warm sautéed grapes, autumn kale + edamame salad w/ shiso vinaigrette


a few times this past week i found myself in a super unfamiliar place; my hands and counters covered with non-gluten free flour, the smell of yeast and honey proofing - and when it didn't proof - the anxiety of whether my instant yeast from the back of pantry was still alive!   moments of worry? sure.  but the process of making bread by hand lands on the more gratifying side of the kitchen accomplishment spectrum for sure - weighing of flours, proofing of yeast, kneading, oh the kneading (can we just call this therapy? because i haven't had a moment of zen like that in the kitchen in quite awhile!), the RISE, the second rise, and finally the baking of it all.  i made 2 different challahs for the jewish new year this past week, both using whole spelt flour, and while i couldn't partake in the devouring of it i did manage to sneak a few nibbles (but stopped when my face broke out in a couple hives and my belly felt like lead - oy!).  it was dense and sweet and just the best piece of gluten i've sunken my teeth into in quite some time.  perhaps i've come to a certain place (or age) where i can really appreciate why there are a vast amount of books, techniques and procedures for the baking up of some leavened goodness because it is so clearly a form of art (and testament to one's patience!).  so, maybe if i gather up enough guts to venture into the bread baking world there will be a post in the future, but for now i'm leaving that to the experts (here and here) and sticking with what i know best: fruits + veggies! 

while i'm not the biggest fan of raw kale in general, i find that the baby variety is a lot easier going down and it's actually one of my favorite greens to use this time of year.  however, strong flavors and some good old fashion texture help out too when there's a big bowl of greens waiting to be chewed up.  enter: grapes, edamame, nuts + seeds; plus a super punchy, but herby, shiso vinaigrette.  it's a more plenteous salad than i was used to eating this summer, full of rich flavors like, sweet/savory warm grapes, earthy beans, and garlic-toasted nuts.  so, i guess as october is already here, this salad is a salute to next few months of more considerable, substantial fall meals.

happy october, all! xo



sautéed grapes, autumn kale + edamame salad w/ shiso vinaigrette 

if you can't find shiso leaves where you are, i would say that a mixture of basil, lemon verbena, and mint should suffice.  or, you could perhaps try 1/4 cup thai basil with some lemon zest for somewhat of a similar vibe.  and if you're not using fresh edamame pods, frozen ones are just as good. 

| serves 4 |

ingredients

shiso vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup packed shiso leaves
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (if you don't have mirin, substitute with 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup/honey/brown sugar
  • salt + pepper to taste

salad

  • 4-5 cups baby kale
  • 1/2 cup cooked edamame
  • 4 green onions, white and light green parts sliced thin
  •  1 cup grapes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon raw pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • extra virgin olive oil + splash of toasted sesame oil
  • salt + pepper
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • shiso flowers (or small leftover shiso leaves)


instructions

shiso vinaigrette

  • in a food processor, add the shiso, vinegar, mirin, olive oil, sesame oil, and syrup (or sweetener of choice) and pulse until leaves are broken up and liquid is mixed.  taste and adjust seasoning.  using a fine mesh sieve over a small fitted jar, strain the vinaigrette; use the back of a spatula or spoon to squish all of the liquid.  cover jar and place in the refrigerator until ready to use

sautéed grapes

  • heat a skillet on medium heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan; add the smashed garlic and pine nuts along with a pinch of salt.  cook until garlic is fragrant and nuts have toasted a bit - about 1-2 minutes - then add the halved grapes (try to arrange the grapes cut side down to get a bit of caramelization on them, but don't make yourself crazy, they will taste just as good!).  let them cook for about 1 minute, until their bubbly and juicy.  dispose of smashed garlic, and sprinkle with parsley; remove pan from heat and let the grapes rest

arrange salad

  • in a large serving bowl, mix kale, edamame, green onions with a couple tablespoons of vinaigrette - taste and adjust - then add the warm sautéed grapes and pine nuts.  gently toss the salad and adjust dressing and seasoning.  serve with toasted sesame seeds and shiso flowers/small shiso leaves 

enjoy!


