Showing posts with label adaptable raw. Show all posts
Showing posts with label adaptable raw. Show all posts

Late Summer Green Bean Salad with Feta, Cranberries, and Walnuts

As we enter the last hurrah of summer around here, a bumper crop of lovely green beans are making their showy appearance at our local farmers market. Sure there are the standard beans, glorious in their plump greenness, but there are also the more unusual varieties arriving onto the scene. The deep purple, almost midnight black numbers. Broad beans that are flecked with a red that mysteriously disappears once cooked. The fashionably thin French selections. All delightful and unique in their own way.

Mix any combination of these beauties with brain boosting walnuts along with the tang of feta and the sweetness of dried cranberries and you have the beginning of an enchanting late summer side salad. For our vegan friends, skip the feta. An inspired raw version can be created by shredding the uncooked beans, switching out lemon juice for the balsamic and Dijon, omitting the cheese and leaving the walnuts in all their raw glory. 

Thrive Short Order | Paleo Black Forest Breakfast Bars {Gluten-Free, Vegan, No-Bake}

I don't know about you, but I find most mornings in my household to be just short of a circus act. Between caring for a rambunctious three-year-old, working and tending to the nitty- gritty details of the home, sometimes I feel a sense of complete overwhelm - as I am sure many do. Yet, as with most things in life, daily chaos is also fertile ground for inspiration along with one of my all time favorite topics: chocolate.

Recently I was pondering the amazing health benefits of this delicious food and realized it could easily be transformed into a stellar breakfast meal. With a little creativity and plenty of superfood caliper additions, chocolate could be a near perfect beginning to any day for the reasons found here. Hemp seed adds protein, coconut flour a good dose of sugar balancing fiber and cherries are a powerhouse in their own right. The end result also had to be effortless in preparation and something that is grab and go. And since I need all the help I can get with clarity of thought in the morning, the bar absolutely had to support brain function in a serious way. Walnuts fit the bill nicely with an abundant dose of mind boosting omega-3 fats. Drop me a line and let me know if you give these a try.

Thrive Short Order | Shaved Fennel Salad with Arugula and White Balsamic

Fennel is one of those vegetables we don't tend to hear much about these days. A shame, really, as the raw crunch and unique sweetness is a nice paring for warm weather. Combined with arugula along with a light balsamic vinaigrette and this recipe comes together in a flash. Not only that, but it's a nutritional powerhouse, chock-full of vitamin A and C as well as iron from the greens. And chipotle pepper adds a surprising smoky kick. Use as a side for grilled chicken or fish. It can certainly hold its own as a light meal too. Whichever you choose, make sure to share with good conversation and friendship.

Evelyn's Raspberry-Apricot Tartlets

This recipe is inspired by Evelyn, our vivacious 16-month-old. She loves raspberries. I mean, this little girl can power-down an entire pint of berries if I let her. For Evelyn, raspberries are only second to avocados. And even then, it is a close match.

We are lucky enough to live in an area that grows seasonal, organic, real raspberries. Not those overly-perfect, yet totally tasteless kind. Ours are the real deal. If you can track down locally grown raspberries, it is well worth the effort.

The slight tanginess of the berries are paired with the sunny sweetness of apricots. And grounded with the richness of almonds. If you have not had a truly raw, unpasteurized almond lately, you are in for a treat. Tread carefully here. Many so-called 'raw' almonds have actually been flash pasteurized due to regulations in some states. Look specifically for unpasteurized on the label. There is no comparison in quality or taste. Think fresh marzipan with authentic almond character.

Chard Ribbons with Strawberry and Pine Nut

My toddler daughter Evelyn and I arrived in the Pacific Northwest last week after a seven month jaunt in Thailand. To be honest, it is a refreshing relief to be back in the cool green of Portland. One of our first outings involved the local, sprawling, lively organic farmers market. We found bouquets of swiss chard, collards and kale along with gorgeous Alice-in-Wonderland sized peonies. And the strawberries. Deep red, flavorful, and juicy. Need I say more? A delightful way to spend the afternoon.

For those who are raising an eyebrow at the combination of swiss chard and strawberries, let me reassure you: this is the perfect summertime salad. The chard is marinated in a zesty lemon-Dijon vinaigrette instead of cooked. Plump organic strawberries are a sweet compliment to the peppery tang of the chard. Tossed with a handful of golden brown pine nuts, the flavor is nicely balanced. In this version, the chard is given a slight wilt although it can certainly be served straight away for those who crave more crunch.

Make it completely raw by substituting the pine nuts with hemp seeds or even chopped macadamia.

This is a simple to prepare salad that is surprisingly complex in flavor and a good way to add leafy greens to the diet. Here's to health, well-being, and joy.

Yield: Four Side Servings

For Salad:

1 bunch rainbow swiss chard, chiffonade cut
2 cups quartered strawberries
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

And Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons fresh, coarse ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Celtic or Himalayan sea salt

In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients for the vinaigrette. Add swiss chard and toss until ribbons are well coated. Let stand at room temperature until mildly wilted, about an hour. Next, gently fold in strawberries. Divide salad onto four serving plates and sprinkle with pine nuts and extra black pepper, if desired. 

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all."
-Harriet Van Horne

It's Spring! Rolls

The long anticipated winter thaw is finally here. I could not think of a better recipe than the one below to welcome abundant sunshine, beauty and color back into our lives. And more joy too.

Not only lovely and surprising, flowers lend a healthful boost to any meal. To learn more about edible varieties along with their benefits, go here. Also worthy of note is manuka honey which comes from a specific region in New Zealand. This is no ordinary sweetener;  it boasts strong antibacterial, anti parasitic, and anti fungal properties. For a more in-depth exploration, click here.

If you aspire towards a raw food diet, this recipe can easily be adapted by trading the spring roll wrapper with a delicate butter leaf lettuce or even romaine. Just make sure to roll your creation as a cone to allow the color inside to peek through. For a vegan version, swap the honey with coconut nectar or agave.

Yield: Friendly light lunch for two

1 cup shredded purple cabbage
2 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves, stems removed
1 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
A handful of edible flowers
8 large rice paper spring roll wrappers

Apricot-Cranberry Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup dried apricots, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained, and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon raw manuka honey
1/4 cup warm water
pinch of Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
2 tablespoons dried, unsweetened cranberries, roughly chopped
1 green onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons almond oil
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Divide ingredients into eight equal portions on a large cutting board or mat. Rinse a single rice paper wrapper with warm water and lay flat on work area. Take one portion of flowers and arrange in the center on the wrapper, leaving 2-inches of space on each side. Follow with cabbage, carrots, peppers, and spinach leaves. Fold both ends of the wrapper towards center until snug. Next, fold top side of the wrapper inward while tightly rolling into a uniform roll, ending with seam on the bottom, flowers on top.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.

For dipping sauce, pulse dried apricots, vinegar, honey, water, and salt in a blender until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add an additional tablespoon or two of warm water. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in dried cranberries, green onions, almond oil, and nutmeg. Divide mixture into two dipping sauce bowls and serve with four spring rolls each.

“Try to cook so that it will surprise a little, agreeably and astonish slightly, without shocking.”
  -Jean Marie Amat