Spring has Sprung… and Vegetable Phyllo Rolls

Hi everyone!¬† I am happy to report that it FINALLY feels like spring around here… first, a recipe, then I’ll tell you all what else has been going on ūüôā

Moroccon Vegetable Phyllo Rolls

This is a fantastic recipe for using up whatever veggies you have on hand… that’s how this gem was created!¬† The combination of spices give the rolls a bit of a Moroccon flair… I love that subtle sweet and spicy flavor.¬† Serves 3-4.

  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • lots of fresh spinach (I used almost a whole box, approx 10oz)
  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 tsp curry,¬†1/8 tsp¬†cinnamon, 1/4 tsp paprika, few dashes cayenne
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough
  • olive oil to brush dough

Okay, I know phyllo¬†can be intimidating, but I promise, this isn’t too hard!¬† Start by creating the filling.¬† Chop and sautee¬†all of the¬†vegetables, holding the spinach.¬† Once the other veggies are nice and soft, add the spinach to wilt (a few minutes).¬† Stir in the beans and smash everything together a bit.¬† Add raisins and spices and stir.¬† Give the mixture a little taste test and adjust spices to suit your preference.

The key to working with phyllo¬†is being sure the dough is completely thawed so it doesn’t crack.¬† Line the countertop with parchment paper and lay out the phyllo dough.¬† I worked quickly and did not cover the dough.¬† Carefully lift one sheet and place on the parchment paper.¬† Lightly brush with olive oil.¬† Layer a second sheet on top.¬† Add a scoop of the mixture to the bottom part of the sheet, leaving a few inches at the bottom and on each side (I’m sorry¬†readers, I¬†really wish I’d taken more pics… next time I do rolls, lots of pics, I promise!)

Now tuck the sides of the dough and roll up like a burrito.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Repeat to make 4 rolls.  Brush the outside with olive oil and bake at 375F for 25 minutes.

phyllo(I’ll admit, not the best picture ever… some of the rolls split during cooking, but the finished product was absolutely delicious!)

In other news, Jonathan and I had a really lovely, relaxing spring day.¬† Our new Sunday routine consists of morning yoga at Zev followed by breakfast at Ceres Bakery.¬† In my humble opinion, Ceres has the¬†most delicious¬†baked goods in town and the very best egg sandwiches, probably because it’s served on freshly baked bread, toasted.¬† Also a great local hotspot for lunch ūüėČ

We then hit York beach for a walk…..

york 24marWe still had to bundle up a bit, but at least it’s not completely arctic anymore!!¬† While at the beach, we saw a crazy lovely old¬†lady feeding the gulls.¬† I HAD to get a picture (Kathleen, this one’s for you)

birds

And, I’m very happy to say the snow in our front yard is melting.¬† In fact, I spotted a little purple bud peeking¬†out of the garden.¬† Upon closer inspection, Jonathan and I realized that there were a bunch of plants trying to peek out.¬† The gardens have this black cloth layer a few inches down… I think it’s supposed to stop weeds, but it looked like all of the plants were getting trapped.¬† So what started as ‘hey look a flower’ turned into a garden overhaul, including ripping out the black cloth layer and redistributing the dirt.¬† It felt great to play in the garden and¬†enjoy some crisp fresh air.

This is our first spring in the new house, so we have no idea what is planted… can’t wait to see what comes up!!

Early signs of many flowers to come (at least, I hope so!)

spring has sprung

Here’s our little buddy that started it all…

 crocuscrocus2

Aaaahhhh a crocus… that means spring is truly here!!¬† ūüôā

xox, Kristen

Making the best of winter… an outing to the winter market

Hi everyone!¬† I have to admit, I am less than impressed with today’s snowstorm.¬† I mean, tomorrow is the first day of spring!!¬† Apparently Mother Nature did not get the memo…..

So, one great thing about winter is the great selection of local WINTER farmer’s markets.¬† Yes, that is correct, you can get fresh local vegetables in the winter, even in New England¬† ūüėČ

One of my favorite markets is in Exeter, NH and I had the pleasure of going this weekend with my friend Heather.¬† Heather worked on one of our local farms a few summers ago… for me, this experience (you know, second-hand friend-experience) started me on this¬†journey of¬†farm-fresh food and healthier whole food eating.

