Fava Beans

 

 

We ventured into a new vegetable for Easter this year – fava beans! I was uninterested in them for quite awhile, but I finally gave in and was glad I did. Beware! Shelling and removing skins takes quite awhile … and also a large bunch of fava beans ends up shrinking down quite a bit. Everyone enjoyed this recipe! You can leave the yogurt out if you are concerned about dairy.

An easy way to shell your beans – put the fava beans in boiling salted water to blanch for 30 seconds. Remove the beans from the boiling water and submerge them in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. This step softens the second skin, making it easier to remove.

Ingredients:

1-2 pounds fava beans, shelled and inside skin removed
1 bunch spring onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped basil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
water or stock
¼ cup whole milk yogurt

Directions:
1. Finely slice the white parts of the onions and an inch of the greens. Chop the rest of the greens into 1/2–inch pieces, keeping them separate from the bottoms.
2. Warm the oil in an 8-inch skillet. Add the onion bottoms and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the fava beans, two thirds of the parsley and basil, 1 teaspoon sea salt and water or stock to cover. Simmer until the beans are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the green part of the onions and cook until the beans are completely tender, about another 10 minutes or so. Taste for salt and season with pepper.
3. Turn off the heat, stir the yogurt into the hot fava beans, add the remaining parsley and basil. Serve warm.

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Overnight Steel Cut Oats

I’m not sure how I’ve had this blog for so long without posting the overnight slow cooker steel cut oats recipes!!! Seriously, we LOVE these. They are amazing. Monica at the YummyLife has several different flavors and we love them all. Apple Cinnamon, Cherry Almond, Banana Coconut, and Pumpkin Pie! Plus her steps on how to make your slow cooker act as a double broiler are genius. Throw all the ingredients in your crock pot and go to bed – clean up is super easy – and when you wake up your house smells delightful. I particularly enjoy these recipes on mornings when everyone has to rush out the door – no stress already made breakfast!

Tonight we are making Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal. But check out her site, there are links to all the other flavors as well. Yummy Life indeed!

Roasted Butternut Squash

 

A simple easy way to eat butternut squash!

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in one inch cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat over 400. Toss squash with olive oil and garlic in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet, cook in oven for 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.

 

Apple Parsley Salad Dressing

 

 

Tasty!  This was easy to put together too – perfect on any salad.

Ingredients:
1 medium green apple, seeded and quartered
1 Tbs. agave nectar (optional) – I used 1/2 tbsp honey
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 scallion, coarsely chopped
¼ cup parsley
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. water
½ cup olive oil

Directions:

1. Add all the ingredients, except the olive oil, to a blender and blend until finely chopped and well combined

2. Continue blending and add the oil in a slow stream, scraping as needed to create a smooth emulsion.

Kassidy’s Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend Kassidy made these cookies for me once – I was hooked! A delicious alternative to regular cookies. These are great because they are vegan, plus gluten & dairy free!

 

Update:  I increased the almond flour by 1/4 cup and added a scoop of pureed pumpkin.  Cookies were much more “cookie” like, meaning they held their shape better and consistency was good!  Pumpkin flavor was very slight and almost unnoticeable.

2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 agave nectar (I use a bit less honey)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (73% cacao or higher)
1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, cashews, macadamia)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Directions:

Preheat over to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, combine coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Fold in the chocolate, nuts, and coconut.

Spoon the dough 1 tbsp at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, pressing down with the palm of your hand to flatten, leaving 2 inches between each cookie.

Bake for 7-10 minutes, until lightly golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then serve warm.

Sautéed Kale and Swiss Chard

 

 

CSA Confession: The lovely bunches of lush kale and swiss chard that come in my big csa bag every Friday afternoon … the same ones I oooh and aw about when I put them in the fridge … those are the same ones that I often toss the next week because they are last on my list of things to make for dinner. The leeks, broccoli, spinach – those all get used up in a flash but the nutrient packed kale and chard … they sadly wilt away. UNTIL NOW PEOPLE. UNTIL NOW. Andrew made this amazing sautéed kale and chard dish tonight and everyone, right down to wee miss Alice, ate it up like it was candy. Ok, maybe not candy. But you get my drift. From now on, the chard and kale will be the first eaten – promise!

Don’t let it cook too long, better to have a little crunch to it than too soft!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large bunch kale, stemmed, with leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock, white wine or water (we used chicken broth)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red-pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

PREPARATION

1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add garlic, and cook until soft.2. Add kale to the pan, turn the heat to high and add the stock. Use a spoon to toss the greens in the oil and stock, then cover and cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, until it is soft and wilted, but still quite green. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers, add vinegar and toss to combine.

