blood orange, beet, and burrata salad

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It was a crisp December afternoon as I walked over the creaky doug fir floor boards one last time. The house was empty. Everything was packed. The strange feeling of moving out and leaving your home behind was setting in. It was our first home. We had worked hard and made it our own. Now we were on our way out of the home, the neighborhood, the city and state. We were leaving Seattle to return to Minneapolis, the city we’re originally from. I did one last sweep through the house. I tried to numb myself to any emotions that were arising, but I couldn’t help but feel tears rush to my eyes as I stepped away from the garden, the ancient unwieldy rosemary bush, the overgrown plum tree, the kitchen, the beautiful afternoon light beaming in through the front windows, and the seagulls squawking from above. The little things that make your life what it is. I was 7 months pregnant, and I was tired. Physically and emotionally. Saying goodbye to your job, your friends, your daily activities, your life as you know it is no easy feat. Neither is growing a human. Our house was sold, our stuff was packed. We picked up the cat carriers, and headed out the door one last time. The first several challenges were behind us, but we still had quite the journey ahead.

Little by little, I’ll share moments of the journey that’s made up the last several months. I know this is a food blog, but whatever. It’s more about insights and realizations, the beautiful times, the moments that tried us, and using mindfulness to get through those moments. Also, people may wonder why I’ve been silent for a while. Well, this is it.

Now for the salad! A bit overdue, but citrus was a huge craving of mine during pregnancy and after. I love how beets go with creamy burrata, and adding blood orange segments make it juicy and flavorful. Keep the burrata in halves if you want and pick at it as you go, or break it down into smaller pieces. Hemp seeds and pepitas bring in a wonderful crunchy seediness. This salad is bright, earthy, and very simple. I love it.

 

Ingredients

  • 3 blood oranges
  • 4 beets (2-3 if they’re larger in size)
  • 1-2 large burrata balls
  • sprinkling of hemp seeds and pepitas
  • tender baby greens (I used mustard greens and asian greens)
  • ~3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp juice from orange
  • dash of salt & pepper

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Remove stems, skin the beets and slice into quarter inch half moons. Toss well in olive oil and salt & pepper, and lay on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes on middle rack.
  2. Slice the oranges. When the beets are baked and cooled a bit, assemble the salad by cutting open burrata, and layering oranges, beets, and greens along plate. Drizzle olive oil and orange juice over salad, as well as hemp seeds and pepitas.

 

Serves 2-3

Enjoy!

roasted carrot naan pizza

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This, right here. This hit the spot for a springtime veggie lovers comfort food meal. I roasted and kale and carrots in a miso paste + olive oil mixture to make this extra savory.  The roasted kale along with the pepitas on top added a nice bit of crispiness. This could be great on the grill as well or with alternate toppings, but it turned out beautifully as is.

Makes 2 pizzas

Ingredients 

  • 2 pieces of naan bread
  • 4-5 carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 large leaves of red kale, stems removed and cut into smaller (1-2 inch) pieces
  • 3 oz. fromage blanc or spreadable goat cheese
  • 1/2 c. pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp miso paste (shiro miso is great)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ~ 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° and set halved carrots onto baking sheet.
  2. Make the miso oil by mixing the olive oil, miso paste, garlic, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle about 3/4 of the miso oil mixture onto the carrots, leaving the other 1/4 in the bowl. Scramble the carrots to completely cover in miso oil, then spread out in a row to evenly roast. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes at 400, flipping halfway through.
  3.  Toss the kale pieces in the bowl with the remaining miso oil and lightly coat. When there are about 5 minutes left for the carrots to bake, pull out the baking sheet and sprinkle the kale evenly over the carrots. Return baking sheet to oven and throw in the naan slices as well.
  4. After the final 5 minutes, the kale should be getting slightly crispy with browning edges. If not, leave it in for another minute. Finally, remove naan and carrots/kale. Spread a layer of fromage blanc onto each slice of naan. Layer on carrots and kale, and top with pepitas. Slice and enjoy!

Tip: When making the miso oil, the miso and olive oil may not fully mix. Taking the miso paste out of the fridge and allowing it to get to room temp definitely helps, but a “rough mix” works fine. I vigorously mix with a fork for 20 seconds, then a whisk for 20 seconds more, and quickly drizzle onto carrots with a spoon.

spring chickpea salad

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This is my one of my favorite spring salads to make when my garden greens are ready to harvest in the spring. It’s very basic and quick to prepare. A simple lemon & olive oil drizzle is all it needs for dressing. Often I like nuts or something with a crunch-factor in salads, but I omit that here so the tender garden greens can shine. Also, the soft boiled egg, chickpeas, and dried coppa is a delicious fatty and savory combo. When you pair it with earthy greens, parsley and lemon, it’s a really pleasing combination that you will want to come back to. Happy spring! Hope everyone is getting outdoors and enjoying the season.

