Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash with Za'atar and Tahini Drizzle

Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash with Za'atar and Tahini Drizzle

Chard stuffed acorn squash with za’atar and tahini drizzle is a show stopper, but is surprisingly weeknight friendly! You could serve this as a vegetarian main for holiday entertaining! Simply roast acorn squash halves seasoned with za’atar, a Middle Eastern seasoning mix, and stuff with chard, feta, chickpeas, pistachio and top with a quick tahini drizzle!

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Baked Green Falafel with Three Dipping Sauces

Baked Green Falafel with Three Dipping Sauces

Make this easy baked green falafel, packed with tons of herbs and pistachios! I serve them with three different dipping sauces for you indecisive folks - a spicy harissa tomato sauce, a creamy tahini yogurt, and a green herb chutney, along with pita bread. Vegan and gluten free too. 

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Honey Pear Pistachio Muffins with Quinoa Flour

Honey Pear Pistachio Muffins with Quinoa Flour

These honey pear pistachio muffins with quinoa flour are packed with fiber and protein and healthy fats so they'll actually satisfy and keep you full! The quinoa flour adds great texture along with the protein boost. Easily adaptable to gluten free by swapping all purpose gluten free flour. Perfect for breakfast or as a yummy sweet snack! 

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Summer Farmer’s Market Skillet with Pistachio-Herb Spread

Summer Farmer’s Market Skillet with Pistachio-Herb Spread

This summer farmer's market skillet with pistachio-herb spread is a delicious way to highlight summer produce! Pick your favorite veggies from the market, saute, bake a few eggs into the mix, and serve with a bright and herbaceous pistachio-herb spread. Don't forget crusty bread for soaking up the runny yolks! Easily adaptable for any season. 

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Warm Farro Salad with Kale, Caramelized Onions, Grilled Fennel and Harissa

Enjoy this warm farro salad with kale, caramelized onions, grilled fennel and harissa topped with crumbled goat cheese or a fried egg for a hearty vegetarian lunch!

Happy Monday! Gah, I'm really wishing it was another Sunday - I could use a lazy day! This past weekend my parents came in town from Virginia. Turns out its tough keeping up with 50 and 60-year olds. Friday night we went to Craft and Draft for local beers, then out to dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant, Baan Sawan. Seriously, I would go out on a limb and say it's the best Thai food outside of Thailand and I feel 110% confident putting that statement out on the internet.

On Saturday, we went shopping on Devine St for their semi-annual sidewalk sale. I snagged a really cute winter skirt and a plaid poncho which I think will replace my beige knit sweater in it's weekly rotation. Then we went out to City Roots, our local organic farm, for a pig and oyster roast. We enjoyed incredible barbecue, awesome sides (holy blue cheese coleslaw and pimento mac and cheese!) and hot roasted SC oysters. Oh, and a few too many Westbrook IPAs, hence the need for a second Sunday.

If I could drag myself off the couch to do a little meal prep for the week, I'd probably whip up a batch of this farro salad. It's kind of a mishmash between a old favorite recipe from orangette and a heirloom brown rice bowl with harissa I had while we were in Arizona last month. Then I threw in some grilled fennel I had leftover and it was a smart choice.

Chewy farro is possibly my favorite choice for grain bowls. It reminds me a bit of barley, but better. Farro is a type of ancient wheat, thought to be the oldest cultivated grain. Look for it in the bulk aisle of your local health food store, or if you can't find it, swap barley or even brown rice.

Although it takes a bit to put together the different components of this dish, it's absolutely worth it. While I served this with harissa, you could also drizzle it with sriracha. If you're feeling extra hungry, top with a fried egg.

Warm Farro Salad with Kale, Caramelized Onions, Grilled Fennel and Harissa

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 head kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • Lemon, in wedges
  • Harissa, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place farro in a medium pot and cover with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Place lentils in a small pot and cover with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Head 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sided pot on medium high heat. Add onions, stir to coat with oil, and cook 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until deeply caramelized. Season with salt and black pepper and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Slice fennel into thick slices. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set an indoor grill pan (or outdoor grill) on medium-high heat. Place fennel on the grill and cook 5 minutes per side until charred and tender. Set aside and let cool. When cool enough to handle, chop the fennel.
  5. In a medium skillet (you can use the same one you caramelized the onions in if it's free), heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat. Add kale, stir to combine and coat with oil. Add 1/2 cup water, mince garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes, adding more water if needed, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. In a large bowl, toss together farro, lentils, fennel, kale, caramelized onions. Divide between four bowls. Top with pistachios, goat cheese and serve with lemon wedge and harissa.
Brown Rice Bowl with Five Spice Tempeh, Garlicky Bok Choy and Edamame Hummus
Brown Rice Bowl with Five Spice Tempeh, Garlicky Bok Choy and Edamame Hummus
Hippie Salad with Sprouted Grains and Tahini Dressing
Hippie Salad with Sprouted Grains and Tahini Dressing
Roasted Eggplant, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad with Za'atar
Roasted Eggplant, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad with Za'atar

Roasted Bananas with Salted Coconut Cream, Dark Chocolate and Pistachios

Sweet roasted bananas with salted coconut cream, dark chocolate and pistachios is the perfect gluten free and vegan dessert for summer entertaining. 

Fresh fruit as dessert has never been my style. Great for snacking, but as dessert? Nope, not gonna cut it. Whenever I read a nutrition article encouraging people to swap dessert for fruit, I literally want to jump through the screen and kick them in the kneecap. No. Just no.

But when you roast aforementioned fresh fruit in honey, serve it over a lightly sweetened and sea salted coconut cream and garnish it with a crunchy mixture of dark chocolate chunks, toasted coconut and pistachios, then that is a fruit dessert I can get behind.

If you're gonna do fruit as dessert, you probably want to take my advice and roast it first. Concentrating the natural sugar and adding a hint of caramelized flavor takes fruit from tasty snack to droolworthy. Sweet and creamy bananas are a perfect candidate.

Bananas are a great way to enjoy a sweet and creamy dessert with less added sugar. Dense in natural sugars with a creamy consistency, I use bananas to sweeten and replace fats and dairy in all sorts of desserts from cookies to ice cream to bars to milkshakes.

In the nutrient department, they're adding a lot more than just potassium. Bananas contain sterols, a plant compound that's structurally similar to cholesterol, but actually blocks the absorption of cholesterol. They also pack a hefty dose of soluble fiber, a cholesterol lowering type of fiber. Bananas are great for digestion as well as they contain pectin, a type of prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria. In one study, eating two bananas a day led to a significant increase of bifidobacterium, a friendly-type of bacteria often used in probiotics. Pectin content increases as bananas ripen, so enjoy those bananas when they're super spotty and sweet!

Roasted Bananas with Salted Coconut Cream, Dark Chocolate and Pistachios

Serves 6

Ingredients

Roasted Bananas:

  • 6 bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Coconut Cream: 

  • 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Sea salt

Other Ingredients: 

  • Chopped pistachios

  • Chopped dark chocolate

  • Toasted shredded unsweetened coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. In a small bowl, stir together coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Arrange bananas cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush with the coconut honey mixture. Place in the oven and roast 20 minutes until lightly golden and tender.

  3. While bananas are roasting, combine coconut milk, honey and vanilla in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until thickened. Once slightly thickened, stir in sea salt to taste. I used about 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

  4. Spoon some of the salted coconut sauce into the middle of a dessert plate. Top with two roasted banana halves. Garnish decoratively with pistachios, dark chocolate and coconut.