Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is one of my favorite foods to eat in the wintertime, and this is a quick and simple recipe to make at home. 

I find myself constantly disappointed when ordering this at restaurants. Either they add too much, cream or butter and the flavor of the butternut squash is lost. Thats the whole point right, to taste the main ingredient?

Thats what this recipe does, using a just a few fresh ingredients, and creating a flavorful and addicting soup. Feel free to add a little ginger to the dish if you're feeling a little sick, this antibacterial addition will add a hint of spice. 



Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large butternut squash (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 6 thin carrots 
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. grass-fed butter or olive oil
  • 32 oz container of vegetable broth 
  • 2 cups water (if needed) 

Instructions: 

1. Melt the butter on low heat in a saucepan. Add in the onion and cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion is translucent. 

2. Add in butternut squash, carrots, and vegetable broth.

3. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat with lid on top for about 30 minutes until vegetables are fully cooked. 

4. Blend together soup with a hand blender. If the soup needs more liquid add more water to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. 

 



Asian Kale Salad


Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Garlic Ginger Dressing: 

  • 3 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 1 inch ginger (grated)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1/2 cup tamari 
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar 

Instructions: 

1. Prepare salad by washing kale, and tearing the leaves off the stem. Roughly chop and place in salad bowl.

2. Thinly slice the carrot, and dice the yellow pepper and avocado. Add to the kale. 

3. Mix together all of the ingredients for the garlic ginger dressing. Add as much dressing as you would like and message kale. 

4. Sprinkle seasame seeds on top. Enjoy!





Tropical Smoothie

I usually make the same few smoothies at home, made with berries and cocao powder, but when I received my colorful box of Natalie's hand crafted juices I was immediately inspired to create something different!

I went with using their mango orange juice, because those are two of my favorite juices put together, so you can't really go wrong. 

Just because I don't live in a tropical paradise (which one day I hope to) doesn't mean I can't treat myself to the fruits that grow there. This smoothie celebrates all of those fresh, tart, and sweet flavors. Filled with coconut, banana, pineapple, mango, and fresh orange juice. 

Making something as simple as a smoothie can just bring you back to that time you were at the beach, and hey, if you're lucky enough to be living on a beach take this smoothie with you! 



Ingredients:



Instructions: 

1. Blend all of the ingredients together until mixture is smooth. 

2. Pour smoothie mixture into glass and top off with a few coconut chips. Enjoy! 



Sweet and Crunchy Brussels Sprouts

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.



Brussels sprouts, Brussels sprouts, Brussels sprouts! Maybe if you say it three times they will appear?!  Well…if they don’t, no worries your local supermarket will be sure to have these green gems in stock. 

This cruciferous vegetable is also a member of the cabbage family, possessing many healing and nourishing properties.

This means that when you eat Brussels sprouts, you're helping your body to ward off chronic oxidative stress, which is a risk factor for many types of cancer and other chronic diseases.  

Brussels sprouts are an ideal food if you're looking for something that's hearty yet low in calories. One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains just 56 calories but is packed with more than 240 percent of the recommended daily amount for vitamin K1, and nearly 130 percent of your recommended daily value for vitamin C.

These leafy edible buds can be roasted, sautéed, braised, and steamed.  Be careful not to overcook Brussels sprouts. This is what gives them a bad rep. When they are overcooked they become smelly and mushy and release a sulfur-like taste. When cooked to perfection, they are bright green, have a little bite, and melt in your mouth.

This recipe is sweet, tangy, and savory. The apple cider vinegar adds a bit of tang, the dried apricots add some sweetness, and the almonds add a nice crunch. It’s a great side dish for any meal this season.



Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds Brussels sprouts (washed, trimmed, and thinly sliced)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup apricots (thinly sliced)
  • ½ cup  toasted sliced almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • Salt to taste
  • Instructions:

1.     Heat olive oil in skillet and add in Brussels sprouts.

2.     Add in honey and apple cider vinegar and stir for about 5-7 minutes until Brussels sprouts are fully cooked.

3.     Remove from heat, and mix in the salt, toasted sliced almonds and dried apricots.


image4.jpeg

Sources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/16/benefits-brussels-sprouts.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

Peach Blackberry Crisp with Coconut Whipped Cream

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.



