Herby Lentil Tart

I love this tart. It has so much flavor, is warming and comforting. I developed this recipe last Thanksgiving when I needed a main dish, but wanted to do something different. This recipe is super versatile, as you can play with the flavors in the filling. It would be delicious in the summer with  pesto seasoned lentils. You can also create mini tarts and serve as an appetizer. Enjoy!

Recipe:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils (I used French)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp each of fresh sage, rosemary, marjoram, and thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 T pomegranate molasses
  • 2 T mustard
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola
  • salt and pepper to taste
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Preheat your oven at 425. Remove puff pastry from the freezer and let it come to room temperature.

Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly caramelized. Add a sprinkle of salt and the herbs. Stir until fragrant and add the lentils. Season with a bit more salt and cook until everything is combined. Taste and adjust flavors to your preference. 

In a small bowl combine molasses, 1 T olive oil, 1 T mustard and pepper. Pour over lentils and stir until combined. Allow the liquid to cook down by about half. Add the chopped walnuts and stir to combine. 

On a parchment lined baking sheet, roll out the puff pastry. Brush with olive oil, leave a 1 inch border around the edge. Brush the edge with water and fold over 1/2 inch to create a raised crust. Brush the center of the tart crust with mustard. Pour the lentil mixture into the center of the crust and spread until even. Sprinkle with crumbled gorgonzola and place in the oven. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the edges are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and serve warm with a beautiful green salad. 

Drool-worthy Twix Bars

About a year ago I thought to myself "there has got to be a way to make a healthy Twix bar." I have no shame in admitting I have eaten way too many of these in my life. So into the kitchen I went to create. It took a few tries, but I think I nailed it. The cookie is slightly sweet, salty and crunchy. The caramel has the perfect texture; chewy and delicious! These are perfect for the holidays (or, let's be real, anytime of the year). They are gluten, grain, and refined sugar free and vegan. If you make these, make sure to use #bodyblissrecipes on instagram so I can see your beautiful creations! Happiest of Holidays to you! May it be filled with family, friends and so much love!

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Cookie:

  • 3/4 cup organic peanut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (I also successfully used hazelnut meal)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the over to 350. Mix everything together in a medium bowl. Line a bread pan with parchment paper and press the cookie batter into the pan. Using your hand or the a wet spatula to smooth out the top. Pierce the cookie several times with a fork at bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in the freezer.

Caramel:

  • 10 dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 10-15 minutes
  • 2 T cashew butter (almond butter also works0
  • 1 T melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp each of pine pollen, reishi and maca 
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Put everything into the bowl of a food processor and process until creamy (I like to make sure it is a creamy paste and no date pieces remain). Remove the cookie from the freezer. With wet hands, spread the caramel over the cookie. Take a wet spatula and smooth it out until it is flat and place back in the freezer. Let set at least an hour.

Chocolate:

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In a double boiler (if you don't have one, place a glass bowl over a pan of water and bring to boil, make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl when it boils). Chop or break up the chocolate and add it to the bowl with oil and cacao magic. Stir until melted. Remove the bars from the freezer. With a sharp knife cute in half length-wise and then into 1 inch slices width-wise. Dip into chocolate either on all surfaces or dip the bottom and drizzle over the top. Place on a cookie sheet and put back in the freezer until set. 

Spiced Golden Milk

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Golden Milk: You've probably heard of it as turmeric is now the "it" superfood. Growing up in a yogic household, golden milk was served to me regularly. A rich golden cup full of turmeric, honey and almond oil.

These days you will find it at coffee shops, in the refrigerated section of your grocery store and in powder form on the shelves. One important aspect about turmeric that many do not know is that in needs to be activated in order to be usable by the  body. This can be done by combining with a good fat (ie, ghee) or by cooking at a low temperature for an extended period of time. 

It is a common misconception that black pepper helps with turmeric absorption. Black pepper contains a compound called peperine, which inhibits the metabolic breakdown of turmeric in the gut and liver so that it remains in the body longer and increases the effects. So it is beneficial to combine black pepper with your turmeric, but it does not help with absorption. For this reason I like to add black pepper in addition to either simmering the powder in water or mixing with a healthy fat.