I’m pleased to report that the farmer’s market is so much more than just vegetables.¬† There is so much to see, and taste, that¬†I could (and did) spend the whole morning there!¬†¬†The highlights……..

The Heron Pond Farm farmstand… this is where Jonathan and I usually do our CSA membership!¬† Tons of fresh produce, always a treat…. and the owners are really great.¬† Come to think of it, I’ve never met a farmer that isn’t great… must be something about all that fresh air and fresh food that makes a person happy ūüôā

market veggies

Fresh bread and local cheese….. (I ONLY refrained because we are still working our way through a loaf of foccacia at the house)

market bread

Fresh pasta!!¬† Need I say more?¬† Well okay, I do have more to say… Valicenti¬†Organico is has¬†tons of pasta options, including some made from farro¬†and grains other than your traditional wheat.¬† He also had so many different ravioli choices.¬† I was ten minutes¬†deciding… I went with the multi-grain portobello¬†with spinach and chevre.¬† Yum!!

market pasta

White Heron is another favorite.¬† I just love their teas.¬† I enjoyed an iced cranberry ginger at the market.¬† They also had a tasty looking quinoa salad… I didn’t buy it, but I did stare at the label long enough to¬†memorize the ingredients.¬† Can’t wait to make a batch ūüėČ

market tea

And here I am with Heather, Shelly and Tamara… Shelly is one of the owners at Burnt Swamp Farm.¬† I plan to get her fresh eggs until Jonathan lets me have some pet chickens.¬† She has 224 chickens… I would be happy with just 3-4, totally manageable, right?¬† ūüėȬ† And I would be remiss if I failed to mention her greens.¬† Fresh spinach and kale, delish!¬† I also love the market because it’s a chance to catch up with friends and chat with new people.

market girls

If you are curious about the market schedule, and live near me, you can check it out here (this is not an exhaustive list!)

Hmmmm… now what to do with all this fresh food?¬† A¬†delicious meal, of course!!

Winter Market Bowl

This meal combines some of winter’s best harvest.¬† Paired with a gingery soy sauce, this bowl is tasty and satisfying.¬† This recipe was also my first use of wheat berries… SO GREAT!¬† Of course, you could serve this with rice or quinoa, but once you try wheat berries, you won’t want to.¬† Serves 2 with extra wheat berries.

  • 2-3 small beets, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup broccoli, broken into small pieces
  • ~2 cups kale, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • sauce: 3Tbs¬†tamari¬†or Bragg’s, 1 Tbs¬†rice wine vinegar, 1Tbs¬†olive oil,¬†1 tsp tahini,¬†1 clove minced garlic, 1/2-1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • toppings (optional): chopped almonds, nutritional yeast

Start by getting the wheat berries going… bring 3 cups of water to a boil.¬† Add a dash of salt and 1 cup wheat berries.¬† Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until all of the water has absorbed and the berries are cooked, about 45 minutes.¬† The veggies will cook quickly, so give the wheat berries about 30 minutes of cook time before starting the vegetables.

Chop the carrot and beets.  Roast at 450F for 5 minutes then add the corn kernels and roast an additional 5-10 minutes.  I like my veggies a bit crunchy.

Here’s the coolest thing ever… Jonathan got me a bamboo steamer!

bamboo steamer

It is so quick and easy, and vegetables come out perfectly!¬† Bring an inch or two of water to a boil over high heat.¬† You can just pop this steamer on top of the pot… if you don’t have a steamer, a collander works well too.¬† The broccoli and kale¬†were¬†cooked to perfection in 5 minutes.¬† Here it is in action:

bamboo steamer2While the veggies are cooking, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.  The raw garlic and ginger can be a bit heavy for sensitive taste buds, so you may want to strain the sauce before serving to remove the bits.

