Christmas is about a week away and I'm ready to step into "Christmas break" mode! It's funny--not having a final paper due or one more shift to work at the office right before Christmas still makes me giddy. And even though those schedules are no longer a reality for me, I still put myself on a Christmas break. Can you relate? If so, let's celebrate with some frozen peppermint bark...Merry Christmas to us!
Frozen Peppermint Bark
Makes 12 servings
For the base:
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c melted (not hot) coconut oil
1/4 c honey
1/4 c stevia sweetened chocolate chips
1/4 t peppermint extract
For the topping:
2 T melted (not hot) coconut oil
1 T arrowroot powder
1 t honey
A few drops naturally derived red or green food coloring (optional)
6 honey sweetened peppermint patty candies, chopped (about 1/2 c)
Whisk cocoa powder and coconut oil for the base in a large bowl til smooth, then whisk in honey, peppermint extract, and chocolate chips. Spread onto a flat pan or container (about 8x8"). Freeze for 20 minutes. While base freezes, whisk together coconut oil, arrowroot powder, and honey for the topping in a clean bowl. Lightly color this glaze with food coloring, if desired. Once base has been in freezer for 20 minutes, drizzle glaze over the top, then sprinkle with chopped peppermint patties, gently pressing down so they stick. Freeze for another 20 minutes. Finally, remove peppermint bark from freezer and pop out onto a cutting board. Chop into 12 pieces and store in freezer til ready to serve. When serving, defrost for 5 minutes, then eat immediately.
Thanksgiving was early this year and while I LOVE Christmas...it sort of feels like fall whizzed by. Just when the perfect fall weather joined us! So while I'm all here for hauling out the holly this week, I'm gonna keep eating my fall favorites...and if you're looking for a new dinner idea this week, maybe you will too! Truly, butternut squash (the star of this dish) is still very much in season, so now's the perfect time for a hearty bowl of Autumnal Veggie Pasta.
Autumnal Veggie Pasta
1/2 lb your favorite spaghetti (whole wheat, gluten free, even spaghetti squash...they all work!)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
3/4 lb good quality bacon
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 (5-6oz) pkg pre-washed baby spinach
1/2 lb organic cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 c sun-dried tomatoes, chopped.
Cook spaghetti according to package instructions in liberally salted water. After straining, stir olive oil into the noodles.
Slice bacon into bite-sized pieces and cook over medium heat 'til crisp in large skillet. Remove bacon from pan but leave bacon grease. Over the same heat, cook butternut squash pieces in bacon grease. Cover with a lid and allow to steam for 5-10 minutes, checking and stirring once or twice to prevent uneven cooking. Once squash is soft enough to break with a wooden spoon, add back the bacon, along with the spinach, cherry tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes. Cover once more for 1-2 minutes, til spinach has wilted. Stir veggie and bacon mixture to combine. Add oiled noodles and stir once more to combine. Serve immediately, with freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
Of course apple crisp is a classic autumn dessert, but I actually love eating this recipe for breakfast. After serving to loved ones the night before all warm and melty, the next morning you can try serving yourself a cooled portion over plain yogurt and feel good that you're getting seasonal fruit, complex carbs, good quality fat, and protein right off the bat! Enjoy, friends.
9 organic apples, peeled (6 sweet apples and 3 tart apples)
1/2 c cranberries
1 c, plus 2 T quick oats
1 1/4 c, plus 2 T coconut sugar
3 t cinnamon, divided
2 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 c soft-solid coconut oil
1/2 c cold, organic, salted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, F. Core and slice apples from top to bottom into thin wedges. Reserve 6 pretty (thicker) slices and 3 cranberries for top. In a large glass pan, toss apples with cranberries, 2 T oats, 2 T coconut sugar, and 1 t cinnamon. Set aside and prepare topping: in a large bowl, mix together remaining quick oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon, whole wheat pastry flour, and sea salt. Cut butter into 1/4" cubes and add butter and coconut oil to topping mixture. With a large spoon, stir butter and coconut oil in until fully coated, then with a clean hand, blend mixture together until it forms a damp sand consistency (the goal is to keep the fat as cold as possible, so there will still be small chunks of butter). Then, pour mixture over the top of apples. Add reserved apple slices and cranberries to the top in a decorative circle. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until apples are bubbling and topping begins to brown. Serve warm or cooled and store at room temperature, loosely covered for up to 2 days (then move to the refrigerator).
