Category Archives: recipes

garlicky mushrooms & kale

So I got a new cookbook…

isabook

YAY!  

This beautiful tome is a veritable treasure-trove of simple and healthy vegan recipes!  I was looking forward to trying my hand at one as soon as I ordered it.

Enter – Garlicky Mushrooms and Kale!

Perfect for me since I need speedy meals after a long work day – this recipe is a great side or a starter for a salad and can be put together in record time.   Another thing putting this recipe in the “favorites” category would be the fact that it calls for six cloves of garlic.

dished

I love garlic.  Love. 

Garlicky Mushrooms & Kale

adapted from Appetite For Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 ¼ cups sliced mushrooms (I used white mushrooms)
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • about 1 pound of kale, stems removed and leaves torn into manageable pieces
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the minced garlic in the oil until fragrant, stirring and taking care not to burn it.  Add sliced mushrooms and salt.  Cook the mushrooms down for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until slightly browned.

Add kale and pepper.  Use tongs to sauté for about 10 more minutes, allowing kale to wilt.  (If necessary, add a little water to the pan to keep it from getting too dry.)

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quick breakfast parfaits + life lately

appleandstrawberry

Life lately has been not so much the days of wine and roses…more like the-days-of-cobbling-together-quick-breakfasts.

(I sincerely hope none of you have thought that I’ve fallen off the face of the planet…although I sometimes feel like I may have…)

blueberry430

(Food photography attempts at 4:30 in the morning lend themselves to atrocious lighting…my apologies…let’s just agree to squint and pretend it’s arty, okay? Okay. Sounds peachy-keen.) 

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I wake up ludicrously early on days that I have to go to work (and actually, some would think I wake up ludicrously early on my days off too — but whatever…) — but this fact, plus a 12-hour shift, requires either mediocre morning meals or otherwise something very quick…but hopefully, something equally nutritious and sustaining.

Enter the bright and cheerfully colorful Greek yogurt parfait…

I generally use 0% fat plain Greek yogurt and whatever fruit/granola/nuts & seeds combinations I have on-hand for add-ins.

I’m basically in love with this maple almond butter, so it’s become a common feature in my recent parfait combinations.  Try it, it’s fabulous — and maybe just a tad addictive…

almondbutter

If you can manage to get this in the bowl and not eat it straight from the spoon then your will-power is supremely impressive.

Let’s get real though…I’m not going to tell you how to make a parfait (it’s all about layers, kids – no sweat, we can do this!), but I am going to share with you the one I made this morning, because I was so pleased with the combinations I chose and hey, sharing is caring, right?

Strawberry and Apple Greek Yogurt Parfait

  • 2 or 3 gigantic fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
  • Granny Smith apple slices, cubed (I used perhaps a third of an apple)
  • non-fat plain Greek yogurt (about a third of a cup, maybe more)
  • a (hefty?) sprinkling of your favorite granola (I used Hemp Plus granola from Nature’s Path…yum!)
  • a small pinch of flax seed meal
  • melted almond butter (or whatever nut butter you like) for drizzling on the top

In a bowl, put some of the cut fruit in the bottom.  Then add your yogurt, topping it with the rest of your cut up fruit, the granola, and the flax seed meal.  Drizzle with the nut butter of your choosing.  Grab a big spoon and an even bigger mug of coffee to start the day off right!

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Happy Wednesday, loves!

(By the way, this post isn’t sponsored or anything, I’m just a fan of almond butter, singing my praises.)

whole wheat blueberry banana bread

I have a great love of banana bread.

nanabreadblue

I’ve probably mentioned it before – I’m sure I alluded to it in my previous banana bread post  – but my earliest and strongest memories of baking all seem to converge on making banana bread.