Easy assembly… add cooked wheat berries to a bowl… top with veggies.¬† Drizzle with sauce and (optional)¬†top with¬†chopped almonds and nutritional yeast.¬† Not to toot my own horn, but this was seriously one of the best meals!

market bowl

Mmmmm… transport me to southeast Asia… away from all of this snow!!¬† Tomorrow is the first day of spring.¬† I’m crossing my fingers that I wake up to 50 degree weather¬† ūüėČ

Stay healthy… winter is almost over!!

xox, Kristen

Cold weather and bean soup

Hi everyone! ¬†Although it’s only been a week, it feels like ages since I’ve blogged! ¬†I guess it’s been a busy week ūüôā

I played hooky from work and hit the slopes with the girls! ¬†Well, it wasn’t really hooky since I requested the day off in advance… but being off on a random weekday still felt rebellious and awesome.

slopeside

Here¬†I am with Heather and Sheila¬†at Sugarbush, which is quickly becoming one of my very favorite places!¬† Wow, the picture makes the trail look so flat… must be an optical illusion.¬† Seriously, it felt much steeper!¬† ūüėČ

In other news, Jonathan and I had a great weekend, we spent time with both of our families, plus had a fun date night in Boston. ¬†We went to Life Alive for dinner… we both love this place so much that we’ve already decided what to try next¬†time we go! ¬†(Life Alive owners, if you happen to be reading this, pretty please open up a restaurant in Portsmouth. ¬†I promise, I’ll be there all the time!!) ¬†After dinner, we saw a comedy show with Janeane Garofalo, which was hilarious, I love her smart humor. ¬†And then…….

cannoli

We totally indulged!¬† In fact that less-than-gracious picture is me holding¬†a chocolate chip cannoli… no plate…¬†no napkin (!!)…¬†just cannoli, straight up!¬†¬†In my humble opinion, Mike’s Pastry has the BEST cannoli in the North End, as proven by the ever-present line out the door.

Mike's!

By the end of the weekend, we were both pretty tired. ¬†Plus, the last few days have been cold and a bit dreary here. ¬†A perfect time for a big ol’ pot of soup!

No-Limits Bean Soup

The great thing about this soup is that no bean is off limits! ¬†You can use any combination of dried beans… as many different types as you like. ¬†I used Bob’s Red Mill brand mixed dried beans, or mix and match your favorites. ¬†This recipe does require a little planning as you will need to soak the beans overnight… not a ‘spur of the moment’ meal, but totally worth the extra time! ¬†And dried beans are far yummier and healthier than canned.

beans

  • 1 cup dried beans (expands to about 2 cups after soaking)
  • 3 small leeks, about 2 cups chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalked, chopped
  • 1 lg. can of tomatoes
  • 4¬†cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • avocado (optional garnish)

Begin by soaking the beans overnight.  Be sure to cover the beans with a few inches of water as they will expand.  Rinse the beans after soaking.

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, sautee the leek, carrot and celery until slightly soft.  Salt and pepper to taste.

beans2

Add the vegetable stock, canned tomatoes, and soaked beans.  Bring the soup to a boil and reduce to simmer for approximately two hours.  After cooking, add water or vegetable stock if needed to thin and more salt and pepper to taste.  You can always add hot pepper, but I kept the recipe mellow.  Serve topped with sliced avocado.

Now, it was a particularly cold day and true comfort food was in order… so we ate the soup with mini grilled cheese sandwiches.¬† Mmmmmmm!!¬† As there are only two ingredients, I won’t walk you through a grilled cheese recipe, but I will say this: get really good bread and good cheese… and you can’t go wrong.¬† We used roasted garlic baguette and smoked gouda.¬† And it was ‘so gouda’¬† (you like what I did there)¬† ūüėČ

bean soup

The longer cook time on this soup really lets all of the flavors melt together.¬† Nothing like grilled cheese and soup to ward off the freezing weather!¬† And this guy…..

ice moose

15 days til Spring!!  Hang in there friends!!  xox  Kristen

Apple stuffed acorn squash and lemony kale salad

Hi everyone and happy Tuesday! ¬†I had a low-key weekend filled with family time, yoga, Thai food (the BEST I’ve ever had at The Green Elephant in Portland, Maine), movies and homemade pizza… some much-needed relax time. ¬†And I was lucky enough to work from home yesterday (second best to actually having the day off), so I could catch up on some important work stuff, and also laundry. ¬†ūüėČ

