Three Quick ‘n’ Easy Tartines

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These just kind of happened the other day…I was making soup for my husband and I, and, because we were starving, I wanted to do a quick snack to tide us over til the soup was ready. I thought I’d share them with you in case you needed yet another New Year’s party appetizer idea. πŸ™‚

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I used Acme Bread Company’s Whole Wheat Walnut Levain. So tasty.

Pomegranate-Basil Tartines

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Layer up:

  • A slice of your favorite bread or crostini
  • A thin smear of low fat cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • A little fresh basil or fresh mint

Avocado-Radish Tartines

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Layer up:

  • A slice of your favorite bread or crostini
  • A thin smear of low fat cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
  • Sliced radishes
  • Sliced ripe avocado
  • Kosher salt

Apple-Cream Cheese Tartines

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Layer up:

  • A slice of your favorite bread or crostini
  • A thin smear of low fat cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
  • Thin slices of apple (I used Gala)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (don’t leave this out….yum)

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Hippie Love Granola

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I am so excited to share this recipe with you. I pretty much just took all my favorite grains – lots of oats, quinoa, amaranth, millet, flax, and chia –Β  threw them into a bowl, and baked up a batch of…well, love. πŸ™‚

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This granola is fantastic. So, so fantastic. I’ve been tossing it in with my overnight oats, or just as cereal (I do recommend using almond milk for cereal – the nuttiness really adds a lot). It’s a little on the crumbly side, so it works better as a cereal than as a trail mix.

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Note: I read a bunch of tutorials online on how to pop amaranth, but I couldn’t get it to work for me. I included the directions below in case you could get it to work, but this granola works great with the amaranth raw.

Note 2: You may see from the pictures that I forgot the nuts. It is tasty either way. πŸ™‚

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup uncooked millet
  • 1/3 cup uncooked amaranth
  • 1/4 cup flax seed (I used 2 tbs ground, and 2 tbs whole, for the texture)
  • 1/4 oat bran (or other bran)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (or other nut)
  • 1/2 cup almonds (or other nut)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (i LOVE cinnamon. Most people would probably use 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbs canola oil, orΒ  coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup spiced apple cider
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350. First pop the amaranth – heat a frying pan over medium heat, cover, and shake the pan a little until most of the amaranth has popped (like mini popcorn kernels). Then mix all dry ingredients (except nuts) together in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, mix all wet ingredients then add to dry ingredients. Adjust seasonings to taste. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until almost golden. Remove from oven, flip the granola with a spatula, add the nuts, and return to oven. Bake for another 5-7 minutes until the nuts are toasted and the grains are golden.

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Winter Fruit ‘n’ Grains Parfait with Spiced Cider Maple Syrup

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Merry almost-Christmas! Here’s a simple but gourmet breakfast or brunch for you – of persimmon, pomegranate, squash, cranberries, and quinoa, dressed in a cider maple sauce.

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This is great if you have guests and want to serve them something a little fancier than pancakes, or even if you just want to do something a little fancier and seasonal for breakfast.

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‘Tis the season, after all…the season for persimmons….

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I am so obsessed with persimmons right now. They’re also a lot of fun to photograph. πŸ˜‰ You’ll likely see lots more persimmon recipes in this space.

Also, this parfait uses many of the same ingredients from my last recipe.

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Ingredients

Makes 2 medium-size parfaits

  • 2/3 cup cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa)
  • 1 medium pomegranate, or 1/2 small one (you’ll have some seeds left over), OR 2/3 cup pom seeds
  • 1 Fuyu persimmon
  • 1/2 cooked butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, apricots, or raisins
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • cinnamon to taste
  • toasted almonds or pecans to top

Directions

To make the syrup, combine cider and maple in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and boil until the mixture has reduced to a syrup-y consistency. Note: you’ll have syrup left over. Then seed the pomegranates – a lovely tutorial is here. Assemble the parfaits in short, wide glasses. Or just mix everything in a bowl. TIP: I drizzled some syrup and cinnamon over the quinoa layers to add a little sweetness. Drizzle more syrup over the top of the parfait. See how lovely they are?

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Serve with tea or coffee.

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Perfect Lunches for a Week: Butternut Squash, Chickpea, and Kale Salad

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Good morning! I’m back from my recent travels and am excited to share a handful of recipes with you. Thanks, by the way, to those of you that gave me great tips for dining veg in Europe!

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I’m particularly excited about this recipe. I call it perfect because, in addition to being oh so tasty, it’s a super easy and cheap way to have a sack lunch during the week. It works great to cook up a big batch of the ingredients on Sundays, and then quickly assemble the salads into tupperwares (maybe wait til the morning of to dress them) for weekday lunches.

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For an example, on Sunday:

Cook a batch of chickpeas. Soak them overnight or do a quick soak (bring dry beans to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit for 45 min), then bring to a boil in a large pot. (I use 2 parts water per 1 part chickpeas. Remember that 1 cup dried chickpeas yields about 2 1/2 cups cooked) Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour.

– Meanwhile, roast a butternut squash. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and pierce the flesh with a knife. Place in a baking dish in 1/2 inch water (to prevent the skin from burning), drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 400 F until tender and golden (~45 min in my oven).

– Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Add 1 part quinoa per 2 parts water to a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed. Note that 1 cup dry quinoa yields about 2-3 cups cooked.

– Meanwhile, clean and chop the kale, onion, almonds, and any other veggies you want to toss in.

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Now you have lunches for the whole week! I also love that this dish features simple ingredients that cost pennies per serving. (Well, quinoa can be kinda pricey, but feel free to sub in another grain of your choice if quinoa is pushing the budget…) Those simple ingredients, however, are anything but plain here. I’ve been enjoying this hearty and fancy lunch all week!

Note: the amounts given below are for just an individual salad (or 2). I definitely recommend making large batches of all ingredients in the beginning of the week.

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Ingredients

For 2 servings (or a very hungry 1)

  • 3-4 cups kale, chopped
  • 2/3 cup cooked chickpeas (see directions above)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa) (see directions above)
  • 1 cup butternut squash, cooked and chopped into bite-size pieces (see directions above)
  • 1 tbs chopped red onion
  • 2 tbs dried cranberries
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • optional add-ins: chopped toasted almonds (1/4 cup), caramelized fennel (about 1/2 bulb), dried apricots instead of cranberries, orange zest (about 1 tsp), pinch of cumin, pinch of cinnamon

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Directions

Add all ingredients except salt, pepper, vinegar and oil into a mixing bowl or a tupperware container (if taking it to go). In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and oil. Drizzle over the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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I’ve been working on cheap, convenient, healthy lunch ideas for a while. Do any of you have great go-to sack lunch ideas? I find legume-centric ones work great. I hope you enjoy this as much as we have!

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