all the nuts, grains & seeds in my pantry granola + homemade almond-macadamia milk


maybe it's just me, but macadamia nuts just have a way elevating the everyday nut situation.  where most nuts are creamy and delicious, macadamias come in a take that lusciousness to the next level.  besides munching on macadamias, i never had them in any form until this past summer when me and my husband were in LA.  we were walking around venice, and searching for any restaurant/cafe/bakery we could find to get an iced coffee and get out of the heat for a few minutes.  we happened upon gjelina - not really known for their coffee, but rather for their delicious fare - we ordered up some iced coffees: frank, black; and me, with almond milk.  the man behind the counter went on about how they hand-made their almond-macadamia milk, but not really caring (because all i wanted was my cold coffee on this super hot day), i yessed him to death and went along with the whole thing.  in the end, i'm glad he gave me that long spiel, and took the time to tell me about their super special milk, because honestly, it has changed the nut-milk game in my eyes!  while i love almond milk on its own, the macadamias add a super rich, creamy texture (close to a coconut milk or whole dairy milk) that when consumed just provides an extra velvety hug - which is totally necessary when the thought of colder months comes creeping in : /   i've been using it up in the mornings with coffee, oatmeal, porridge, and granola; and i'm super eager to test it out in baked goods and perhaps some savory dishes! 

but before we go, this granola!  when my brother was in town a couple of weeks ago, we were at the table eating breakfast, he asked what kind of granola i was eating.  very articulately, i told him that it's delicious, and basically made from every friggin' nut, grain and seed in my pantry.  he took a bite and agreed, and when my brother tells me something is good, i listen.  and it's why this recipe is even here.  the granola is super clumpy and crunchy, lightly sweetened with maple syrup, with layers of texture from all the nut, seed + grain action going on here - it's basically my superfood breakfast dream!  perhaps it's yours too :)  

have a good one, friends! xo



superfood granola w/ homemade almond-macadamia milk (v + gf)

i've dubbed this "superfood granola" basically because it incorporates a large amount of nuts, seeds and grains that have high nutritional integrity including minerals, amino acids, anti-oxidants, and vitamins.  however, i understand that some ingredients are not readily available to all, so feel free to substitute or swap some seeds, nuts or grains for what you have on hand.  puffed millet can be found in the cereal section of most grocery stores, but can substituted with puffed quinoa, puffed amaranth, or puffed brown rice (just make sure they don't contain any added sweeteners).  and if you can't find quinoa flakes, just use cooked quinoa in its place.  additionally, the almond-macadamia milk can be sweetened with pitted dates, honey, maple syrup, etc.  *if using pitted dates, soak overnight with the nuts.

ingredients

almond-macadamia milk | makes about 4 cups/1 quart |

  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • pinch of fine grain salt

superfood granola | makes about 5 cups |

  • 1 cup (gluten free) rolled oats
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup puffed millet
  • 1 cup raw nuts (i used equal parts almonds, walnuts + pecans)
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1.4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
  • 1/3 cup grade b maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil

toppings (optional)

  • sliced pear or apples
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • fresh berries
  • goji berries


instructions

almond-macadamia milk

  • combine nuts in a large bowl and cover with water.  cover with fitted lid, or with plastic wrap, and let them soak overnight.  drain nuts and transfer them to a high speed blender, add the filtered water, salt, and scraped vanilla bean; blend about one minute.  line a fine mesh sieve with a nut milk bag, or 3 layers of cheesecloth (you could also use a large dish towel), and place over a large bowl; pour nut milk mixture into the nut bag; gather the sides of the bag/cheesecloth and wring out as much liquid as possible 
  • place nut meal aside, and transfer milk to container/s with a lid and store in the refrigerator.  (you can reserve nut meal for baking purposes or it can be dehydrated and made into flour.)
  • shake before serving

superfood granola

  • preheat oven to 300° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment
  • in a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients thoroughly.  warm the maple syrup on the stovetop or in a microwave and add the coconut oil to melt it.  give it a stir to ensure the oil has melted fully, then pour over nut, grain and seed mix.  mix for about 1 minute; transfer granola to prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer
  • bake granola for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through.  remove from oven and let cool completely. store in an airtight container at room temp

enjoy!


hazelnut layer cake w/ fig compote + (vegan) cream cheese frosting


today i turn a year older, an occasion mostly met with celebratory cake, birthday cards, and random birthday wishes from high school acquaintances on facebook; but it's also a day i like to take in, see where i've come, and concoct some notion of where i'm going, or where i'd like to be.  and i'm super-duper lucky because i get to share it all with my insanely awesome husband who's birthday was just a few days before mine.  so, mid-september has become somewhat of a birthday blowout with multiple cakes, family, and birthday songs, candles, mini weekend trips and love...always tons and tons of love.   