For food highlights, I have a¬†delicious apple stuffed squash for you. ¬†The recipe is reminiscent of my Mom’s¬†Waldorf¬†salad.. since I’m not a¬†mayonnaise gal, I’ve actually never eaten it (yes Mom, it’s true, all those years at Thanksgiving, never tried it), BUT I can tell just by looking that it’s tasty! ¬†And other people love it. ¬†I digress….. anyway, I must have been channeling Waldorf in the kitchen when this one was hatched.

squash ingredients

Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

You know what they say about ‘good things’ and ‘waiting,’ right? ¬†Well, this is one of those recipes… it’s not difficult, you’re just going to need to give the squash some quality time in the oven. ¬†Great news, this is a perfect make-ahead candidate… the stuffed squash will keep just fine in the fridge. ¬†Think about it: home from work, pop¬†food in the oven… by the time you’ve unwound from your day… a hot ‘weekend’ dinner on a weeknight!

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 apples, I used organic fuji, but whatever you like will be great
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion
  • 1 tiny piece of ginger, zested about 1/4 tsp
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (the good ones, without added sugar)
  • 2 Tbs chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbs¬†fresh parsely, minced
  • olive oil and black pepper

Chop and combine apples, onion, celery. ¬†I left the apple skin on. ¬†Stir in cranberries and pecans. ¬†Add black pepper to taste. ¬†I used several cracks of pepper but no added salt, you really don’t need it!¬† The chopped filling smelled so fresh and tasty, I almost grabbed a fork and stopped there.

squash filling chopped

Carefully cut the squash in half. ¬†The squash are pretty hard so I lodge the knife as far as I can, then use the ‘splitting wood’ method. ¬†Scrape the insides out and save the seeds. ¬†I love roasted seeds and always cook mine when making squash… I throw them on a piece of aluminum foil with some salt and pepper and roast while the squash is cooking.

Lightly oil a baking dish.  Stuff the squash halves and place in the dish.  If you have extra stuffing, just throw it in the dish.

squashes

Cover and roast at 450F until soft, approx 50 minutes.

While these are roasting, you can prep your salad… I made a kale salad with lemony tahini dressing and roasted brussels sprouts. ¬†I really love the addition of hot food on top of my green salads… especially in the winter.

stuffed squash

Lemon Tahini Kale Salad

I’m going to explain this recipe two ways, so I will try to keep it straightforward… I made the basic salad with dinner, then bulked up the leftovers with extra toppings for lunch the next day. ¬†The add-ons gave the salad some protein and lasting power, making it more main-course worthy.

  • 1 head curly kale
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts (approx)
  • Lemon Tahini¬†Dressing: 2 Tbs¬†apple cider vinegar, 1Tbs¬†olive oil, 1 Tbs¬†tahini, 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice, pepper

Thoroughly wash kale and tear into bite sized pieces, skipping any really thick stems. ¬†Combine dressing ingredients and mix with the kale and carrot to coat well. ¬†The vinegar will begin to soften the kale a bit… in fact, the longer this salad sits, the better it tastes! ¬†Kale won’t go limp like regular lettuce can.

Slice brussels sprouts in half and spread on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. ¬†Roast the brussels sprouts at 450F¬†for 20 minutes. ¬†If you’ve never roasted sprouts, it’s absolutely the best way to cook them… they get a little sweet with nice crispy edges, soooo good! ¬†In fact, roasting is my very favorite way to cook any vegetables!

Top the kale salad with roasted brussels sprouts and squash seeds. ¬†This makes a perfect side dish… OR, as a meal…

  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup sliced red cabbage
  • 1 cup dressed kale salad
  • leftover roasted brussels sprouts
  • chopped red bell pepper
  • marinated white beans
  • roasted squash seeds

Marinated beans are a new favorite of mine… I’ll whip them up and leave them in the fridge to add to salads or wraps. ¬†Simply soak any type of beans (I’ve been loving the large white beans) in a combo of 2T¬†apple cider vinegar, 1T olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.