Gluten Free “Paleo” Pumpkin Bread

Fall is in the air! Ok, no, it’s not. Here in the San Francisco bay area, fall is about 2 months away. But we can pretend! I harvested my butternut squash from my garden a few days ago (woohoo!), roasted it, and decided to cook up some fall. This is a fun recipe from Elana’s Pantry because the sugar content is low and there is no refined flours. Gluten and Dairy free!  I found this bread to be light and fluffy – unusual to find for almond flour baking.

Instead of stevia, I used a bit more honey. You don’t need to use a food processor if you don’t have one.  I just mixed by hand!  Cook in a mini loaf pan if you want the bread to form a “loaf” like shape.

Picture Credit thanks to Elana’s Pantry

Pumpkin Bread

  1. In a food processor combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and spices
  2. Add pumpkin, honey, stevia and eggs and pulse for 2 minutes
  3. Scoop batter into a mini loaf pan
  4. Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes
  5. Cool for 1 hour
  6. Serve

Easy Peasy End of Summer Veggie Soup

This is such a simple and great recipe to toss together. It’s easy, I promise. You can’t go wrong with any veggie that you add!

Melt a few tbsps of butter in a large pot or dutch oven. Sautee onions and a clove or two of garlic until transparent and soft.

Add veggies. Here is where it gets easy. When bell peppers, zuchinni, carrotts, etc are in abundance in the summer, I like to chop them and freeze them. If you have these on hand, great! Throw them in with your soften onions and garlic. If you don’t have any frozen, look through your fridge and use what you have. Keep your “soft” veggies for later (like tomatoes and leafy greens). For a summer soup like this, I like sweet peppers, banana peppers, summer squash and zucchini as my primary veggies.  Frozen corn is also a nice one to add.

Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and other seasonings. I like to use a pinch of tumeric, hearty sprinkle of garlic salt, and a dash of Trader Joes 21 seasoning salute.

Here is the best part – take some fresh summer basil, slice, and add to the sauteed veggies. Add any fresh herbs you have – parsely is good too! Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

Chop up several ripe tomatoes. Personally I think heirloom are the best and have the most flavor! They may be expensive at the store but if you grow them yourself they are super cheap and simple grow … but I digress, use high quality tomatoes if you can! There is nothing better!

Now add your chicken broth. Fill to a few inches above your veggies. To make life easy, and when I don’t have homemade broth on hand, I like to use the Costco chicken bullion that you “make” – so I add water and then mix in the amount of bullion that I need directly to the soup. Great for those times when you don’t want to open lots of cans of broth or measure cups of anything.

Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer.

Another easy tip – add Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice. I heat it up the microwave then toss in the soup. Sometimes I like to also add in already cooked chicken at this step – it’s even easier if you have the chicken pre chopped and frozen. Or you could do pre-cooked quinoa!  The point here is EASY.  Whatever you have on hand!

Last step – shred some kale, swiss chard, or spinach and add to the soup. Put a lid on your pot and let the leafy greens wilt and cook.

Now taste – do you need to add something? Salt? Garlic? Minced Onions? Dried Herbs?

Serve with a hearty loaf of bread and enjoy!

Marinated Roasted Sweet Peppers

 

 

To be fair, red peppers aren’t my favorite. But I actually really enjoyed these! Make sure you look for sweet red peppers if you also aren’t a big normal red pepper fan.

Once made, you can use these in salads and sandwiches; chop or thinly slice and add to just cooked pasta or layer small pieces on crackers with chevre or other mild soft cheese for a terrific snack or hor d’oeuvre.

Ingredients:
4 large sweet red peppers, cut into lengthwise pieces, making about 4-5 pieces each
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

Directions:
1. Preheat the broiler. Roast the pepper pieces until charred, about 3- 5 minutes. Remove from the broiler and place them in a large bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam for a few minutes. Remove from the bowl when cooled a bit and peel off the skins.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, and salt. Add the garlic. Add the roasted pepper pieces, tossing to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Blackberry Mint Popsicles

Andrew made these today from the website It’s Me Charlotte and they were delectably full of flavor! Bonus – coconut water is a great hydrator! Dare I say these are almost good for you?

{Wild Blackberry Mint Popsicles}

Serving size: 10 regular sized popsicles

{Ingredients}

  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2-2.5 TBS raw honey
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1.5 cups coconut water

{Directions}

  1. First mince the mint leaves. I did this with my food processor. They should be finely chopped.
  2. Next, either using your food processor or blender, puree the fresh blackberries with the mint. I just added the blackberries to the food processor and pureed with the mint.
  3. Next, add juice of 1 lime and 2-2.5 TBS raw honey to mixture and blend or process until well combined.
  4. Add 1.5 cups of coconut water and blend again.
  5. Taste mixture in case you want to make any last adjustments.
  6. Pour mixture into popsicles mold and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  7. Enjoy!