Most of you already know that Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, but did you also know that turmeric has a long list of benefits including, but not limited to:

  • blood purifying

  • lubricates the joint

  • can repair damage to the nerve center caused by drug abuse

  • promotes digestion

  • immune support

  • nourishes the heart and circulatory system

If you're going to make golden milk, I find the most effective way to do so is by cooking the turmeric powder in water. The turmeric powder needs to simmer at a low temperature for at least 8 minutes to make a paste. 

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I grew up using a recipe by Yogi Bhajan. I use his traditional way of making turmeric paste, but have made a few adjustments and added some delicious spices. 

Golden Milk:

  • 1/8 tsp organic turmeric powder

  • 1/2 cup filtered water

  • 1 cup nut milk

  • 1 T ghee, almond oil or coconut oil

  • 1 tsp raw honey

  • a pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

  • 1 pinch ground cardamom

  • 1 tsp grated ginger root

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In a saucepan add the turmeric powder and filtered water. Bring to a boil and turn down to a low simmer. Set a timer for 8 minutes. Continue to whisk the paste while it simmers. Cook until a paste forms (at least 8 minutes or longer). Add the milk, ghee, pepper, cardamom and ginger. Bring up the heat until the milk is hot, but not boiling. Once hot, remove from heat and strain through a mesh strainer. Add sweetener to taste and enjoy.

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Note: You can make a larger amount of paste to keep in a glass jar in your fridge for up to 40 days. Just increase the amount of turmeric powder and water. When you want to make golden milk, simply heat up your milk and other ingredients with anywhere from 1 tsp to 1 T of turmeric paste, strain and enjoy. 

Add-ins: To superpower this already amazing drink you can add reishi, ashwagandha, pine pollen, spirulina or chlorella. The possibilities really are endless. For adaptogen companies I love and trust head over to my "Products I love" page. 

Once you've made the paste you can add it to other dishes and drinks.  I like to add it to oats, lattes, curries, stir fries, etc. 

Turmeric is an amazing root that can have really impactful benefits on your health. I highly recommend making it a part of your regular diet. To add to all the incredible benefits of turmeric, regular consumption can lead to a beautiful golden glow. You really can't go wrong. 

Resources:

https://www.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/yogic-diet/yogic-foods-recipes/golden-milk-healing-tonic-vitality-and-flexibility

https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/herbs/turmeric/

https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/is-turmeric-effective-only-when-combined-with-black-pepper/turmeric_black_pepper/

Banh Mi Bowl

Fun fact about me; my husband and I lived in Vietnam for a short time a few years back. One of the things I loved most about it was how many veggies are in the daily diet. Vegetables were always the star of every dish. We would go to the market and the isles would be lined with bins overflowing with brightly covered fruits and veggies. It changed the way I cook and I am forever grateful for that. 

The other day I was missing our beautiful little apartment in Saigon and the flavors of the city. I threw together my take of a banh mi. A banh mi is a sandwich, usually eaten for breakfast or a snack. This version is deconstructed, vegan and served on a bed of pad thai noodles. 

For the Bowls:

  • 1-8 oz package rice noodles 
  • 1 package extra firm tofu (my favorite is Hodo soy)
  • 3 T corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced

Noodle Sauce:

  • 3 T Tamari
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil

Cashew Sriracha Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for several hours or overnight
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 T sriracha
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water

Cook noodles according to package instruction. Drain and toss with a bit of raw sesame or avocado oil. 

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Drain the tofu and wrap with clean kitchen towel, place a plate on top of the cake and let sit for about 30 minutes. If you are using Hodo Soy Tofu, you can skip this step. Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch slices. Place corn starch and salt in a bowl and toss until coated. Heat a pan on medium to high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan (I like to use a cast iron). Place tofu in the pan and let cook until golden brown (3-4 minutes on each side). Remove tofu from the pan and place on a paper towel.

Prepare the veggies.

To make the noodle sauce combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

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In a high speed blender add all ingredients and blend on high until creamy (about 30-60 seconds). If you want it to be thinner, add a bit more water. If it gets too thin, add a small handful of cashews. 