Between the marinated kale and beans, you totally don’t need extra dressing. ¬†If you are really feeling the need for a flavor burst, you could always whip up a little extra lemon tahini. ¬†I love how fresh and crunchy and brightly colored this salad is! ¬†And I always forget how yummy cabbage is until I eat it.

pumped up kale salad

In other news, today is day 5 of the 30 day green smoothie challenge that Jonathan and I are doing with Young and Raw. ¬†So far, it’s been a success. ¬†We’ve had a new green smoothie every day and are both totally LOVING the experience. ¬†I’m a big smoothie fan, but it’s easy to get stuck in a rut… so it’s lovely to have a supply of new recipes and creative new combinations. ¬†It’s too late to join this month’s challenge, but if you follow them on facebook, they post lots of great smoothie and other raw recipes.

That’s all for now friends! ¬†I am experimenting with homemade granola bars… so with any luck, I’ll be back with a healthy treat soon.

xox, Kristen

Yogalates and an Asian rice bowl

Hi friends!¬† I hope everyone is having a great week… I am having an extra-awesome week because I am not working!¬† Well, back to the office tomorrow, but let’s not think about that today ūüėČ

Yesterday I spent the day around the house.¬† I reorganized the¬†walk-in closet to¬†make room for Jonathan’s clothes.¬† I mean, we’ve only lived there 5 months, so it seemed like it was time.¬† I have never, ever shared a closet in my life… so far, nothing catastrophic has happened.¬† And Jonathan was so happy to see his clothes hanging neatly when he got home, so it was a win.

Today, I’m enjoying some quality me-time.¬† This morning I tried a new class!¬† My friend Vanessa teaches Yogalates¬†at Coastal Fitness in Kittery.¬† I am always working on Wednesdays, so I was really psyched to be able to¬†attend her class.¬†¬†As the name cleverly suggests, it is a fusion of Pilates and yoga… it was a pretty killer ab workout, which felt great (I can safely say that now that it’s done).¬† And¬†Vanessa had some new-to-me moves the I look forward to adding to my repertoire… one huge perk of checking out new instructors.

In food-news, I’m excited to share this recipe with you all.¬† A yummy little Asian-inspired creation…

Asian Brown Rice Bowl

This one is quick and easy… and delicious, a great combination!¬† I’m a big ‘grab what’s in the fridge’ person, so feel free to substitute whatever veggies you¬†have on hand… I promise, you can’t go wrong.¬† Serves 3.

  • 1/2 large beet
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • large handful of kale
  • brown rice
  • Sauce: 1T¬†rice vinegar, 2T¬†Bragg’s (or soy sauce), 2T¬†almond butter, 1T¬†olive oil, 1 small clove garlic, small piece of ginger (about the size of a garlic clove), 3T water to thin
  • Toppings: scallions, chopped almonds, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast (all are optional), or whatever¬†sounds good!

Cook the rice… I have failed at cooking rice many times.¬† I have had friends tease me because cooking rice is supposed to be so simple.¬† Out of nowhere, it suddenly became easy and has since always worked out.¬† In case¬†you aren’t yet a rice-pro, here’s the deal: bring¬†1 1/4 cups of water to a boil,¬†add 1/2 cup rice, cover, turn down and simmer about 40 mins or until all of the water is absorbed (I like to double this so I have rice to use later in the week).

Chop all the veggies, except the kale… I was hungry and hoping to speed things up, so I cut them into small 1/2-inch cubes.

Roast veggies at 450F until soft, about 20 mins for small-cut.  Rip the kale into bite-sized pieces and add on top of the roasted veggies.  Cover with foil or a lid to wilt the kale.

Prep the sauce… if you have a food processor or blender, that works really well to mince the garlic and ginger and incorporate all the flavors.

To assemble, scoop rice into a bowl, add veggies, sauce and toppings.  Yum!

asian bowl

Okay friends, I’m off to work on another little house project.¬† Have a great day!!

xox, Kristen

Birthday Brunch… Success!

Hi everyone!  I hope you are all enjoying the weekend!

Jonathan’s family came up¬†celebrate his mom’s birthday.¬† Sometimes the logistics of putting out a big meal can be challenging, so I thought it would be helpful to share my brunch strategy.¬† ūüėČ

Here’s the goal: vegetable frittata, roasted sweet potatoes, green salad, veggie sausage, coffee cake and green smoothies.¬† And here’s how it went…

8:30 am, wake up…¬†remember I’m missing a few ingredients…¬†shoot out to the grocery store.