It's here! Fall has officially begun and as promised last week, I've got a pumpkin recipe that will, if I can be so bold, blow your mind. Sure, I love pumpkin spiced desserts and other sweet recipes, but you know what? Pumpkins are vegetables and they make for delicious savory dishes too. As promised, this chili pairs wonderfully with last week's Cornbread Muffins recipe and if you need to throw it in a crockpot instead of cooking it on the stovetop, that works! Just make sure to brown your onion and ground turkey first, then dump all the ingredients in and set the crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. Without further ado, here you go!
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb organic ground turkey
1 t salt
1 t ground black pepper
1 lg acorn squash
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
1 c pumpkin puree
1 t cinnamon
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/4 t cayenne
1 c vegetable or organic chicken broth
In a non-stick soup pot over medium heat, sauté the chopped onion in olive oil 'til translucent. Add ground turkey and cook 'til most of the pink is gone. As meat cooks, season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, chop up acorn squash into 1/2 inch cubes, discarding seeds and skin as you cut. Add acorn squash, black beans, tomatoes, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and broth to the pot and stir to combine. Bring chili to a low simmer and cover, allowing to cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check if acorn squash is cooked through (should be fork tender). Serve warm with organic shredded cheese, plain yogurt, sour cream, or crushed tortilla chips, as desired.
At the risk of downplaying today's recipe, let me just say: I am super excited to share next week's dish with you! It just has to wait 'til it's officially fall to make it's debut though. Is there anyone else out there who's obsessed with waiting 'til September 22 to celebrate the season? I guess I just know if I start diving into all things pumpkin spice any sooner, I'll be crushed by the disappointment of lingering summer weather...
ANYWAY, today's recipe can be enjoyed with a number of dishes and is super versatile. I love serving these muffins with a whipped honey butter, but you could also go the savory route and add a little cheddar with minced jalapeño to the top. They're gluten free and very mild in flavor, so your sensitive tummies or picky eaters will likely count these as a win! Here we go:
Whole Grain Cornbread Muffins
Yields 1 dozen muffins
1 c brown rice flour
1 c organic cornmeal
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 organic eggs
1/2 c organic salted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 c honey
1 c organic buttermilk
1 c organic corn (previously frozen and defrosted is great)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a standard size muffin tin (grease or line with parchment cups). Melt butter so it can begin cooling and set out all other liquid ingredients. Into a large bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add melted and cooled butter, honey, and buttermilk and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine thoroughly. Lastly, fold in corn and spoon mixture into muffin cups. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Did you know fish has seasons, just like produce? Well here we are, nearing the end of salmon season, and I've got a recipe that will help anyone with a hesitancy for preparing seafood because it is so simple! Full of healthy fat and zippy flavors, I think you're going to love this salmon paired with something like kale slaw, roasted greens, or a simple quinoa salad. Enjoy!
Broiled Dijon Salmon
1.5 lb wild caught salmon, cut into 4 fillets
2 T good quality dijon mustard
1.5 T honey
1.5 T olive oil
¼ t sea salt
⅛ t ground black pepper
⅛ t garlic powder
½ oz fresh dill (1 small handful), stems removed and finely chopped
Extra dill for serving
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
Pat salmon fillets dry and place in a baking dish for marinating. Prepare the marinade by whisking together dijon, honey, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chopped dill in a bowl. Pour over salmon fillets, coat evenly on both sides, and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for 1 hour. After 1 hour, preheat the broiler to high. As it preheats, allow salmon to sit at room temp on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Broil (on the highest rack possible), skin side up, for 4-5 minutes, or until the thickest part of a fillet flakes easily with a fork. If your broiler runs extra hot, you may want to flip the fillets after 3-4 minutes. Serve each fillet with a fresh sprig of dill and a wedge of lemon.
This soup is wonderful for the transition from summer to fall. Tomatoes are obviously a star of the summer garden and yet, a warm bowl of soup welcomes cozying up celebrate those colder months. And while this soup will be best with in-season homegrown tomatoes (I cannot lie), you could easily make it year round with store bought tomatoes or even canned (use two 28oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes and skip all the steps involved with blanching and broiling). So however you decide to tackle this recipe, enjoy the ever-comforting art of stirring that soup pot!
Garden Fresh Tomato Soup
12 medium ripe tomatoes of any variety
1/4 c olive oil, divided
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 t salt, divided
1 t black pepper, divided
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 t dried basil
1 t red chili flakes (optional)
1 1/2 c raw cashews
1 quart vegetable broth
Large handful fresh basil
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Preheat your broiler to high and set out a large, greased cookie sheet. Score each tomato by making an X anywhere on the skin. Gently drop each tomato into the pot of water and return to a boil. After 2-3 minutes (or when tomato skins begin pulling away from flesh), remove tomatoes with tongs and set aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, peel each tomato and slice in half (discarding any remaining stems/cores), placing on the cookie sheet. Toss sliced tomatoes in 2 T olive oil, 2 T balsamic vinegar, 1/2 t salt, and 1/2 t black pepper. Broil for 5-10 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to darken and bubble.
