Friday, April 24, 2015

Raspberry & Apple Granola Crumble

Disclaimer:  Lisa and I are consulting dietitians for the National Processed Raspberry Council.

I mentioned on Tuesday that I’ve been spending the week in Delburne, the small town in Alberta that harbors some of my fondest memories.

{Raspberry & Apple Granola Crumble} Raspberries and apples make a great pairing in this wholesome dessert, which only calls for a little bit of added sugar and a variety of good-for-you ingredients! Top with a scoop of Greek yogurt or serve plain for a nutritious, sweet treat.

Aside from having some focused work time, enjoying nourishing family-style meals in the evenings, and finding a new show that’s gotten my attention on Netflix (Bloodline), we’ve laughed a lot. There’s a lot I appreciate my family, but their sense of humor rate among the top. 

Earlier this week, for example, what we thought would be a reflective and meditative walk turned into honing in on my horse wrangling skills. To make 45 minutes into a few short sentences, envision five horses, a donkey, and a llama, named Bugsie, fleeing for their freedom. The adventure started with our adorable host 'rancherette' graciously letting us roam her beautiful property; on our way to the walking trail, a few horses snuck out of the gate. In the initial moments, we were panicked, but as soon as we realized everything was okay and the animals returned to their home, we all shared some good belly laughs.

{Raspberry & Apple Granola Crumble} Raspberries and apples make a great pairing in this wholesome dessert, which only calls for a little bit of added sugar and a variety of good-for-you ingredients! Top with a scoop of Greek yogurt or serve plain for a nutritious, sweet treat.


Before I head back to the city today, I wanted to share a recipe that’s perfect for gatherings with family and friends. Crumbles have always been one of my favorite desserts – they’re not overly complicated and still have room to pack in some nutrition with the goodness of fruit. This crumble is entirely plant-based, and utilizes date paste, which are dried dates, soaked in warm water and pureed; it’s a naturally sweet way to sweeten your desserts.

{Raspberry & Apple Granola Crumble} Raspberries and apples make a great pairing in this wholesome dessert, which only calls for a little bit of added sugar and a variety of good-for-you ingredients! Top with a scoop of Greek yogurt or serve plain for a nutritious, sweet treat.

Have a great weekend!

Raspberry & Apple Granola Crumble

Raspberries and apples make a great pairing in this wholesome dessert, which only calls for a little bit of added sugar and a variety of good-for-you ingredients! Top with a scoop of Greek yogurt or serve plain for a nutritious, sweet treat.

{Raspberry & Apple Granola Crumble} Raspberries and apples make a great pairing in this wholesome dessert, which only calls for a little bit of added sugar and a variety of good-for-you ingredients! Top with a scoop of Greek yogurt or serve plain for a nutritious, sweet treat.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups oats
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ slivered or sliced almonds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
dash of salt
4 tablespoons date paste, divided*
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 bag frozen raspberries
2 sweet apples, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ orange juiced

*Make the date paste by soaking dried dates in warm water and pureeing.

Directions:

1.     Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2.     Mix dry granola ingredients (oats, seeds, nuts, cinnamon, and salt) and set aside.
3.     In a large bowl, toss diced apples and frozen raspberries with vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, orange juice and 2 Tablespoons date paste.
4.     In another large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons date paste, agave nectar, coconut oil, ½ teaspoon cinnamon; mix in dry ingredients.
5.     In a medium baking dish, add raspberry apple mixture. Top with granola mixture
6.     Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring Lamb & Farro Stew

Disclaimer:  McKenzie and I are consulting dietitians for Lean on Lamb, the Tri-Lamb Group.

This recipe is aaaallllll about spring--spring vegetables, spring lamb, spring flavors and sunshine. It's perfect with a glass of crisp white wine or rosé.


This recipe is also about stretching a small amount of meat across multiple servings.  If you've read Dan Barber's The Third Plate, or Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal, or been reading our blog for awhile, you'll be familiar with this concept.  For our health and the health of the planet, animal protein should be a condiment instead of the focus of meal, supplemented with plentiful vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. It's a beautiful, delicious and nourishing way to eat, and one that asks you to explore your creativity and think outside of the meat and potatoes box.

This Spring lamb stew celebrates the beauty of frugality--stretching a half-pound of lamb across one meal for four people, or 2 ounces per person.  It's fresh with fennel and leeks, rich with lamb, hearty with farro, and fragrant with wine, lemon and tarragon.  And even though ingredients like leeks and fennel can be expensive at the grocery store, when you buy them in season at your local farmers market, they become affordable.  What a wonderful way to bring in a new cooking season.