last year was all about my husband's favorite combination of sweets, but this year i'm going fruity with it! end of summer fruit is just simply beautiful, with all those purple-y, violet, almost red wine hues going on.  so, i wanted to celebrate those colors here, and add some figgy flavor to an otherwise creamy, toasted hazelnut cake.   i wasn't wanting an overly sweet cake either, so the addition of cream cheese in the frosting set a perfect balance to keep it from creeping over to an overly sugary dark side - i guess it's more of a grown-up cake :) 

wishing you all the loveliest of weeks! xo



hazelnut layer cake w/ fig compote + (vegan) cream cheese frosting (gluten + dairy free)

| makes a 2 layer, 6 inch round cake |

ingredients

hazelnut cake

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut meal (ground from toasted and shelled hazelnuts)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all natural cane sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (soft, not melted)
  • 2 free range eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

fig compote

  • 1 cup ripe black mission figs (roughly 12 ounces), cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon grade b maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of cardamom (optional)

(vegan) cream cheese frosting

  • 12 ounces vegan cream cheese (i like Tofutti or Follow Your Heart)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons organic palm shortening
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons organic powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

garnish

  • leftover figs, cut or whole
  • elderberries, champagne grapes or whatever you have on hand


instructions

hazelnut cake

  • preheat oven to 350° and line the bottoms of each cake pan with parchment paper.  then grease and flour pans, set aside
  • in a large bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients, set aside.  in another large bowl, combine the sugar and coconut oil with an electric mixer, beat on medium until light and fluffy.  add the eggs one at a time until incorporated; then add the vanilla and milk; mix again for about 30 seconds.  turn down the mixer to medium-low; a little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet
  • divide batter evenly between the 2 cake pans (this technique of using a scale has always helped me get 2 totally even layers!) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean
  • transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 20 minutes; then remove layers and rest on rack until completely cool.  wrap each layer in a separate piece of plastic wrap and place in refrigerator; allow to rest for at least 1 hour or up to a day

fig compote

  • place cut figs in a medium saucepan; add the syrup, lemon juice and cardamom (if using).  place over a medium flame and stir frequently until figs soften and juices release.  allow the figs to fall apart, stirring every so often, use the back of spoon to break them up a bit.  once the compote has thickened a bit - about 15-20 minutes, remove from heat and let cool.  store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use

cream cheese frosting

  • in a large bowl, cream the cream cheese and shortening until fluffy.  add the vanilla and powdered sugar a little a time and mix until combined (if not using right away, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator)

assemble

  • remove cake layers from fridge and place on a cake stand or large plate.  using an offset spatula, put about 2-3 tablespoons worth of frosting on one cake layer, spread evenly.  spread roughly 2-3 tablespoons of fig compote over the frosting, leaving about 1/2 inch of space from the edge.  place the other cake layer on top and frost the rest of the cake.  garnish with extra figs - cut or whole - elderberries, or whatever other fruits you may have on hand 

enjoy!


zucchini-basil chickpea waffles w/ tomato + shaved fennel salad


i'm having a hard time coming to terms with the end of summer; just that lazy, easy-breeziness of it all seems to move in a direction of rigidity and schedules as fall approaches.  but on the up side, the humidity has faded and the weather has been significantly cooler the past few days, allowing for the consumption of hot beverages and baking with the air conditioner off!  it's also reawakened an eagerness to get outside, and breath in some fresh air.  i've never been a runner/jogger - more of a yoga/pilates enthusiast -  and i suppose i blame my elementary school gym teacher who made us do laps around the track; and long story short, i wound up in the nurses office sick, lightheaded, and on the verge of passing out.  that memory alone was traumatic enough for me stay away from running as a sport.  but i've had this vision in my head of a long distance run, where my body feels strong and capable; that's it's able to endure any bad mental inhibitions, and just go for it!  i've been a few days in using a training app on my phone (thank you Sarah for putting me on to this!), that provides some much needed structure and guidance for getting started.  besides my legs being absolutely sore/jelly, i'm feeling super strong and steady taking on this personal endeavor!  

since burning up more calories each day than i'm used to, i now feel a lot more hungry!  this is where these waffles come in!  since seeing this recipe, all i've had on my brain was savory waffles; and since i also love utilizing garbanzo bean flour in just about everything, i thought that it would make be an awesome base for the waffles i had in mind.  i really love using chickpea flour mainly for its unique flavor, but also because it's an awesome source of protein, carbs, vitamins, and fiber - something i don't generally think of when i eat waffles, so i wanted that to change!  here, i added zucchini to the batter, because i still have a bunch leftover from last weekend, along with some fresh basil, leftover fennel fronds, and a healthy amount of garlic.  i topped them with a simple tomato and shaved fennel salad just to lighten it up and add some crunch.  these waffles can certainly be adapted to your liking and can be served with just about anything : ) 



