Cinnamon Granola

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We ran out of granola and I decided to try out something new. This is a slight twist on my maple granola recipe. The added spices (cinnamon! nutmeg! ginger! cardamon!) give it a little something extra.

Ingredients

  • 2  cups  old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • ½  cup  sliced almonds
  • ½  cup  dried cranberries (or a different dried fruit, or a mix)
  • ¼  cup  unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼  cup  pure maple syrup (or agave nectar, or honey)
  • 1  tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°F

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the dried fruit. Stir until everything is well coated in the maple syrup.
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  2. Spread the granola out evenly onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss the granola so it cooks evenly. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden.
  3. Stir in the dried fruit.
  4. Let the granola cool completely before storing it.
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Maple Granola

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David loves to eat a bowl of granola with fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Store bought granola is pretty expensive, and often comes loaded with sugar. I like to make a big batch by doubling the recipe. I’m storing this batch in former pickle jars!

Ingredients

Makes ~3 1/2 cups

  • 2  cups  old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/2  cup  sliced almonds
  • 1/2  cup  dried cranberries (or a different dried fruit, or a mix)
  • 1/4  cup  unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4  cup  pure maple syrup (or agave nectar, or honey)
  • 1  tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/8  cup  shelled sunflower seeds (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°F

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the dried fruit. Stir until everything is well coated in the maple syrup.
  2. Spread the granola out evenly onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss the granola so it cooks evenly. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden.
  3. Stir in the dried fruit.
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  4. Let the granola cool completely before storing it.
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Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwich

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Inspired by the super easy and fast Greek Yogurt Chickpea Salad Sandwich I made recently, along with a recipe I saw on The Simple Veganista, I made this for lunch.

Ingredients

Makes 2 pita sandwiches

  • 1 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 tablespoons plain greek yogurt (use hummus to make vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • black pepper, to taste
  • few leaves of lettuce, to serve
  • one piece of pita bread, cut in half

I think that the best thing about this recipe (aside from how fast you can throw it together) is how flexible it is: replace the cranberries with another dried fruit (raisins? apricots?); throw in some red onion or bell pepper; add shredded carrots, apple slices, nuts, feta cheese, etc.

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients (chickpeas, green onions, cranberries, greek yogurt, onion powder, cayenne, curry powder, pepper). Stir until well combined.
  2. If you’d prefer it as a salad (gluten free!), go ahead and eat it as is. I divided it in half, scooped the salad into two pita halves, and served with lettuce.
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Pumpkin & Mushroom Risotto

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I am going to be completely honest with you: I hate making risotto. A couple of times a year, I convince myself that it can’t be that bad, that I can do plenty of other things while standing and stirring a pot for the better part of an hour, that it’s not hard work, it’s just time consuming…. And then I make risotto, and I get tired of standing and stirring and watching a pot. It tastes delicious, but I promise I won’t make risotto again.

Well, if you don’t mind standing in front of your stove and stirring for awhile, and want to listen to music, or take Buzzfeed quizzes that will tell you which Muppets character you are or what state you should really live in, or watch some Netflix… this dish is for you!

This risotto gets its creaminess from pumpkin, not butter or cheese. It is warm and hearty, and perfect for winter.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 tablespoon fresh, diced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 tablespoon fresh, diced)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
  • 8oz mushrooms, sliced (I used crimini, but white would also be good!)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I always buy low-sodium)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • parmesan or crumbled goat cheese, to serve (omit for vegan option)

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, toss the oil in the onion until well coated. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the spices (thyme, rosemary, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin), followed by the pumpkin, mushrooms, and rice. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to low/medium low.
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  3. Add one cup of the vegetable broth. Now the stirring starts! Stir until the rice absorbs the liquid. When it’s absorbed, add another cup of broth. Stir continuously, then add more broth, repeating this process until you’ve used all 4 cups of broth and the risotto has thickened. This will take awhile.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with parmesan or crumbled goat cheese.
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Spaghetti Squash Taco Bowl

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I had half of a spaghetti squash leftover from making spaghetti squash primavera, and was craving something spicy, so I made a spaghetti squash taco bowl!

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1/2 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper (color of your choice), chopped
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Note: This is fairly spicy! If you need to tone down the heat, deseed the jalapenos. You can also add only half the curry powder, paprika, and cumin.

To serve

  • cilantro, diced
  • green onion, diced
  • greek yogurt (or sour cream)*
  • salsa
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese*

You could also use: lime wedges, avocado, extra jalapenos… !

*Leave off to make vegan

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F

  1. Place the squash, uncut, on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. Take out of the oven, let cool for half an hour.
  2. Cut the squash in half. For this recipe, you’ll only need half (or you can double the recipe). Remove the seeds with a spoon or your fingers. Using a fork, scrape the sides of the squash, scooping out the “spaghetti.”
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  3. In a large saucepan or pot, toss the jalapeno and onion in the olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes, until slightly softened.
  4. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook for another few minutes, until the bell pepper is slightly softened.
  5. Add the spaghetti squash, tomatoes, corn, beans, and spices. Stir until well combined.
  6. Cover the pot and simmer for ten minutes.
  7. Serve with lots of toppings. Make sure to stir your bowls up–the greek yogurt makes it nice and creamy!
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Spaghetti Squash Primavera