During my trip in Los Angeles, I enjoyed weekly trips to the local farmers market. I had in mind that I wanted to make a crisp, but I wanted to see what fruit looked best that was in season. There was honestly so much to choose from. Plums, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, figs, blackberries, and blueberries galore!

When I came across these beautiful ripened white peaches, I was sold! The blackberries were huge, and give a nice contrast of color and flavor to the dish.

The crumble recipe could be made into a granola. I couldn’t stop eating it once it was cooked!

I’ve been enjoying going to the farmers markets this summer. It really inspires you to cook new recipes because of the seasonal ingredients you can take advantage of.

Here are my go-to farmer’s market staples that I shop for:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Kale
  • Oranges
  • Basil
  • Eggs
  • Gluten-free bread
  • Teas
  • Honey
  • ·Maple Syrup
  • Lettuce
  • Heirloom tomato’s
  • Sishito peppers

Why do I look out for these products? Because I almost always cook with them, and if I find them, I will definitely make a recipe using them. I love to make pesto in the summer, so I’ll always look out for fresh basil.

Also, buying eggs, honey, and maple syrup at a farmers market guarantees that you’re purchasing directly from a farm and you’ll be buying a higher quality product.

I hope you can find some delicious peaches and blackberries for when you make this recipe! 




Ingredients:

  • 8 small/medium peaches
  • 1 cup blackberries
  •  1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  •  ¼ cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup gluten-free flour (or you can use more almond meal)
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  •  ½ tsp. cinnamon
  •  ½ cup pecans (roughly chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. organic cane sugar (substitute coconut sugar or maple syrup)
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Coconut Whipped Cream:

  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk (only use the thick white milk on top)
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  •  1 ½ Tbsp. vanilla extract


Instructions:

1.     Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly coat an 8 X 8(or similarly sized baking dish).

2.     Chop up peaches and place fruit in the baking dish with the blackberries.

3.     Add all of the crumble ingredients in the mixing bowl; gluten-free oats, gluten-free flour, almond meal, olive oil, cinnamon, pecans, coconut sugar, and organic cane sugar.

4.     Add the crumble mixture to the top of the fruit in an even layer and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top of the crisp is golden.



5.    While the crisp is cooking, mix together the coconut milk (only using the thick white cream on top), maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Adjust recipe based on flavor. (To thicken even more place in freezer for about 15-20 minutes)

6.     Serve crisp with 2 heaping tablespoons of coconut cream on top. Enjoy!  




Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread

Who doesn't LOVE a good banana bread recipe?! Well when you add chocolate chips AND walnuts into the mix, it takes it to a whole other level. 

I've been making this recipe for a while, but recently I've started eating strictly gluten-free, so this is my gluten-free version. I have to say it came out even better than my orginal recipe. The bread came out seriously moist, light and fluffy. 

I have to warn you though, it is mildly addicting and you may find yourself slicing off bites every time you walk past it. Or sitting at your computer in the kitchen, staring at it and planning on the next time its ok to have another piece...

This is the perfect recipe for brunch over the weekend, to bring to a dinner party, or to just enjoy at home. The key is using extremely ripe bananas, and I also like to use chocolate semisweet (42%) cocao chips. I prefer using ingredients that have been minimally processed. 

Everything in balance. Yes, I promote eating a plant-based healthy lifestyle, but from time to time or for a special occasion its ok to treat yourself. I hope you treat yourself to this recipe! Enjoy!



Ingredients: 


Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350"F. Grease a loaf pan with oil and dust with flour. 

2. Mix the mashed bananas, vanilla extract, orange juice, vegetable oil, and eggs together. 

3. Then add in the sugar, flour, chocolate chips, walnuts, and salt. Mix together well. 

4. Pour mixture into loaf pan, and cook for 45 minutes, until brown and cooked through. (The bread will seem gooey, but if you place a knife or toothpick into the bread and nothing sticks to it, its cooked through.)

5. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Enjoy!