sunny room writing about zucchini quiche. The deliciousness of late summer days. I love it.

Summer Quiche

This is actually the first quiche I’ve ever made, seasoned with the loving help of my roommate who has a rich history of it in her repertoire. (Thanks Amelia!)

It was inspired by some farm fresh eggs delivered from a friend and a large bounty of zucchini awaiting usage in the refrigerator. Those two ingredients go together quite well, especially when tomatoes are in the picture, too.

Farm Eggs

I chose to go crustless with this quiche in the name of keeping it a little lighter as we ride out these last few weeks of hot weather. However, if you want to make this a little richer, feel free to flake on the crust. You could also add some extra cheese if you wish too. If you do so, I’d recommend medium hunks of goat cheese.

The main focus here though is the veggies. Zucchini gives this some texture, while tomatoes add a sweet, acidic flavor that bursts across the surface. Perfecto.

Summer Quiche

Enjoy for breakfast or lunch, warm or at room temp. Continue Reading…

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

Earlier this week, I received an “OMG” message from one of my coworkers, followed by a link to a version of this zucchini noodle recipe. In an instant, it was on my must-make list. I mean, obviously that’s how you treat a recipe that gets sent at 10p.m. with an OMG note written in all caps. Wouldn’t you agree?

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I love the simplicity of this recipe and the seasonality of it. The sauce itself is just a handful of ingredients but is rich in flavor from fresh roasted tomatoes. It’s tangy and gets a nice touch of cream from the cream cheese – but not in an overly rich, alfredo-like way that would for sure overpower delicate zucchini noodles.

Instead, I found the two went quite well together.

Zucchini Noodles

You’ll see this recipe is quite saucy. I added an additional zucchini to the instructions below, but would recommend picking up a baguette as well to sop up its piquant flavors. This will also help to bolster what is naturally a fairly light meal. Add a side salad, and dinner is complete.

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

What are your favorite ways to use zucchini noodles? I’ve enjoyed this recipe, and also peanut sauce variations, but am always looking for new ways to utilize them…especially as I head off to my parent’s house this Sunday, and sneak away with some of their garden’s green glory 😉

Hit me with your best zucchini noodle recipe!

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

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Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Does soup get any more gorgeous than this? I knew immediately after seeing this on Dishing Up the Dirt that I needed to whip up this vibrant creation for my own spoon and bowl.

Beets always yield such beauty.

Beets

Beets really do lend themselves well to easily dazzling up a dinner. Here are a few past favorites that deck out the kitchen table in red: Pickled Beets, Smoky Black Bean and Beet Burgers with Herb Yogurt Sauce, Purple Summer Tabbouleh.

I’m adding this soup to the list.

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Beyond feeling decadent from pure looks alone, this soup has a nice earthy flavor that gets complimented by some rather stellar toppings. First, there’s the tahini. You can almost always count me in for tahini-topped anything, and it’s creamy combination with beets is no different. This particular sauce adds a slight lemony-tang to the sweet beets, and is absolutely perfect with the specks of parsley you’ll catch on most bites. Feel free to omit the allspice from the sauce – it’ll add subtle, but not mandatory, notes of flavor.

Beets

Then, there’s the za’atar, a traditional Middle Eastern herb and spice blend that is speckled with sesame seeds. Toasted in a pan with pine nuts, it takes on this woodsy flavor that’s hard to describe as anything but unique. Here, it adds an easy punch of flavor that allows this soup to remain simple to make, and to rely on the freshness of its garden ingredients.

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

But enough words already. Likely, if you’re going to make this soup, it was its visual representation that snagged your eye. Bring its beauty to your own bowl, might I suggest alongside a crusty, toasty slice of bread.

Beets

P.S. Stop by Andrea’s blog, Dishing Up the Dirt, if you get the chance. It’s a winner.

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