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Don’t get me wrong, I am not ditching pasta. That will never, ever happen. But oh my goodness, this is good. There’s a little kick to it, thanks to the red chili pepper flakes. Aside from the time it takes to bake the spaghetti squash in the oven (which can be done ahead of time!), this is fast and easy to make.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 2 cups spaghetti squash (half of a large spaghetti squash)
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 jar marinara sauce (2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • grated parmesan, to serve (leave off for a vegan meal)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F

  1. Place the squash, uncut, on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. Take out of the oven, let cool for half an hour.
  2. Cut the squash in half. For this recipe, you’ll only need half (or you can double the recipe). Remove the seeds with a spoon or your fingers. Using a fork, scrape the sides of the squash, scooping out the “spaghetti.”
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  3. In a large pot, toss the garlic, onion, carrot, and celery in the oil. Cook over medium heat 3-5 minutes, until slightly softened.
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  4. Add the peas, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, and spaghetti squash. Stir until well combined.
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  5. Add the marinara sauce and spices. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with grated parmesan.
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Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers with Caramelized Onions

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Ingredients

Makes 12 small burgers, or 6 large burgers

Burgers

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup cooked)
  • small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped rosemary, plus extra to garnish
  • pepper, to taste
  • oil, butter, or cooking spray

Caramelized Onions

  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

To Serve

  • lettuce, avocado, mustard, etc.!
  • buns (totally optional…I ate a leftover burger over a big bowl of salad!)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

  1. Bake the sweet potatoes. Wash them, prick them six or seven times with a fork, and wrap in tinfoil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until soft.
  2. While the potatoes are baking, make your quinoa according to the instructions on the bag.
  3. When they are cool enough to touch, scoop the insides of the potatoes into a bowl. Discard the skins. Mash the potatoes with a fork until soft.
  4. Stir the potatoes, quinoa, onion, paprika, and rosemary together. Add pepper to taste.
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  5. Form patties with your hands. I found it easiest to form a ball (I made them racquetball size, but would them a little bigger and thicker next time), then flatten it between my palms.
  6. Cook in a greased saucepan over medium high heat. It will take a good 3-4 minutes per side to cook thoroughly. They are fragile, so flip gently!
  7. Serve on a bun, or eat over a salad with the caramelized onions (recipe below).
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Caramelized Onions

This is super easy!

  1. Slice the onion.
  2. Place the onion, along with the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the onion is soft. If your onion is really large, add more vinegar and/or brown sugar, to taste.

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Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Rosemary

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We have a whole lot of rosemary bushes in the backyard. Having just moved to Southern California a few months ago from New Hampshire, this is kind of crazy to me. Fresh rosemary? In the backyard? In February? I’m loving sweet potatoes these days and combining them with rosemary is over the top delicious.

These fries are baked, not fried, so they are fat free and healthy (sweet potatoes are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber).

Ingredients

Serves 1

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F

  1. Scrub and wash your sweet potato. You can peel it too, if you prefer, but I left the skin on.
  2. Cut the sweet potato into long strips. You want them to be fairly thin so that they crisp up well. The more similar in size you make them, the more evenly they will cook.
  3. Arrange your fries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You want them to be in a single layer. Toss them in salt, pepper, and rosemary.IMG_7401IMG_7430IMG_7439
  4. Put the fries in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn them, add more seasoning if desired, and bake for another 15 minutes. If they aren’t quite crisp enough, continue cooking.
  5. Serve with ketchup or your favorite condiment!

Sweet Potato and Beet Salad

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Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  • 1 head red lettuce
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • pepper & salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (omit to make vegan)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • balsamic vinegar & olive oil (or salad dressing of your choice)

Directions

Preheat oven to 415°F

  1. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. If you like the skin, feel free to leave it on. Chop the sweet potato into 1/2″ bite size pieces.
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  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the sweet potato in salt and pepper, to taste. Bake the sweet potatoes at 415 F for 15-20 minutes, until they are slightly soft.
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  3. Wash the beets, then chop off the top and bottom. If some of the beets are really large, cut them in half so they cook more evenly. Place the beets on a tinfoil lined baking sheet.
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  4. Brush the tops and bottoms of the beets with ~2 teaspoons olive oil. Place a sheet of tinfoil over the beets, pressing the corners in to seal them inside. Bake at 415°F for approximately an hour.
  5. When the beets are done, wait for them to cool and then peel the skins off. The skins should come off fairly easily, and you should be able to remove it with your fingers. Chop the beets into 1/2″ bite size pieces.
  6. Place the sweet potatoes and beets in a bowl. Add the goat cheese, then toss until well combined.
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  7. Make a big salad bowl with the lettuce, sweet potatoes, and beets, or assemble individual bowls. Sprinkle walnuts on top. Serve with olive oil and vinegar, or a dressing of your choice.
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Cannellini Bean, Tomato, and Spinach Soup

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This soup is so quick to make and perfect for a cold day. (I know, I know, I live in southern California now… But it’s been in the 50s and you would not believe how quickly I have adapted to sunshine all the time!) The cannellini beans make this soup pretty filling and hearty. I love it because it is really good reheated. Make a big pot, and it tastes even more flavorful the next day.

Ingredients

Serves 6-8

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 15oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 cups spinach, torn
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil, over medium heat, until slightly softened.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, broth, and beans.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer the soup, uncovered, for ten minutes.
  4. Stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts. IMG_6357
  5. Add salt and pepper taste.

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