zucchini-basil chickpea waffles w/ tomato + shaved fennel salad (gluten + dairy free)

| makes 8 waffles |

ingredients

  • 2 cups garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1 zucchini, grated using the course holes on a box grater
  • 1 cup + 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds 
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and minced

tomato + shaved fennel salad

  • 2-3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced 
  • 1 small fennel bulb, shaved on a mandolin or sliced thin
  • dozen whole small basil leaves 
  • a couple sprigs fennel fronds, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt + pepper


instructions

tomato + fennel salad

  • place tomato, fennel, basil, and fronds in a medium bowl and season with salt + pepper.  in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and oil until fully incorporated.  a little at a time, add lemon and oil mix over the salad, taste and adjust seasonings.  set aside

chickpea waffles

  • in a large bowl, combine garbanzo bean flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.  in another large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, zucchini, almond milk, olive oil, garlic, basil, and chopped fronds
  • at this point, heat your waffle maker on medium-high (my waffle maker has a heat setting from 1-5 - 1 being the lowest - so i turn mine to about a 4 1/2)
  • prepare a baking sheet with parchment and preheat oven to warm or 200°.  mix the wet ingredients into the dry, and combine until fully mixed.  once your waffle iron reaches desired heat, spoon about 3 tablespoons worth of batter onto your iron and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes.  transfer waffle to baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm.  repeat with remaining batter
  • remove waffles from oven and top with tomato + fennel salad, garnish with extra fennel fronds or leftover basil

enjoy!


roasted fingerling potato salad w/ romesco + herby black quinoa


some things that i'm into:

  1. my mom's saturday csa box from blue hill at stone barns
  2. FermUp
  3. this new-to-me store 
  4. each and every one of these images 
  5. Pure Green Magazine's #PGMinseason project is still underway, check out my homegirls claire and laura's inspiring and beautiful posts! 

speaking of said csa box, my mom is not so into peppers.  she has given me a total of probably 3 pounds of them in the past 2 weeks.  shy of just giving them away to pepper-hungry neighborhood folk, i've made a lot of romesco sauce, and i've got this harissa, and this muhammara on a serious to-make list.  i'm also wondering if bell peppers can be frozen for a later date...?  i'm assuming so, but i would love if anyone had any helpful tips here :)  

so, because of the monumental amounts of peppers in my possession, and because my husband went shopping at the farmers' market and bought double the amount of potatoes, we have this potato + romesco salad (of sorts) today!  most times throughout the year i'm a sweet potato girl, but these couple of yummy spud-filled months have my heart (and tummy), and therefore potato salad.  as i've mentioned in the past, this summer tater salad is delicious and has been on serious rotation; and as hard as it was not making it this time around, i knew romesco was necessary!  i used basically what i had on hand, which included hazelnuts in place of blanched almonds, and an herby quinoa toss for texture and a bit of protein.  definitely a respectable meal on its own, but also an awesome picnic-y side!

happy september, lovely people! xo



roasted fingerling potato salad w/ romesco + herby black quinoa (v + gf)

| serves 4 |

you can definitely substitute larger potatoes, just cut them into quarters or eighths and roast from there.  you can also sub the hazelnuts for blanched almonds, or maybe pine nuts? and the black quinoa can totally be replaced with whatever grain you have on hand.

ingredients

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • large grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup black quinoa, rinsed
  • big pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnishing)
  • 1/4 cup romesco sauce

romesco sauce

  • 2 small-medium bell peppers, roasted, skins removed and seeded
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, skins removed (plus more chopped hazelnuts for garnishing)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (or freshly ground pepper to taste)


instructions

romesco sauce

  • in a food processor, combine roasted red peppers, garlic, hazelnuts, olive oil, vinegar, a couple pinches of salt, and a pinch of cayenne.  blend ingredients stopping every few seconds to scrape down sides and checking for seasoning until creamy.  place in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use

roasted potatoes

  • preheat oven to 375° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  • in a large mixing bowl, combine potatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt + pepper; spread evenly onto baking sheet.  place in the center of your oven for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes for even roasting. remove from oven and set aside

herby quinoa

  • while potatoes are roasting, make the quinoa.  combine quinoa with 1/2 cup water and a big pinch of salt;  cook for about 15-17 minutes. once water has absorbed, remove from heat and set aside.  in a serving bowl, mix the quinoa and the chopped parsley.  add the potatoes and the romesco sauce; check for seasoning and garnish with more chopped parsley and chopped hazelnuts

serve + enjoy!