Saturday, September 24, 2016

lemon roasted broccoli + chickpeas

Roasted. Veggies. I could LIVE on roasted vegetables. Actually... I do live on roasted veggies! You can roast pretty much anything, season them with almost anything, and eat them for every meal. Too easy. This dish is great as a side for fish, to bring to a potluck, or works as a meal served with quinoa or brown rice. The trick here is to roast the lemon wedges before squeezing the lemon juice, I swear, it makes a difference 😉.

lemon roasted broccoli + chickpeas
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lemon (or 4-5 wedges)
  • 1 15.5 oz can of garbanzo beans
  • salt + pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. I like my broccoli florets chopped relatively small but this is your preference. Chop onion, smash garlic, and drain and rinse the chickpeas. Arrange all veggies on a baking tray lined with parchment. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt + pepper, and arrange lemon wedges evenly over tray (remember- don't squeeze those lemons yet!)

Roast for 15-20 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. With a pair of tongs squeeze the roasted lemon wedges over the whole tray. Boom 👊🏼

I have a fun trick to share with you. Being vegan, or vegetarian, or some variation of the two, iron consumption can be an are of concern. While there are plenty of plant-based iron rich foods such as lentils, beets, and leafy greens, the bio-availability of iron is easily disrupted by other nutrients (i.e. calcium). A good way to sneak some extra iron into the diet is by using Red Alaea sea salt. This is a traditional style Hawaiian salt mixed with red volcanic clay, which just happens to be rich in, yep, you guessed it, iron oxide. So keep calm and sprinkle on.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

figgy crunch bars

I keep seeing figs all over instagram! Apparently it's fig season. Well, here in Hawaii, there aren't a whole lot of "seasons", especially when it comes to produce, because most things just grow year round. There are a few exceptions like mango season, lilikoi season, and lychee season, but for the most part, each tree/plant/bush is on its own little cycle with its own agenda for which month it will be bearing fruit. So I don't really know how that works for figs around here because I haven't been seeing them around! I do have a fig tree, but unfortunately the birds have been selfishly indulging on anything that ripens in my yard before it,  gets a chance to ripen, or I to pick it. So maybe it is fig season over here too, and the only ones who are benefiting are the birds.

Either way, dried figs it is. And really, they are the ideal form of the fruit for this type of recipe. A fig's crunchy seeds combined with crisp quinoa and chia seeds make for a mouth crackling snack bar experience. Tongue twisting, I know.

figgy crunch bars
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup

Trim and roughly chop the figs. Grind one cup of the rolled oats into a mealy flour, this will help the bars stick together. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: chopped figs, ground and whole rolled oats, dry quinoa, and chia seeds.  In a measuring cup or small bowl wisk together the maple syrup and coconut oil. Pour this over the dry ingredients and toss to coat completely.

Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread mixture evenly over baking sheet with a rubber spatula, all the way to the edges. To make the bars stick together a little better I like to cover it with either another piece of parchment paper or a piece of plastic wrap and press the it firmly into the sheet to compact it. Remove the plastic/parchment that you used for compressing. Bake the bars for 30 to 35 minutes.

Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before transferring and trying to slice-- they won't stick together if they are still warm! If they start to fall apart upon transfer to the cutting board.. Stop! Just let them cool for longer. They will still end up pretty crumbly, but that just means you get to taste test throughout the slicing process... yessss.

These are true granola bars, you can actually just save the crumbs to top your smoothies or yogurt for breakfast! 😆

Saturday, September 10, 2016

bok choy + cold noodle salad with thai basil tahini dressing

I almost always cook bok choy but lately I have been obsessed with eating it raw as a salad green. I always get baby bok choy too, because it is mild and easy to eat. I love that it has sturdy green leaves and a crunchy stem but it's much more tender than kale, and just as nutritious.

This salad is easy and light but tasty enough to be the center of a meal. Here I've topped it with cashew pieces and furikake (seaweed and sesame seeds). The dressing is a new take on an oldie from the blog, on my tahini trifecta post. This recipe makes more than enough dressing for this salad, which means you'll have a tasty condiment for the rest of the week!

Thai basil tahini dressing
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 lime (or just the juice from 1/2 lime, I like to peel it and throw the whole thing in!)
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Throw everything into a high speed blender and blend on high until silky smooth.

As for the rest of the salad:
  • ~1 pound of baby bok choy (you konw me, I don't measure things like greens, the more the better!)
  • 2oz package of bean thread noodles (this is a single serve package, sometimes they come in larger packages but are usually separated into 2oz "nests" of noodles)
  • 1/2 cup dressing 🖕🏼
  • something crunchy to throw on top: pumpkin seeds, cashews, peanuts, furikake, etc. 

Cook the bean threads as directed. When they are done, drain them in a colander and run under cold water to cool. I chopped my noodles so they wound toss better as a salad but this is up to you. Another thing to take into consideration is the ratio of greens to noodles. I like more greens than noodles, but if you'd rather double the noodles or half the greens to change up this ratio, just do what you like!

Rinse the baby bok choy and trim the ends. Chop into 1/2" strips. Toss the noodles, bok choy, and dressing until all is combined and coated with dressing. Top with whatever you want -- tofu, marinated portabello mushrooms? Oh, yum, that sounds gooooood.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

lentil + turmeric dahl

Lentils are a staple in my diet. They are a great source of plant based protein and fiber that make any meal nourishing and satisfying, and they are super versatile! There are several lentil recipes on this blog already including killer lentil tacos, lentil collard wraps, coconut curried lentils, and beetroot lentils, as well as recipes from some of my favorite bloggers such as lentil bolognese with zucchini pasta by Minimalist Baker and lemon garlicky rainbow chard with lentils by Tasty Yummies. The possibilities are endless with these little legumes.

What's funny is that I didn't like lentils when I was little! Luckily my taste buds have matured so I just can't get enough. That's why whenever I cook lentils, I cook a lot of lentils. Especially this weekend because supposedly hurricane Lester is coming and we should be battening down the hatches, finding our flashlights, and stocking our cupboards. So, although the sun is shining now and I just got back from a beautiful 5 mile run, I'll be ready with my lentil + turmeric dahl and a bottle of white wine if Lester decides to pay us a visit.

lentil + turmeric dahl
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup of dry lentils
  • 1" piece of turmeric (or about a tsp dried)
  • 1" piece of ginger (or about a tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt & pepper (about 1/4 tsp each)
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamin
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • fresh cilantro

Soak the lentils (green, brown, black, whatever. If using split red lentils there is no need for soaking) for at least four hours, then rinse and drain. Chop the onion and garlic and add to a large pot with about a Tbsp of water. Cook the onions until just soft. While they are cooking blend the turmeric, ginger, cumin, salt & pepper, lime juice, cinnamon, and tomato paste with 1 cup of water in a high speed blender.

Add the lentils and blended mixture to the pot of onions along with another cup of water and 1 cup of coconut milk. Bring to a simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Serve with brown rice, fresh cilantro, wilted greens, and a glass of wine during a hurricane.