And yes. It started raining right as I started shooting this outside.

Ingredients (Makes 2 salads)

  • 6  cups of greens (arugula, mizuna, mesclun, field greens all work well)
  • 4-5 parsley sprigs, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 10 oz chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 5-6 slices of coppa, sliced into strips (prosciutto works too)
  • 2 eggs
  • quarter of a lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • dash of salt & pepper

 

Directions

  1. While the parsley and rinsed greens are drying, soft boil the eggs. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil, then carefully set the eggs in the saucepan and lower the heat a bit so they’re cooking at a rapid simmer for 6 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water, and let cool for about 2-3 minutes. Peel shell and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss greens and parsley in about 1/4 cup olive oil and generous squeeze of lemon. Add chickpeas and coppa and give another quick toss.
  3. Serve salad up on plates or shallow bowls. Slice eggs in half and add to salad, along with a drizzle of the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, another lemon squeeze, and a dash of salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

 

smoked salmon jalepeño chive toasts

smoked salmon-2smoked salmon-1Quickie recipe! Spring gardening is keeping me busy, but it is so awesome to be pulling out greens, herbs, and radishes to have with meals and as snacks. A few days ago a picked up some smoked salmon and saw that my chives were budding. I thought, “YES. Those will be going on some toast.” I just spread some local fromage blanc over a hearty bread slice and topped with smoked salmon, roasted jalepeño slices, edamame beans (other beans or peas would work), chives, chive buds, tender garden greens, olive oil, salt and pepper. The chive buds are really packed with that “chive-y” flavor, so give it a shot if you like chives.

Cheers to toast!

miso deviled eggs

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Easter is around the corner! But hey, I say any time is a good time to make these deviled eggs. The addition of shiro miso adds a punch of umami, making these slightly addicting. Out of all the types of miso, shiro (or white) miso paste is best for it’s delicate, subtle qualities. I used a blend that was a bit stronger than shiro since I had it on hand; I just used a bit less than I normally would. I also love classic paprika as a topping, as well as a generous sprinkling of chives and parsley. Honestly, these hit the spot.

I made a smaller batch but you can easily double the recipe for a bigger portion.

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tbsp shiro miso paste
  • 1/2 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • a pinch of salt & pepper
  • a pinch of red chili pepper flakes
  • dash of roasted garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ~ 1 tbsp chopped chives and parsley

Directions

  1. With the eggs in a large pot, fill with water until it covers them by an inch, then bring to a low boil. Turn off heat and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Prepare an ice bath, and transfer eggs to it and let them chill for about 10 minutes.
  3. Crack egg shells and peel off shells and thin membranes. Cut eggs in half and remove yolks and place into a bowl. Hopefully, they just “plop out” and are fairly soft in consistency. Otherwise, remove with a spoon.
  4. Blend sour cream, mustard, miso, lemon, salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes, and garlic powder into egg yolks until mixture is pretty smooth. I did this by hand since it’s not a large volume, but a food processor would be excellent it you double the recipe.
  5. Spoon the yolk mixture into the egg halves. Serve chilled and top with paprika, chives, and parsley.

 

Enjoy!

roasted beet & parsnip toast

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Quickie recipe time! When I have a really nice loaf of bread, I like to make toasts for many meals. Chris likes this too. In fact, his instagram description reads, “Mid to left coast. I like toast.” I guess toast resonates that deeply with him.

Lately, I like to spread on local fromage blanc and add any veggies I have on hand. For this delicious toast, I squeezed a bit of orange juice onto the fromage blanc, and spread onto toasted rustic bread slices. I added previously roasted beet and parsnip bits, along with some baby purple kale leaves which were briefly roasted as well. (I have a few purple kale plants that lasted through the winter, and are now awkwardly bolting and producing tiny baby leaves, but they are delicious!) I topped with salt, pepper, another squeeze of orange and a drizzle of olive oil. Toast saves the day!

parsnip apple soup

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I think spring is around the corner, but I’m not really sure. Seattle is full on dreary, wet, and cold lately. We’ve had storm after storm and a record amount of rainfall lately. The wintertime blues and all the stressors from life seem to seep in from time to time, which is why I like to put everything aside and dedicate an evening to cooking. If time is limited, even an hour is good. Whether it’s making pasta by hand, slow roasting veggies, or cooking a comforting soup, it lifts my spirits, allows me to be mindful, and brings me back to what’s truly important.

