Last week I discovered Trader Joe’s raspberry preserve and it is heaven in a jar. It inspired me to make the easiest — and most delicious — sandwich ever. Two slices of sourdough, toasted. Two eggs over easy. Spread jam generously over one slice of bread. Scoop eggs onto bread + smash sandwich together. YUM, YUM, YUM.
This weekend we watched two documentaries that reminded us how important a plant-based, whole foods diet is. (Forks Over Knives and Vegucated.) It’s back to clean eating in this house. (And luckily, my pregnancy nausea has finally subsided enough that I have a choice about what I eat! But that’s another story…) Last night I made the most delicious and nutritious vegan stuffed peppers. Here is a printable recipe card for you & some photographs of the yum.
Eating clean and green is not easy—don’t let anybody fool you!—but there are things that you can do to simplify. After we picked up our first CSA box, I went straight to work. Cleaning, peeling, and cutting oh my! I made it fun, put on my favourite playlist, and got moral support from my husband. An hour or so later and I had gone from farm to fridge.
run your carrots under cold water. cut off ends. use a vegetable peeler to peel off skin. rinse under cold water once more. cut carrots in half length-wise. then, cut in half width-wise twice. this will give you pieces perfect for snacking, salads, or stir fry.
red leaf lettuce
break off each leaf. rinse thoroughly. cut into bite-sized pieces.
rinse thoroughly. cut into large or bite-sized pieces. (large to saute later or bite-sized for raw kale salad.)
i leave my tomatoes alone until i am ready to eat them. they are too juicy to mess with.
peel and cut into quarters.
garlic is tricky. i peeled mine and cut into halves. however, it smelled up our fridge like no other. i’ve triple-bagged the garlic and it’s alright now. next time, i will perhaps simply remove outer skin but leave inner skin intact until cook time.
rinse thoroughly. cut off ends. cut radishes into slices perfect for snacking or salad topping.
yellow + green squash
rinse thoroughly. cut squash into thick slices. then, cut slices into quarters. my favourite way to prepare squash is in a light olive oil or coconut oil stir fry. i’ve found that these quarters cook through perfectly.
rinse beans thoroughly. cut off ends. then, cut beans in half. makes a good snack or easy to throw into a stir fry or boil.
It was a little bit of a time sink upfront, but it has made snacking and meal prep so much healthier + simpler all week. This will become a new part of my weekend routine. So worth it!
Yesterday we picked up our first CSA (community-supported agriculture) share of the season. Have you heard about CSAs?
Community-supported agriculture (in North America sometimes known as community-shared agriculture) is an alternative, locally-based socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA also refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members or subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit, in a vegetable box scheme, and also sometimes herbs, cut flowers, honey, eggs, dairy products and meat, as well. Some CSAs provide for contributions of labor in lieu of a portion of subscription costs. (from Wikipedia.)
We didn’t sign up for a weekly share, but a local farmer brings shares to our natural food shop every other weekend. And we are so happy about it! Our box this week included:
red leaf lettuce
I’ve taste-tested everything in the box, and one thing is better than the next! Later this week, I’ll share a “how-to” post for putting all of the produce to good use. For now, here are some photographs of the bounty.
This morning we headed to our local natural foods shop to pick up our first CSA (community-supported agriculture) share of the season. Tomorrow, I’ll share some details about what came in the box, but for now, a few photographs of tonight’s supper. There is seriously nothing like fresh, local, organic produce!
I am a little bit ashamed to admit this… but this weekend I baked something “from scratch” for the very first time! See, I’ve been getting adventurous in the kitchen for awhile, but when it came to baking, I’ve been intimidated.
The thing that I love about cooking is the freedom to experiment and be creative. However, I’ve been told that baking is different. There are complicated formulas and you must follow the rules or risk epic mishaps.
Still, my husband has a sweet tooth like you wouldn’t believe and I love to make that guy happy. So, I pressed forward, did some Google research, and took a chance. Even though my ingredients didn’t quite match up, I used this recipe and chanced it. I substituted. I added extras. And what do you know… the cookies came out amazing! They were seriously delicious. Throw these cookies in a mason jar, add a ribbon, and you’ve got the most perfect “Back to School” treat for kiddies or new teachers.
If you’d like to make them yourself, you’ll need:
3 tablespoons of peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 small handful of walnuts
1/2 of an apple
Chop walnuts until coarsely ground. Chop apple into little bits. Add egg, peanut butter, flour, sugar, olive oil, vanilla, and cinnamon to a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until ingredients are evenly mixed. (See photograph below for consistency.)
Stir in walnuts and apple bits. Spoon batter onto a baking tray. Cookie size is up to you. I made teaspoon-sized dollops. Place tray in oven and bake on 350° for 11 minutes.
In sticking with my recent sweet potato theme, this weekend I made homemade walnut sweet potato “burgers”. Typically I try to keep things simple in the kitchen, but this recipe was a bit of work. Even so, the burgers were delicious & worth the effort. If you’d like to try this recipe, you’ll need:
3 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
fennel, thyme, and rosemary (or your favourite spices)
salt & pepper
coarsely crushed walnuts
Add sweet potatoes to boiling water. Boil until soft. Saute onion, garlic, and spices in olive oil until onion is soft. Put sweet potatoes, onion mixture, and quinoa into food processor. Blend into a smooth mixture. Put the mixture into a large bowl. Add walnuts, salt, and pepper. Mix together.
Coat a cookie tray with tin foil and non-stick spray. Spoon mixture onto foil in patty shapes. Bake on 375° for 35 minutes on each side. Serve plain or with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!
During the week our mornings are rushed and no fun around here. We’re up before the sun rises & hurrying out the door. But weekends are a different story altogether. Sundays mornings are the sweetest & the laziest mornings of all. Warm sunbeams float in through the windows. We don’t get up until we’re good & ready. Best of all, there is always time for breakfast. This morning it was sunny-side-up eggs on rye tortilla & almond milk. I’ll be keeping the memory close to my heart as I’m fighting through rush hour this week…
Recently, I made homemade sweet potato fries for the first time. My initial reaction—What on earth took me so long?! The fries were as delicious as I’d hoped and simple to make. I made little changes to two recipes (this & this) to create my own. If you’d like to try it yourself, you’ll need:
2 sweet potatoes
Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges. I found it easiest to cut them into quarters and then to cut each quarter in half. Pour olive oil and spices into a bowl & mix. Dip each wedge into the mixture, making sure to thoroughly coat each one. Place wedges onto a baking sheet. Bake on 400° for 30 minutes or until wedges are slightly browned & crisped.
Saturday was hot, hot, hot and I was busy with house chores all day. When lunch time came, I was craving something simple and light. I took my classic hummus recipe and added a summer twist. If you’d like to try it yourself, you’ll need:
chick peas (also called garbanzo beans)
extra virgin olive oil
dill weed spice
Drain and rinse chick peas. Using a fork or a blender, mash chick peas to desired consistency. Add a couple spoonfuls of olive oil. Add a couple spoonfuls of garlic. Squeeze in juice from grapefruit. Sprinkle in dill weed spice. Blend once more.
Use your hummus for dipping veggies or serve on toast with a slice of cheese. Enjoy!