Roasted Vegetables + Kale Pea Puree

it’s spring, y’all. and though its a season for beautifully colored salads and daring flavors of ice cream in handmade cones, i can’t seem to part with my oven. every day goes the same way, i’m making dinner, apron and all, with the fan on full blast, when i nearly faint opening the oven to take out a batch or two of cookies, enchiladas, or some other baked/roasted thing.  i can’t help it.

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i have been trying to incorporate fresher elements into my diet, in an attempt to embrace this new season. this recipe was born from such a desire and inspiration from a culinary institute i recently toured in new york. the dishes being prepared by the students at ice, the institute of culinary education, were all so aesthetic in simplicity and color, it was amazing.

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so, i challenged myself to embrace those values and attempt to incorporate them into my daily cooking. this is the first dish i’ve prepared with those goals in the forefront of my mind.

it’s simple enough; peas, kale, onion, carrots, and potatoes. pairing this dish with a rice pilaf or crisp bruschetta on a tv tray in pjs would complete the meal quite nicely, don’t you think?

 

serves 4

ingredients:

roasted veggies-

one large bushel of carrots, trimmed and washed

8 potatoes (red, gold, or white variety), washed

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tbs olive oil

1/8 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

puree, from vegkitchen

1 medium onion, chopped

10-ounce bag frozen green peas, or the fresh equivalent

2 tbs kale, chopped

1/4 cup almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

method of preparation:

preheat oven to 450*F. line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

cut thick carrots in half, lengthwise. slice potatoes into 1/4 inch thick circles. alternatively, cut veggies in any desired way.

arrange on baking sheet in a single layer. whisk oil, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. brush over vegetables and bake for 20-30 minutes, until slightly crispy.

meanwhile, steam the chopped onion until tender. stir in frozen peas and allow to cook until peas have defrosted. be sure not to overcook, as they will loose their beautiful green color.

place cooked onions and peas, along with all other puree ingredients in a food processor until at the desired texture, around 3 minutes, stirring as needed. the puree can be thinned by adding vegetable stock or more milk.

arrange all the components; carrots, potatoes, and puree, as aesthetically as possible. or, you know, just pile it on and eat.

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Speckled Chocolate Mousse 

The long search for a perfect chocolatey dessert, that also makes you feel super fancy, has come to an end. I searched Pinterest for hours, my fingers nearly fell off after all that scrolling. I dreamt of the perfect recipe, thinking after every meal, I could be eating decadent, fluffy, pudding-like chocolate mousse right now. But I wasn’t. Until now.


That’s right, after obsessing over it for days, I finally have a recipe! And it’s easy! The only catch- it has to chill overnight. Well, at the very least, 3 hours. Trust me, I searched and searched for a recipe that did not have to chill, but all that was in vain. Let’s take a moment now to mourn.


  

Better? Me too. Now, you are probably thinking “Enough already! Show me the recipe!”

And just because I’m nice, I’ll give it to you.
~Recipe adapted from this one~

Serves 5
Ingredients:

2 medium eggs

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (a medium carton)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method of Preparation:

Beat eggs and sugar together for 3 minutes. Be sure the volume has at least doubled.

Warm 1 cup of the cream in a sauce pan, stirring often.

Pour into the egg mixture slowly, with your mixer on low. Pour back into sauce pan and heat for 5 minutes, constantly stirring. It should get thicker as the eggs cook. Don’t let it boil!

Turn heat to low and stir in chocolate until melted. Cover and chill for at least three hours, preferably overnight.

When ready, beat remaining cream into a thick whipped cream.

Stir in the egg-chocolate mixture from the fridge, and whip until desired consistancy, about 3 minutes on medium-high.

Pipe or scoop into cute cups and serve cold!

Notes:

Keeps airtight in fridge for ~3 days

It will get less stiff as time goes on, but whipping it back to shape works like a charm!

Add some chia seeds as a topping for a healthy crunch, or mix in and let soak for the night to get a chia-chocolate-mousse-pudding-thing-of-awesomeness!

One Pot Thai Noodle Bowl

This time of the year makes me sad. What is there to do? You can’t bake, roast or broil for fear of the oven heating up the place- even more than it already is. I’m considering alternatives to normal baked recipes: vegan cookie dough or a skillet cookie vs a baked one, oven top oatmeal vs boatmeal, stir fried veggies vs roasted ones… The list goes on and on.

But Thai food can fix anything, right?

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Yes. Yes it can.

