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White Beans with Kale, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives

White Beans with Kale, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives

One of my favorite fellow Philly food blogger friends, Emily, recently made a big move to New York.

I’ve been missing dinner dates with her ever since.
White Beans with Kale, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives

After numerous failed attempts to plan a “Skype cooking session” together, the chance finally presented itself for me to head up and see Emily’s new place and get back into the kitchen with her.

We immediately got to scheming up dinner plans — soup for the first snowy night of the year!  — and Emily kickstarted the blender to create some homemade almond milk for the next morning’s breakfast.
White Beans with Kale, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives

As two food bloggers, of course we also set out to create a new recipe for y’all, and this Italian-inspired white bean dish over quinoa is what we settled upon.

The salty combination of olives and sun-dried tomatoes is one I could eat on the regular, and for me, acts as the centerpiece of this meal.
White Beans with Kale, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives

A generous helping of kale gets added to the mix as does a splash of acidity from some lemon and a punch of garlic, all together working to take white beans to the next level.

We loved this meal because it’s so full of flavor (shout out to the toasted pine nuts, too!) but also incredibly healthy — a welcoming addition to a holiday season full of richness and decadent treats.

We used quinoa as the base for this dish, but feel free to play around and get creative with the grain!

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Roasted Cauliflower with Olives and Raisins

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Olives

Whether you’re planning for the holidays or are simply looking for a healthy (and crave-able) dish to pack in some veggies in between, this cauliflower dish comes highly recommended.

While rather simple, the recipe has a complexity of flavors going on that gives it that must-reach-for-seconds quality.

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Olives

It all starts with cauliflower, a cruciferous I love to make comparisons with to a giant-sized brain. (Anyone else ever think that?!)

The cauliflower gets caramelized in the oven (yum!), and then tossed with a sweet-and-salty combination of raisins and olives.

Olives and Almonds

Parsley adds a freshness and almonds finish it all off with toasty aromas and a nice crunch.

Seriously, so good.

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Olives

This came as a collaboration with my friend Nicole from vestige HOME. It’s always a treat to cook up a lunch with her and then play around with her beautiful boards and wooden spoons in the photo process.

I definitely recommend checking out her work…certainly good holiday gifting inspo!


Serve this as a side dish or have it for lunch alongside a hunk of crusty bread and a salad.

If you double the recipe, this would also work as a great dish to put on the holiday table.

It’s not “traditional” per-say, but I guarantee it’ll be a crowd-pleaser!

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Olives

Throw a few extra olives on the side to munch on as you share this meal with friends/family, and enjoy.

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Mediterranean Rice

Cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta is nearly an unbeatable combination. Just so happens, my feta package thinks so too. My favorite South Philly cheesemongers have placed a label of recommendation on the front of their feta package to say that’s how it pairs best. I might have to agree.

The classic Greek fusion is one that I frequently enjoy, especially during the summer months when tomatoes are ripe and cucumbers are at their freshest. I’m also a huge fan of tabbouleh-like salads during this time of year. When those hot and steamy days start screaming for a cool-down, I want something fresh like tabbouleh on my plate, not a hot and heavy dish of pasta or the like.

The ingredients that add volume to the rice in this recipe are a delicious pairing all on their own. With the rice, you get an easy-to-pull-together side dish. Add beans, and you’d have a whole meal.

I actually really love this as a side because all of the veggies and herbs make it a refreshing pairing for something a tad on the heavier side. But it also makes a great light lunch, perfect for a picnic or a lunchbox. However you decide to eat it, this salad won’t let you down. If it does, you can blame it on the feta package. Although, I’m fairly sure that won’t be happening.

Click here for recipe…

Tomato Olive Spaghetti

This was one of the most flavorful sauces I’ve made in awhile. Flavorful but not stinky. It had all the saltiness and flavor of a puttanesca, minus the smelliness that comes from anchovies. I’ve had puttanesca sauces I’ve enjoyed before, but sometimes those little fish make the classic sauce just a tad too overwhelming for my nose and taste-buds. Plus, I was doing the cooking, and lingering garlic on my hands I can take, but fishiness I can not.

Instead, I went for a basil-oregano fragrance, which if you ask me should be bottled and sold among the Channel No. 5’s. Perfumes these days are far too sweet for my liking. I want to eat my cake, not smell like it too. Fresh basil on the other hand, that’s a clean smell I could probably stand for longer than just a whiff.

I tossed those herbs in with some sauce and finished the whole thing off with another herby element by utilizing freshly chopped parsley. It was like Christmas on my plate, with each bite unwrapping another nuance of flavor.

This is a sauce that’s sure to hold up to whole wheat pasta, and it’s got a texture that goes ideally with a thin-stranded variety. While the foodies might call me out for this, this is as deliciously pungent as puttanesca, no fish required.
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Chickpea Olive Tapenade

Christmas is over, but that means it’s just a week till New Years. Which also means tons of holiday parties are still on their way! Appetizers are one of my favorite items to make, and they work perfectly for social gatherings. Tapenade is one of these hors d’oeuvres that I’ll be setting out this year.

I’m not a huge olive fan, but there’s something about tapenade that I absolutely love. And in a few chick peas, and this salty, olivey spread somehow turns me into an olive’s biggest promoter.

Smear the spread on your favorite cracker or small piece of bread, and you’ve got a compact finger food packed full of flavor. Enjoy.

Chickpea Olive Tapenade

-2 garlic cloves, peeled
-1 1/2 cups oil-cured olives (I like to use a mix of black and green)
-2 Tbsp. capers
-2 Tbsp. lemon or lime
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
-1 cup chick peas, plus 1/2 cup set aside
-1/4 cup pimentos or chopped roasted red peppers
-Freshly ground pepper

Process garlic cloves in food processor. Add olives, capers, lemon/lime, thyme, and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Puree into a smooth paste. Add 1 cup chickpeas, and puree while drizzling in remaining olive oil. Remove paste from food processor. Stir in remaining chick peas and pimentos. Season with freshly ground pepper. Serve with crackers, crudites, pita, or crusty bread.