Sure, my mom and I made all sorts of tasty baked goods in the kitchen when I was growing up and even if I couldn’t help I wouldn’t be too far away (always looking to be a guinea pig for the final product and possibly hoping to lick the spatula if frosting was involved…of course).  Granted, she made a lot more than just banana bread — cookies, coffee cakes, muffins, pies and more (her Hummingbird cake and Apple cake stand out in my memory quite vividly) — but banana bread was somehow…special.

loaf

The original recipe as I remember it, written in my mom’s mother’s handwriting on a splotched and stained recipe card, has been a favorite for a long time — a slice of which has always been happily received in a lunch box, as an after-school snack, and – in later years – with a cup of afternoon tea.

My ever-expanding and ever-enthusiastic interest in food (and in food-blogging) hasn’t driven me away from my youth and early cooking/baking experiences, but it has heightened my desire to try new things and to practice adapting recipes (even in baking, where measurements need to be fairly exact).  I enjoy attempting to alter recipes – sometimes to make them vegan, sometimes to make them more nutritious, and often just to play with different flavor combinations –  just to challenge myself and to have fun!

Because let’s get real – if you’re in the kitchen, it really should be fun.

When you share food you are sharing your work and your love.  Thus, I feel like time in the kitchen ought to be filled with joy.

Joy and memories – the reasons why banana bread is really my favorite thing to make and share.

slice

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread (vegan)

adapted from an old family favorite

  • 5 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed + 6 Tbsp. water
  • ¼ cup melted vegan margarine or Crisco
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 level tsp. baking soda
  • 2 scant tsp. salt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Prepare two regular loaf pans by spraying with non-stick spray.  In a small bowl, combine flax seed and water to make egg replacement.  Set aside for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, mash bananas well.  Add sugar, flax seed “eggs”, applesauce, and melted margarine to the mashed bananas and mix thoroughly to combine.

In another bowl whisk or sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to banana mixture gradually and stir until just combined.  Fold in blueberries. 

Separate batter into the two prepared pans and begin baking at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 300 degrees F and finish baking for 35 – 45 minutes.  Allow to cool in pans on wire racks before removing from pans.  

Once cooled completely, slice yourself a piece and put on a pot of tea.

black-eyed pea curry

Happy new year to you all!

Please excuse my extended holiday hiatus – I hope everyone had as lovely a time celebrating as I did!

currybowl

For the sake of tradition (and a little luck, potentially), I decided a dish utilizing black-eyed peas was in order.  I stumbled upon this recipe through Pinterest (follow me? :D ) and I’m so very pleased that it caught my eye.  My version is lightened up by using light coconut milk and because of my own personal preference, I used a little extra garlic, but even with said modifications, the recipe is incredibly simple and so tasty!  (You could actually simplify the recipe even more by using canned black-eyed peas instead of cooking your own.)

blackeyedpeas

I used a Dutch oven to whip up this delectable curry.  Are you using your Dutch oven as much as I am lately?  I’m in love with mine and it’s truly perfect for making winter-time fare.  I bet those of you who live where the temperatures drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit on the daily in January have been cooking up stews and soups and the like non-stop.  I know I would be…

Speaking of, if you haven’t invested in a Dutch oven, or if you haven’t felt enough inspiration to start using yours, you should check out this post on Apartment Therapy.  I definitely want to try my hand at one of the recipes they listed and I think if you’re in the market for a Dutch oven of your very own, then it’s a useful article.

bowl

Black-eyed Pea Curry

adapted from the blog Girl Cooks World

  • 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 3 ½ cups cooked black-eyed peas
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 ~14 oz. can light coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro leaves (plus some for garnish if you so choose)

In a Dutch oven or a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.   Add the onion and cook until the onions soften and begin to turn a golden brown.  Add minced ginger, garlic, and spices and stir constantly while cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.  Reduce the heat to medium and add tomatoes.  Cook until the tomatoes begin to break-down, for about 7 to 10 minutes.    Add black-eyed peas, sugar, salt, and coconut milk and stir.   Simmer the curry with occasional stirring at medium-low for about 20 minutes.   Add the lemon juice and cilantro at the end and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Excellent served with rice or straight-up in a big bowl!

Here’s to luck, good food, and happiness in the new year!