With the ease of boiling everything at once, in the same pot, you can forget about your past cooking trials and tribulations. And no one will guess how easy it was. Trust me.   

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But do you know how difficult it is to get appetizing photos of pasta? Trust me, it’s hard. Natural lighting is a must. Simplicity is a must. Unless you happen to find a cute napkin.

~Adapted from this recipe~

Serves 5

Ingredients:

15 oz linguine

4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup water

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 inches of ginger, minced

1 red or green bell pepper, cut into long slices

2 medium carrots, cut into 2 by 1/4 inch slices

4 green onions, sliced in half then cut into 2 inch pieces

1 cup roasted peanuts

2 tbs smooth or chunky peanut butter

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbs  tamari or soy sauce

1 tsp miso

For after the pasta cooks:

The juice of two limes

1 cup chopped cilantro + extra to garnish

Chopped peanuts, to garnish

Method of Preperation :

Put all ingredients in a large pot, and bring to a boil. After a minute, lower the heat to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro, then take off the heat. Serve immediately with extra cilantro and peanuts to garnish.

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Roasted Indian Cauliflower

~Part 2 of 2: Birthday Edition!~

As you guys know, I love Indian food. I also happen to love cauliflower. So, it was only a matter of time before I found a way to merge them. And I have to say, I am quite happy with the results!

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The mix of turmeric, which has tons of health benefits, vegetable masala, and chicken masala (just the spice) perfectly accents the cauliflower. My all-time favorite spice to use is vegetable masala though. It compliments anything and everything!

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This dish is perfect for those cooler summer days, when the oven won’t heat up the house too much. I made this for lunch, deciding to spoil myself, casting aside my usual sandwich. You can make this for dinner or lunch though, either would work!

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The reason I use quinoa is because… well, I usually don’t have rice in the cupboard.  But, quinoa is much more healthy, and has a bit more protein than rice does, so I use it as a substitute. It can be pretty boring on its own, without spices or boiled in a broth. So, I used various spices (the same ones from my chickpea curry dish) to give it some flavor.

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Now, here is the recipe!

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 whole small cauliflower

3 tbsp. olive oil

3 tsp. masala (I used 2 tsp. vegetable, and 1 tsp. chicken)

1/4 tsp. turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

For the quinoa:

1 cup of quinoa

3 cups water

1/8 tsp. of each- cumin seeds, ground cloves, vegetable masala, turmeric, and coriander powder

Preparation:

Break the cauliflower into medium to small florets then toss them in the olive oil and spices. Spread them out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast them in the oven at 400 degrees F. for 25 minutes. While they are roasting, boil the water on the stove, then add the quinoa and spices. Boil them until all of the water is absorbed and stir to prevent burning. When everything is done, serve the quinoa and the cauliflower together, and enjoy!

 

Chia pudding; healthy and raw

Chia seeds are a super food, and are easy to incorporate into your diet. They are full of antioxidants, fiber, omega-3, and makes you stay full for a longer time than most other foods. They have been a huge health trend recently, and I gave in, adding it to my oatmeal, granola, and smoothies. It is great because it does not add much flavor, but is so healthy!

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Ingredients for the pudding:

1/3 cup chia seeds

1 1/2 cups of any milk (I used coconut milk, predictable, am I?)

3 tbsp. agave

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tbsp. coconut shavings

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg (or to taste)

Preparation:

Pour the milk into a large jar. Mix the chia seeds into the milk, eliminating any clumps. This is very important because it is not fun having clumps of dry chia seeds in your pudding! You can add in the other ingredients, mixing as you go.

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When you are done, put a bird on it  lid on it and place it in the fridge. How easy! The thing is, you have to wait for the pudding to solidify. This takes 3 hours at the least, but it is worth it!

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Berry Compote

This compote is so deliciously simple. Three ingredients: tart strawberries and blueberries contrasted by rich honey.

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Compote keeps for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge. It is different from jam in that way, and it is so much easier! Here is how to make it:

Ingredients (serves two):

5 strawberries

2 handfuls of blueberries (switch the fruit for any you happen to have!)

1 spoonful of honey

Cooking:

Pick out the strawberries and blueberries you want, and cut the strawberries into fourths, depending on how large they are.  I left a few smaller ones whole, to add texture and variation. Turn the stove to medium and stir fry the berries and honey for around 8 minutes, then on medium-low for 1-2 minutes. The fruit should be semi-broken down.

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These are the berries after only a few minutes on the stove.

Once the consistency is to your liking, top anything from toast to ice-cream or my oatmeal with this compote!