Archive for December, 2013

Holiday Recipe Round Up

Dec 23 2013 by | Comments (0)
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It’s hard to believe but Christmas is just 2 days away!  If you’re still putting the finishing touches on your holiday meal and needs a few healthy and amazing options, here are a few of our favorite holiday meals.  We’ll be taking some time off to enjoy being with our family and will see you all next year with some exciting news and of course more fantastic recipes!

~Sarah and Kristy

Gingerbread Man Ornaments

Gingerbread Man Ornaments

Perfect Apple Pie

Perfect Apple Pie (Vegan)

Creamy Goat Cheese Topped Mushrooms

Creamy Goat Cheese Topped Mushrooms (Vegetarian)

Swedish Pancakes

Swedish Pancakes (Vegetarian)

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds (Vegan)

Homemade Fudge Sauce

Homemade Hot Fudge (Vegan)

Spiced Pumpkin Granola 1

Spiced Pumpkin Granola (Vegan)

Cinnamon Raisin Biscotti

Cinnamon Raisin Biscotti (Vegan)

Millet Loaf with Onion Gravy

Millet Loaf with Onion Gravy (Vegan)

Pomegranate Glazed Roasted Carrots

Pomegranate Glazed Roasted Carrots (Vegan)

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry Relish (Vegan)

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Millet Loaf with Onion Gravy

Dec 16 2013 by | Comments (0)
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Millet Loaf with Onion Gravy

My mother made terrific meatloaf and I remember when I was growing up how I looked forward to meatloaf night.  You would never hear me saying “not meatloaf” in that typical kid whine. I still like a good loaf and this one made with millet, eggplant and mushrooms is as rich, hearty and satisfying as the ones I ate as a kid. 

I like the nutty flavor and velvety texture of millet. It’s a bit like bulgar or polenta so it really works well in this recipe. Spices reminiscent of holiday stuffing round out the flavor and the onion gravy to top it off is just the right finishing touch.

Kristy

Ingredients:

For the loaf

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 medium size eggplant, diced
  • 8-10 cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided plus a little to grease the pan
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 carrot, small dice
  • 1 celery stalk, small dice
  • 1/2 medium onion, small dice
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp majoram
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups cooked millet (for more flavor cook with vegetable broth)

For the gravy

  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp millet flour or other gluten free flour
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Preparation:

  1. Toast walnuts in a dry non stick skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the eggplant and mushrooms in 2 tbsp oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Place on a baking sheet (line with foil for easy clean up) and bake 30-35 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. 
  3.  Place the cooled walnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Place the eggplant and mushrooms in the food processor and process until gooey. Yes, I do mean gooey. Add to the bowl of walnuts.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add the carrot celery, onion and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, sage, thyme, marjoram, paprika, nutmeg and cayenne. Stir and cook 1 minute longer. Add to the bowl with the walnuts and vegetables.
  6. Add the millet to the bowl and mix until well combined. Grease a loaf pan with a little oil and spoon the mixture into the pan. Use the back of the spoon to pack down.
  7. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Wipe out the skillet used for the vegetables and heat over medium high heat. Add the oil, onions, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook 5-6 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add the flour and stir to combine.
  9. Add the broth, worcestershire sauce and nutritional yeast. Cook until bubbly and thickened.
  10. Slice the loaf and serve topped with a spoonful of gravy.

Yield:

Makes approximately 10 slices

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.  Reheat in the microwave or you can cut and fry slices on a grill pan for a crisper texture.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Dec 11 2013 by | Comments (0)
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Can you believe Christmas is only a few weeks away!?!  This time of the year is filled with holiday parties, shopping and more holiday parties.  Each year I have several holiday events to attend and almost all of them require a dish to share.  I know Christmas cookies are the classic go to dessert but sometimes its nice to have something a little different and these truffles are just the thing.  They are simple to make, easy to transport and perfect for holiday parties!  Enjoy.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1 tbsp honey or coconut nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips of your choice (mini size work best)

Preparation:

  1. In a food processor or powerful blender add the dates and cashews.
  2. Process the mixture for 2-3 minutes.  You should have a slightly grainy but sticky mixture.
  3. Add in the honey and vanilla extract and pulse a few times to throughly mix.
  4. Add the chocolate chips to the processor and pulse 3 or 4 times until the chocolate chips are mixed in but not broken apart.
  5. Using the palms of your hands form the mixture into 18-20 bite sized truffles.
  6. Place the truffles in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before serving to allow them to set.

Yield:

Makes 18-20 bite sized truffles.

Notes:

Make sure to the store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.  It’s best to wrap them in plastic wrap before storing to ensure they do not dry out.

Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Dec 09 2013 by | Comments (1)
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 Red Lentil Coconut Curry

The temperatures have been cold across the country, even here in SoCal and that makes me crave something warm and filling to eat. That being said I would prefer warm and filling to heavy and full of fat so I lightened up this coconut curry with coconut water rather than coconut milk. It still has that distinctive coconut flavor without the fat from the milk. The sweet potatoes and lentils cook into a creamy perfection and the fragrant curry spices warm and comfort your senses. Curry spices are one of those things that people seem to either love or hate but that doesn’t have to be the case. I’m no expert on curry spices but from everything I know about them they can be as varied as you want them to be. If you haven’t found a pre made mix then make one of your own with the spices you prefer. There are many different recipes available and it’s so easy make. Most of the ingredients used can be purchased in small quantities in bulk so you don’t have to spend a fortune on a ton of different spices. Give it a try and see how delicious and comforting this dish can be on a cold winters day.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf (optional but good)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes (fire roasted if you can find them)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 12 oz raw young Thai coconut water
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup finely julienned kale or spinach
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Preparation:

  1. Heat the oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, sweet potato and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook 5-7 minutes or until the onions are softened.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, coconut water, lentils, lime leaf and remaining 1/2 tsp salt.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 30-40 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the lime leaf.
  4. To serve spoon the curry into a bowl and top with 1/2 cup rice and 1/4 cup kale. Serve with a lemon wedge. Squeeze the lemon juice over the curry, stir and enjoy.

Yield:

4 healthy servings

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Keep the rice, kale and lemon separate and add before serving.

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Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls

I don’t know about you but in our house the Christmas countdown has already begun.  It’s that time for holiday parties and get togethers and of course, our favorite holiday treat – popcorn balls!  This simple recipe is fun for the whole family to make (and eat!).  Now is the perfect time to start a new holiday tradition and leave Santa a treat he’ll really enjoy!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 1 cup raw coconut crystals
  • 1 cup unsweetened peanut butter (creamy or crunchy, whatever you prefer), room temperature
  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • course ground sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Measure the popcorn into a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan stir together the honey and coconut crystals. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Adjust heat down a little if needed to keep from boiling over.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the peanut butter. Stir until completely mixed in and smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture over the popcorn, add the peanuts if using and sprinkle with sea salt. Stir to combine.
  6. Form into balls. Be careful as the popcorn mixture will be hot but you need to form the balls right away for them to stick together. Lay the balls on a sheet of wax paper to cool before placing into cellophane bags.
  7. You can also lay the loose popcorn out onto waxed paper to cool without shaping into balls.

Yield:

Makes 12 popcorn balls.

Notes:

Leftover popcorn balls can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls 1

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Sweet and Sour Almond Oil Salad Dressing

I love using flavored oils to put new spins on ordinary salads and create interesting new flavor combinations.  Almond oil is a sweet, delicious oil that works well to create a sweet and sour dressing that is delicious on salads, pasta and even as a dip for veggies.  If you can’t find almond oil at your local grocery store try substituting with walnut or hazelnut oil.  They won’t be as sweet so you may need to adjust the amount of honey but the dressing will still be delicious!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp white or golden balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup + 1tbsp almond oil
  • 1-2 tbsp honey or brown rice syrup
  • sea salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a small blender and process until smooth.
  2. Taste and adjust the amount of honey and salt to taste.

Yield:

Makes approximately 1/2 cup.

Notes:

Store leftover dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Citrus Salad with Dried Plums

Dec 02 2013 by | Comments (0)
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Citrus Salad with Dried Plums

Tis the season, citrus season. Lots of citrus fruits are in plentiful supply at the market and this salad with farro mixes it up with clementines, valencia oranges, lemon, dried plums and crunchy pistachios tossed in a sweet and spicy dressing. Just the smell of citrus makes me feel lighter and happier? Does it do that for you too? The darker days of winter make it the perfect time of year for this “pick me up” salad of sweet citrus aromatherapy.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup farro (can substitute with wheat berry, kamut or even quinoa or millet for a gluten free option but cooking time will vary if another grain is used)
  • 5 cups water (adjust accordingly if using another grain)
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 valencia orange
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 clementine oranges, peeled, sectioned and halved
  • 6 ounces dried plums (prunes), thinly sliced into strips
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped (green and white parts)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup toasted pistachio nuts

Preparation:

  1. Soak the farro in the water overnight or 8 hours before cooking. After soaking add 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Cook on high 5 minutes stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 50-60 minutes until plump but chewy. Drain remaining liquid. Set aside to cool or refrigerate.
  2. Zest the valencia orange and place the zest into a small bowl. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl with the zest. Add the lemon juice, honey, mustard, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper and remaining salt. Whisk in the olive oil until completely combined.
  3. Add the clementines, plums, onions, and parsley to the farro. Stir in the dressing until everything is combined. Let sit 15 minutes or so for the dressing to be absorbed.
  4. Add the pistachio nuts just before serving.

Yield:

Makes 6-8 servings

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If using a smaller grain/seed like quinoa or millet you may not need all of the dressing. Start by adding half and adding more as needed.