Meanwhile, empty your water pot and return to the stove over medium heat. Add remaining olive oil and sauté chopped onion and carrots until veggies begin to caramelize. Then, add in remaining slat, pepper, dried basil red chili flakes (if using), and cashews. Stir to combine and continue sautéing this mixture for 5 more minutes (use a splash of vegetable broth here and there if bottom of the pan requires some deglazing). Lastly, add in vegetable broth and broiled tomatoes (with all their juices). Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes of simmering, puree the soup 'til smooth by transferring to a blender or using an immersion blender. Lastly, stir in fresh basil 'til wilted. Serve immediately and top with extra basil, red chili flakes, parmesan cheese, or a drizzle of olive oil, as desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Enjoy!
When the end of summer rolls around, I am eager to see the weather cool down (I know I'm not alone in this), but I'm not as eager to say goodbye to all the produce that's been readily available for the past few months. Don't get me wrong--I adore fall produce (and we'll celebrate it plenty here on the Nourished! Recipes page in just a few short weeks...don't you worry). However, nothing really compares with the bold flavors of summer. I would say that summer produce, unlike any other time of year, sings on it's own. What I mean by that is while we may need to dress up squash with oils, spices, and proteins in the winter and while we may need to roast asparagus with garlic and lemon in the spring...come summer time, items like tomatoes, stone fruit, berries, melon, and avocados are amazing on their own.
Now that I've declared my love for summer produce for the thousandth time this year, I'm squeezing one more peach recipe into the arsenal before the close of this marvelously sunny season. And while peaches are one of those fruits that stand on their own quite nicely, we will be dressing them up a bit for the sake of today's dish. I can't wait for you to taste this Peaches and Cream Oatmeal! Now when I say cream, I'm actually referring to the creaminess of the oat milk you'll use in this recipe. I find oat milk thick and delicious (not particularly on its own, but in a recipe--yes!). And while you can certainly swap the oat milk for dairy and the flax eggs for actual eggs, this baked oatmeal serves as a lovely vegan option on its own. In fact, serve it with a dollop of coconut cream if you want to really play up the dish's name. Enjoy!
Peaches and Cream Baked Oatmeal
3 c chopped peaches, divided
3 flax eggs (1 flax egg=1 T ground flaxseed + 2 T water, whisked)
2 c oat milk
1/3 c maple syrup
2 T oil
2 t vanilla extract
2 1/3 c old fashioned oats (use certified gluten free if necessary)
2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1 t baking powder
1/3 c pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9" square baking dish and sprinkle in a little over half of the chopped peaches to cover the bottom. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flax eggs (important to make flax eggs first as simply adding flax and water to the wet ingredients will not yield the same results), oat milk, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla extract. In a separate mixing bowl, mix together oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Fold in pumpkin seeds and pour batter evenly over peaches. Top with remaining peaches and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until center is no longer wobbly and edges have turned a nice golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes before serving in squares. Once fully cooled, store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
This recipe will help summer last longer and satisfy those who wake up craving dessert...because if I haven't mentioned it yet, I eat fruit crisp for breakfast.
Make 12 servings
For the filling:
10 organic peaches, pitted and sliced lengthwise
1 c organic blueberries
¼ c quick oats
¼ c coconut sugar
1 T organic corn starch or arrowroot powder
For the crumble:
¾ c coconut flour
1 c quick oats
3/4 c coconut sugar
1-1 ¼ c soft, but not melted coconut oil
¼ t sea salt
1 t ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375. Combine ingredients for filling and transfer into a large glass baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix together ingredients for the crumble with a clean hand and press over filling. Bake for 30 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and topping is golden brown.
Chia pudding is not only a lovely sweet dessert, it’s also a healthy snack full of fiber! Once you try the recipe this way, explore your own combinations of flavors by swapping out the frozen fruit, natural liquid sweetener, and other flavor add ins with your own ideas. It’s supremely versatile.
⅓ c honey
¼ c cocoa powder
1 (13-14 oz) can full fat coconut milk
½ c chia seeds
3 T cacao nibs
1 t vanilla extract
½ c finely chopped frozen cherries (I prefer organic, dark sweet cherries)
Heat honey slightly (about 10 seconds in microwave) so it is easier to whisk and add to a large bowl. Whisk in cocoa powder ’til smooth, then add in coconut milk (whisk in a little at a time, avoiding clumps). Finally, add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (this will thicken your pudding). Serve cold.
If you like this recipe, hit me up for the Vegetable Explosion menu for a week's worth of vegan meals!