Spring Lamb & Farro Stew

Serves 4

½ pound lamb stew meat
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 leeks, sliced
1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes
¼ cup white wine
3 ½ cups water or homemade chicken stock without salt
1 cup farro
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Season the lamb stew meat with salt.  Place a heavy-bottomed, oven safe pot over medium heat.  Add one tablespoon of the olive oil and then add the lamb in one layer.  Let brown well on one side before turning the pieces to brown the other side.  Remove the lamb from the pan and place in a bowl.

Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Add the other tablespoon of olive oil, the leeks, fennel bulb, salt and red pepper flakes.  Saute about 5 minutes, until vegetables are starting to soften.  Add the white wine and stir.  Add the water or chicken stock and then stir in the farro.  Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Place a tight-fitting lid on the pot and place the pot in the oven.  Let cook for about 1 ½ - 2 hours, or until the lamb is tender and the farro is cooked.

Remove from the oven and stir in the peas, tarragon and lemon zest.




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

{Recipe Redux} Broccoli Stalk Salsa Verde

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a presentation that I’m giving at a conference next month.  The topic is how to make local foods affordable—cooking on a very limited budget.  As I stewed over ideas and started testing recipes and calculating costs, I had some ‘ah ha’ moments.

Part of saving money on our food budget is about not wasting food.  Every time we pitch uneaten food into the trash, we’re throwing money away.  The average American family throws out $1,600 worth of food a year!    


I started realizing the ways in which I’m guilty of that practice—not drinking all of the milk before it spoils, having a loaf of bread go stale, letting vegetables wilt in the crisper before I get to cook or eat them.  It adds up! 

So when I saw The Recipe Redux theme this month—spring cleaning, or using up all the ingredients that seem to hang around for awhile—it really hit home.  I’ve vowed to be more inventive in my cooking and put all those bits and pieces to good use—and nourishment! 

I have lots of ideas I've developed over the last month, and I'll be sharing those over the next few weeks.  But, I'm starting with broccoli stalks, which don’t get a lot of love.  Sometimes I roast them with the broccoli florets.  Sometimes I shred them in salads.  But I played with some recipes and found they are absolutely delicious when turned into a salsa verde, which is basically just a fancy name for a green sauce. 


I pureed the broccoli stalks (I didn’t even peel them) with cilantro, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, sea salt and red pepper flakes.  Use it the same way you would pesto or chimichurri.  I put it on top of a potato hash, mashed it with avocado for a zesty avocado toast, and just ate it out of the bowl with a spoon.



What are your best waste-saving tips? We’d love to hear!

Broccoli Stalk Salsa Verde

Makes about 2 cups

Stalks from a large bunch of broccoli
½ of a bunch of cilantro, stems and leaves (about 1 cup)
Zest and juice of one lemon
½ teaspoon sea salt
Large pinch of red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and process together until smooth.  Use as a dip, topping for toast, or sauce for eggs.  Or, use your imagination!





Farro and Beet Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

I’m working from Delburne, this week – the town in rural Alberta where my Grandma, Aunt and Uncle live – aka. it’s our extended family’s meeting place. There’s something wonderful about visiting Delburne that consistently feels like a travel back in time to a place where you rarely see people on their iPhones and the food on your dinner plate came from the soil or a nearby ranch.

Farro and Beet Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette: This plant-based whole grain salad features beautiful, well-rounded ingredients – Earthy beets and farro, creamy goat cheese, salty pistachios, and bright blood oranges. It’s the perfect salad for a springtime picnic!


When I’m here, eating vegetables is easy since Grandma’s fridge and freezer are overflowing with the bounty from her garden. But, admittedly, eating a slice of Grandma’s homemade banana cream pie after dinner is equally as easy, too.  Case in point: last night.

Farro and Beet Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette: This plant-based whole grain salad features beautiful, well-rounded ingredients – Earthy beets and farro, creamy goat cheese, salty pistachios, and bright blood oranges. It’s the perfect salad for a springtime picnic!


Although the weather is expectedly cooler here than it is in LA, it’s still picnic weather and a good enough reason for me to enjoy this plant-based salad with my family.  And with Earth Day being tomorrow, it’s seems fitting to spend some extra time outside, soaking up the fresh air.