I’ve been really liking the nuttiness of parsnips lately, so here I have a simple parsnip and apple soup. It’s earthy, smooth, a bit tart from the apples, and definitely comforting. I do want to try it with roasted parsnips at some point, perhaps that will be will be next. Especially if the weather keeps up at this rate.

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large parsnips, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 32 oz. vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 3 tbsp walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp crumbled walnuts
  • bushel of parsley
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tbsp walnut oil in a large pot and cook onions and parsnips on low/medium for about 20 minutes or until softened. Add apples and garlic and continue cooking for a few more minutes.
  2. Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 more minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt & pepper. Use stick blender or transfer to blender, and blend until very smooth.
  3. Transfer back to pot on low heat, add apple cider vinegar, half & half, and more salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Serve up drizzled with 1 tbsp walnut oil and garnish with crumbled walnuts and fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

    Recipe adapted from BBC food creamy parsnip and apple soup

    kale crisps

    kale-crisps-1kale-crisps-2kale-crisps-3I wanted to share this quick, very basic recipe on kale crisps since I’ll be using them in other recipes. They’re pretty much kale chips, but crumpled up into smaller bits. I like to sprinkle them on anything that could use a garnish of greens, like hearty soups, veggies, potatoes, breakfast scrambles, and rice & bean bowls. I make a batch and pretty much go crazy with sprinkling them on anything I can. Give them a try and you’ll see what I mean!

    Directions: Rinse 3-4 leaves of your preferred type of kale. Air dry or spin dry. Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Rip off pieces of dried kale and set on baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until you can tell they’re getting crispy with brown edges. Let cool and break up into small pieces. Voila!

    cherry & thyme salad

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    I’m back from my blogging break which was brought on by general life stuff. We’ve moved into our home in south Seattle and have been taking on a multitude projects. Most of which include eating areas; kitchen and patio. My little starter garden is blowing me away with it’s bounty and I’m very excited about it. I’ve been making quite a few salads with garden ingredients, and this particular salad turned out well. I discovered seasonal cherries go well with thyme, and I added a bit of goat brie, prosciutto, almond slivers, and a delicate, beautiful Tuscan extra virgin olive oil from Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Farms in Dayton, Oregon. I also used their lovely Apero passion fruit vinegar. Check out their online store. This salad is bright, earthy, and perfect for cherry season. Make it up as close to meal time as possible.

    Ingredients

    • Large bowl of a mix of dark greens
    • handful of a seasonal variety of cherries (I used Chelan)
    • 2 oz. goat brie cheese
    • 2 prosciutto slices
    • sprinkle of almond slivers
    • 4-5 roughly chopped thyme sprigs
    • 2 tbsp Tuscan EVOO and 1-2 tbsp Apero passion fruit vinegar from Oregon Olive Mill
    • salt & pepper

    Directions

    1. Slice pits out of cherries and cut cherries in half. Crumble pieces of goat brie. Slice prosciutto pieces.
    2. Drizzle most of olive oil and vinegar onto greens. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and mix greens.
    3. Add cherries, goat cheese crumbles, prosciutto, almonds, and thyme. Drizzle remaining olive oil & vinegar, and mix minimally at this point. Enjoy!

    Peanut soba noodles

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    This dish is perfect for those peanut sauce cravings. Add edamame, cucumber and green onions to bring out some fresh, crisp flavors. Delicious and very easy.

    Ingredients:

    Peanut Sauce

    • 3 tbsp peanut butter
    • 2 tbsp chicken broth
    • 1 tbsp sesame oil
    • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • chili pepper flakes to taste
    • sriracha to taste (1-4 tsp)

    Noodles, etc

    • 3/4 package soba noodles
    • 1/2 cucumber
    • 1 cup of edamame beans
    • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
    • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
    • small amount of nori (for garnish)

    Directions

    1. Cook soba noodles according to package instructions. While noodles are cooking, make peanut sauce by whisking together peanut butter, broth, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, honey, soy sauce, chili pepper flakes and sriracha until smooth and creamy. Whisk in water to thin it down if desired.
    2. Drain noodles and mix in peanut sauce until noodles are evenly coated. Let cool slightly, then serve in a bowl along with cucumber slices, edamame beans, green onions, and garnish with sesame seeds and nori.

    Serves 2