9:30…¬†okay, ready to start for real!¬† Guests arriving¬†in two hours.¬† Preheat the oven, game on.¬† First order of business is the cake, because it goes together¬†quickly and¬†will need time to cool.¬†¬†10:00…¬†sautee veggies and prepare the¬†frittata… this cooks at the same temp, so it can share the oven if you’re ready to roll before the cake is done.¬† The frittata can also sit at room temp a while, so it’s up next!

10:30 – rejoice that I am ahead of schedule and break for tea.¬† I’ve been all about the ‘I Love Lemon’ tea lately!¬† Yum!

10:45am – chop sweet potatoes, bump up the oven temp and toss those in.¬† (I leave the skin on, toss with olive oil and salt¬†and roast at 450F for 25-30 mins, the key is to leave space between the potatoes so they get crispy)¬† Make salad.¬† Cut and plate the cake.¬† Oops, just remembered that I wanted to serve veggie sausage… luckily this is quick… turn off the oven and keep potatoes in to stay warm.¬† Return frittata to the oven to warm.¬† Sautee sausages.¬† Whip up¬†smoothies… and voila, we’re ready to¬†serve!!

tanya's bday brunch

Everything came out delicious.  I love cooking for people and especially love showing friends and family that healthy eats can be so tasty!!

Vegetable Frittata

I’ve always been intimidated by frittata… the traditional stovetop skillet/finish in the oven sounds scary… but this is a super easy recipe.¬† No skillet required, it cooks exactly like a quiche, minus the crust.¬† This recipe is also very adaptable, feel free to use whatever veggies you like or have on hand.¬† And I like my frittata chock full of veggies. ūüėČ

  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, thin sliced
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • oregano, thyme, cayenne, black pepper, turmeric

Sautee the mushrooms, onions and zucchini in¬†1¬†Tbs¬†olive oil until soft, 10-15 mins.¬† Add spinach to wilt.¬† Lightly oil a deep pie plate.¬† Add saut√©ed veggies and red peppers.¬† Whisk eggs and whites… there’s nothing wrong with a few whole eggs now and then.¬† Especially if you get the farm fresh one’s from my friend Shelly over at Burnt Swamp Farm!!¬† But, I do like to mix it up with some egg whites to keep the cholesterol low.¬† I¬†add a little shake of turmeric to give the egg whites that familiar yellow hue.¬† Plus turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and a natural healer, so it’s great to sneak it in where you can.

Add egg mixture right on top of the veggies.¬† Sprinkle with spices to taste.¬† I used about 1/4tsp each of oregano and thyme, a teeny dash of cayenne and several cracks of black pepper.¬† Cook 45mins at 350F.¬† The top will be firm when cooked.¬† Frittata is great for brunch because it’s equally great hot out of the oven or at room temperature.

fritataYum!!  Can you see the steam rising?  With all the veggies, this gives a nice hearty slice.  Serves 6.

This frittata is great with a green salad: baby greens, chopped apple, pecans, celery, dressed with olive oil and balsamic.

Raspberry Pecan Coffee Cake

Since I made this for a birthday brunch, I dressed it up with some carob chips.¬† Carob is vegan and tastes similar to chocolate, and carob chips have no added sugar.¬† If you don’t like or don’t have carob, some dark chocolate chips would also be delicious in this recipe.¬† I also used a combination of flours… spelt flour does contain gluten, but some people with allergies are able to tolerate spelt.¬† You could substitute with whole wheat flour, but will need a bit less, about 1 1/2 cups to replace the spelt, or 2 cups to replace both flours.

Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (purchase or make¬†your own¬†by blending oats)
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, dash salt, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can sub with dairy milk)
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup neutral flavored oil
  • 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries (or more raspberries)
  • 2 Tbs carob chips

Topping

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbs oil, 1 Tbs cinnamon, 1 Tbs maple syrup, 3 Tbs carob chips

Combine all dry ingredients.¬† In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and add to dry.¬† Mix until incorporated.¬† Lightly oil an 8×8 glass dish.¬† Scoop about 2/3 of the batter into the dish.¬† Spread fruit over the batter and sprinkle with 2T carob chips.¬† I like to break up the raspberries, which is really easy to do if you are using frozen berries.

coffee cake in progressDot remaining batter over the fruit.  Combine ingredients for topping and sprinkle over the top.  Bake at 350F for 35-40 mins or until the center is set.

coffee cake

This cake was delicious enough to serve as a ‘birthday’ cake, but not overly sweet, so it still works for brunch.¬† With rave reviews, the brunch was rated a success!!