I’m hoping to spend some more time with my family today and I’m looking forward to a long walk and time to just be outside. It’s really nice to be here :)


Farro and Beet Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

This plant-based whole grain salad features beautiful, well-rounded ingredients – Earthy beets and farro, creamy goat cheese, salty pistachios, and bright blood oranges. It’s the perfect salad for a springtime picnic!

Farro and Beet Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette: This plant-based whole grain salad features beautiful, well-rounded ingredients – Earthy beets and farro, creamy goat cheese, salty pistachios, and bright blood oranges. It’s the perfect salad for a springtime picnic!


Ingredients:
1 cup farro
1 bunch asparagus
3 large beets
1/3 cup shelled pistachios
1 (4oz.) packet goat cheese

dressing:
2 tablespoons blood orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Cook 1 cup farro with 3 cups of lightly salted water, until tender and water is mostly absorbed. Drain, and set aside to cool.
3. Wash and cut beets into quarters, and steam until tender. Allow to cool.
4. Wash and trim asparagus and steam until crisp. Allow to cool.
5. Remove skins from the cooled beets and cut into bite sized cubes; cut asparagus on diagonal into pieces.
6. Add farro, beets, asparagus, and pistachios to a large bowl and crumble in goat cheese.
7. Toss with dressing and serve.


Enjoy, preferably with those you love.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Thai Sweet Chili Chip Veggie Patties with Ginger Slaw

As a nutrition ambassador for Way Better Snacks, this post is sponsored by Way Better Snacks and I was compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I love working with the brand.

I still remember tasting my very first veggie burger. It was more than fifteen years ago at a restaurant called Café Mosaics on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton.

While I’ve always been drawn to vegetarian meals and dishes on restaurant menus, this one in particular left such an impression because it was that good. I’ve experimented with tons of veggie patty recipes since that first veggie burger bite, but this recipe is certainly my new favorite.

Thai Sweet Chili Chip Veggie Patties with Ginger Slaw: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free


I love how uncomplicated making these are, and the Sweet Chili Way Better Snacks gives the veggie patties excellent flavor. Using a 100% whole grain, sprouted chip provides a boost of nutrition over an ordinary white breadcrumb, too.  

These patties pair wonderfully with the Ginger Slaw so I wouldn't skip that step. And any leftover chips can be used to scoop up your favorite dip, such as guacamole, homemade salsa, or hummus. 




In my mind, any meal chock-full with so many good-for-you ingredients, and still makes room for a few extra chips paired with your favorite dip, is a winner in my book! 

Thai Sweet Chili Chip Veggie Patties with Ginger Slaw: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free

Thai Sweet Chili Chip Veggie Patties with Ginger Slaw

Since these veggie patties are vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, they appeal to a variety of dietary preferences and are a delicious option to serve at your next BBQ. Top each patty with the Ginger Slaw and avocado for a satisfying, well balanced meal.


Thai Sweet Chili Chip Veggie Patties with Ginger Slaw: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free


Makes 8 small patties

Ingredients:
Patties:
½ cup lentils, uncooked
1 (15oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
½ onion, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon diced Serrano chili
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
¼ cup packed fresh cilantro
~ 2 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Ginger Slaw:
2 cup cabbage, thinly shredded
2 carrots, julienned
1 cup snap peas, sliced
2 scallions, diced

dressing:
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or vegan alternative)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

Directions:
1. Whisk all the dressing ingredients for the Ginger Slaw in a large bowl and toss with the cabbage, carrots, snap peas, and scallions. Set aside.
2. Cook lentils in boiling water until very soft. Drain and set aside.
3. Process Way Better Snacks Sweet Chili Chips in food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs. Remove and set aside.
4. Next in your food processor, add onion, scallions, garlic, and Serrano chili until finely diced.
5. To that, add the beans, cooked lentils, cumin, soy sauce, ginger, and cilantro, and pulse until just incorporated.
6. Lastly add the processed Way Better Snacks Chili Chips and pulse until a soft dough forms together.
7. Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts and lightly flatten into small patties.
8. In a large frying pan, adding about 1 tablespoon of oil at a time, cook the patties in batches, a few minutes on each side, until lightly brown and crisp. Remove to a piece of paper towel to drain.
9. Top the patties with the Ginger Slaw and serve with sliced avocado.

Nutrition analysis for Thai Sweet Chili Chip Veggie Patties per serving:
Calories: 174; Fat: 6.4g; Saturated Fat: 0.7g; Carbohydrates: 23g; Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 7g


Enjoy, preferably with those you love!

Thai Sweet Chili Chip Veggie Patties with Ginger Slaw: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free