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.
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!
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!
It's a new year and I find myself prepping bright and fresh meals for clients who are seeking to focus in on their nutrition goals. I love supporting these intentions! In fact, prepping the tasty blueberry smoothies pictured here this week inspired me to pop in and share a smoothie recipe of my own for all of you doing your weekend meal prep. If you're looking for a nutritious breakfast option that's high in protein but easy to take on the road, this one is just for you. Enjoy!
Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie
Makes 1 smoothie
2 T quick oats
1 T flax seed
½ c organic milk, organic runny yogurt, or milk substitute
1 frozen banana
1 T natural peanut butter
⅛ t maple extract (or ¼ t vanilla extract)
½ t cinnamon
The night before you prepare your smoothie, soak the oats and flax in milk. Leave this in a cup in the refrigerator. On the morning of, combine soaked oats, plus remaining ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
We so have another two months of warm weather left in Southern California, but today I'm sitting in 73 degree overcast bliss and allowing myself to dabble in autumn plans...
These plans include publishing a second edition of A Nourished Holiday and, of course, sharing more recipes here! As I type, I've got a batch of rustic applesauce simmering on the stove. Making applesauce is my favorite way to use up the questionable looking apples from an orchard haul (though a trip to such an orchard may still be weeks off). Apples are just coming into season right now, so enjoy this super quick and simple recipe that's packed full of fiber.
12 sweet apples, preferably organic, partly peeled (it’s ok to leave a little on for texture) and trimmed of any really crummy spots
2 c organic spiced cider (100% juice)
2 t cinnamon
Core and chop apples into 1” pieces. Dump all ingredients into a large soup pot and stir to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Then, strain juices (save them for a sauce or double strain them and drink as spiced cider!) and you’re left with a pot full of spiced, soft apple pieces. With a potato masher, mash apples until you have a smooth-chunky consistency. Serve hot or cold, plain or with fried food (like potato pancakes).
For baby food, cut the cinnamon in half and puree apples after straining. Keeps well in the freezer for up to 6 months.
I announced earlier this year that I Feel Super Nourished, A Cookbook is due to hit the world all shiny and published sometime in the Summer of 2017. I am so excited about getting this passion project into hungry hands!
Well today I completed the first draft! That's nearly 100 recipes written and to celebrate, I'm sharing another favorite for you. It's timely, too, because as those of you with vegetable gardens know, cucumbers coming into season. Enjoy!
Homemade Dill Pickles
Fills 1 wide mouth, quart-sized mason jar
1 lb organic cucumbers (any variety will work, though Persian are a great shape), sliced into desired pickle shapes
3 full fronds dill
½ T multicolored peppercorns
1 t cumin
½ t garlic powder
½ c white vinegar
½ c apple cider vinegar
1 c filtered water
2 T kosher salt
Fill jar with sliced cucumbers, dill, and spices (not including salt). Secure lid and shake to coat cucumbers with spices. In a large, microwave safe bowl make brine by combining vinegars, water, and salt. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, or until brine boils. Pour brine into mason jar. Top the jar off with water if it doesn’t quite fill to capacity. Seal jar with lid and refrigerate. Within 24 hours, pickles will be cool and crisp! Yum.
I know what you're thinking! Ew. And honestly, the best way to introduce people to this recipe is to say, "Here, taste this chocolate pudding!" THEN, when they're like, "Oh, wow, that texture is awesome," you come at them with, "Yeah, it's made with avocados." Stunning ensues. But this is a blog and I can't give you a spoonful of the stuff, so you'll just have to trust me. I straight up prefer this pudding to a conventional one and as an added bonus, it totally counts as a serving of vegetables. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought another chocolate recipe was called for. And no, it's not green (see photo). You and/or your sweetie will love this!
2 medium, ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/4 c milk or milk substitute (I made a version last week with organic half and half and this week's batch was with coconut milk...both delicious)
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 oz organic dark chocolate, chopped
Pinch coarse sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
In a blender, combine first 5 ingredients. If you have a great blender, it will take care of this completely, but it you have a weak blender (like me), you'll want to then transfer the contents to a bowl and whisk thoroughly until no avocado bits remain visible. Finally, fold in chocolate chunks and salt. Serve cold with a dollop of organic whipped cream or coconut cream, if desired.
Happy Valentine's Weekend!
So, I thought maybe it wasn't fair to everyone who didn't comment that I was hoarding the amazing salad recipe I gave away to commenters a few weeks ago. I found this salad at a delightful little restaurant in Palm Springs (that I can't for the life of me remember the name of) last February and have been obsessed with it ever since...I recreate it with my own little tweaks about every 6 weeks, it seems. If you like what you see, leave a comment about other recipes you'd like showcased here and I'll see what I can do!
Yam and Arugula Salad w/ Citrus Dressing
Serves 8 as a side salad, or 4 as a main course
8 c (or one pound package) of baby arugula
2 large yams, baked, peeled, and cooled
⅓ c crumbled feta cheese (organic, if possible)
½ c chopped cilantro
1 large, organic green bell pepper, diced
1 recipe citrus dressing
In extra large bowl, layer half the arugula, half the yams, half the feta, half the bell pepper, and half the dressing. Repeat. Serve cold but store any extra salad undressed.
¼ c ruby red grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
1 t grated ginger
½ t sea salt
½ t ground black pepper
Dill is the star of this month's Nourished! recipe. I fell in love with dill when I traveled to Turkey for two consecutive summers as part of my cross-cultural internship for my Intercultural Studies degree. The only experience I'd had with dill before those summers was having it sprinkled over my Grandma's potato salad. It was a distinct, peppery taste that I wasn't used to. I had little option, though, to go without it since Turkish cooking is smothered in fresh dill, especially if it's any sort of raw vegetable dish. I quickly began to associate the smell and flavor of dill with my time in Turkey and my mind and palate were changed.
Like all herbs, dill is very low in calories and high in flavor. It specifically contains beneficial levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. Paired with the fresh tomatoes and cucumber here in the salad, you've got yourself an immunity booster!
Enjoy this recipe full of seasonal goodness:
Turkish Tomato and Cucumber Salad
-1 organic cucumber
-2 large tomatoes
-2 large fronds of fresh dill, rinsed and coarsely chopped or 1 t dried dill
-1 T olive oil
-1 T balsamic vinegar
Peel cucumber lengthwise, in stripes (leaving half of the skin intact). Chop cucumbers and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and combine in medium bowl. Add dill, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss salad and serve cold.