And I’d like to share some other important news…

Jonathan tried his very first yoga class this morning¬†at my home studio,¬†Zev Yoga in Portsmouth… and HE LOVED IT!!!!¬† I am so excited and happy to share my passion.¬† A new yogi is born!¬† ūüôā ūüôā

xox, Kristen

Fermented foods, and a quick weeknight dinner

Hi everyone! ¬†I wanted to pop in and share a delicious and super-quick weeknight dinner, inspired by some great local Kimchi that I spotted at a market during my trip to Burlington. ¬†Although my 10-day whole foods cleanse is officially over, I’m keeping some of the healthy habits in place… including lots of leafy greens!

If you’ve never had Kimchi, think spicy sauerkraut, which is an under-statement of its deliciousness. ¬†Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made by fermenting cabbage with garlic, chile, salt and spices. ¬†Because it’s fermented, kimchi is loaded with healthy probiotics (like yogurt) which are needed to properly digest and assimilate nutrients. ¬†Kimchi is also a good source of fiber, and vitamins A and C. ¬†You can find kimchi at your local health food store, but most regular grocery stores carry it too… check the refrigerated section near the tofu.

Kimchi Salad

  • 3-4 cups mixed greens
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2-3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 smallish beet, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup Kimchi
  • handful almonds, chopped
  • Dressing: whisk together 2¬†Tbs rice wine vinegar, 1¬†Tbs tamari (or soy sauce), 2¬†Tbs olive oil, 1Tbs peanut butter

This recipe makes enough for two. ¬†I’m sure you all don’t need directions for assembling salad… just pile all the goodies on a plate, top with almonds and drizzle with dressing. ¬†ūüėČ

As I was prepping, I called to Jonathan, “do you want shredded beets on your salad?” ¬†I was shocked that he said yes… I almost didn’t ask because he usually doesn’t like beets. ¬†In fact, he never likes them, I was joking when I asked. ¬†WELL, Jonathan declared this the tastiest salad EVER and suggested we have it again… every night… forever. ¬†It’s that good!!

kimchi salad2

I know what you’re thinking…. hey, what else is going on in that picture?? ¬†Well, it’s a little homemade miso soup. ¬†ūüôā ¬†This refreshing salad pairs beautifully with a warming and mild miso soup, especially in the winter! ¬†I recently started experimenting with miso paste, which is another fermented food, packed with health benefits! ¬†Miso has an alkalyzing effect on the body and strengthens the immune system. ¬†It has even been touted to have anti-aging affects, and who doesn’t want that? ¬†Miso paste can be found at your local health food store or Asian market. ¬†If you do not have, or do not like, miso, this simple soup totally works with vegetable stock.

Mushroom Miso Soup

  • 5-6 mushrooms, very thinly sliced, about 1 cup
  • 2-3 scallions, chopped, include white and green parts
  • few thin slices of red pepper
  • 3-4 Tbs miso paste

Add mushrooms, scallions and red pepper to 4 cups water and bring to a boil. ¬†Simmer 10-15 mins. ¬†Immediately before serving, mix the miso paste with a few tablespoons of the broth to dissolve and then add the mixture back to the soup. ¬†Don’t boil the broth with the miso because you can overcook the healthy enzymes. ¬†Serves 2.

(If you aren’t using miso, just replace the water with veggie stock… I bet a mushroom stock would be awesome here!)

Experiment with the amount of miso you like… you can always add a little, then add a bit more. ¬†There are also many varieties of miso paste… if you are new to miso, you may enjoy one of the lighter flavors like white miso paste.

Happy Wednesday everyone!! ¬†Jonathan and I are heading to an anniversary party tonight… AND we’re bringing quinoa-stuffed mushrooms!! ¬†I love ‘sneaking’ healthy foods to unsuspecting ‘normal’ people… I hope they are a hit! ¬†Wish me luck ¬†ūüėČ

xox,  Kristen