Assemble the bowl by placing the noodles in a bowl. Drizzle a couple spoonfuls of the noodle sauce over the noodles. Arrange the tofu and veggies to your liking. I like to bunch them together around the side of the bowl. Drizzle with cashew sriracha sauce and sesame seeds. Dive in!

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Goddess of the Month: Sophie Jaffe of The Philosophie

I have been so incredibly excited about this Goddess of the Month. Body Bliss Lifers meet Sophie Jaffe of The Philosophie!* I first discovered Philosophie Superfoods while staying with a friend in LA. She showed me her smoothie cupboard and pulled out three brown envelopes with bright labels. She said they were created by a local mom and vegan/raw chef. I used them every day for the remainder of my trip. When I got home, I immediately placed an order and I have not been without since.

Not only does this beauty make amazing superfoods blends, but Sophie is a true inspiration. She teaches to believe in magic, to be the best you, you can be and to work your ass off to live the life YOU want to live. I am beyond grateful to have her as a friend and support system in this life. Without further adieu, let's hear what this Goddess has to share:

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What inspired you to create your own company?

I wanted superfoods to be accessible to anyone and everyone. I also wanted it to be easy to get a nourishing boost of superfoods, all rolled into one bag. I know for myself personally, I was so sick of running out of a certain product, mid way during my smoothie, having to run over all of LA to find the right Maca, hence philosophie was born!

My husband was a big push behind starting philosophie superfoods! We were floating in the sea in Israel, realizing I was starting to really wear myself down with meal planning and cooking for so many different people all through out LA.  I knew creating my own personal blends for people to use on their own, was the natural and organic next step. 

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Why superfoods?

Because I fully believe in them, and the impact and power they have on our bodies!

What is your morning routine?

If the kiddos actually end up sleeping in their own bed (which rarely happens ;) ) I'll try and get a few extra minutes of sleep! If they are with me, its major snuggle time, then brekkie! We love to make superfood smoothies or waffles together, depending on what everyone is craving! In our house, we REALLY listen to our bodies! 

Once we get them out the door to their school (a Waldorf, obsessed with it!) i try to find some beautiful morning light to stretch a bit. Next up, its time for a sweat! Hot8 yoga, Soul Cycle, or the Culver city stairs are my main go to's lately! I'll rush home for a quick shower then its time to check my ever growing email, and get to work!

My favorite Superfood Coffee recipe found here:

So easy, I throw these ingredients into my Vitamix Blender:

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why? 

I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by so many incredible women, from friends to family. My incredible, beautiful, inspiring mother Phyllis, is also a huge impact on my life and philosophie. She also braved a huge battle with Stage 4 Breast Cancer, and was one of the most terrifying experiences of our lives. I was so inspired by this that I created the Cacao Magic Mushroom superfood blend which includes 3 medicinal mushrooms: ReishiChaga and Cordyceps. These 3 mushrooms have been used for centuries to heal people and are known as “the ultimate herbal substances”. I began to do more research than ever during the time she had cancer to get to know the magical herbs of the world and using them myself.

If you were stranded on an island and could only take two adaptogens with you, which two would you choose and why?  

Reishi and Chaga for their incredible healing benefits! Truly foods you can live off of.

How do you honor your feminine body? 

By speaking kindly to it and allowing my self to be authentic and free!

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Where do you find Bliss in your life? 

Through my kids, husband, work, workouts, helping others, laughing, a great meal! A sweaty yoga flow does wonders for the soul and mood. Making time to move your body is key in maintaining Bliss for me!

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be? 

Don't listen to the noise, trust in yourself and your authentic being! only YOU know whats best for you, and don't hesitate to say NO to something that doesn't serve you!

 

*To receive 15% off your total purchase with The Philosophie, use code "bodybliss"

Fall Latkes

Latkes are one of my favorite things to make. They are so versatile, easy to throw together and delicious. I got home late from work one night and needed to throw together a quick dinner. I had parsnip, potato and apple in my fridge so I grabbed them and threw together these yummy little cakes. The smoked paprika adds a delicious, smoky element, while the sage adds a subtle green flavor. I topped them with homemade apple butter and sour cream. Needless to say, we went to bed with happy, full bellies.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1/4 small white onion
  • 3 T gluten free flour
  • 1 T The Philosophie Green Dream (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to tase
  • Ghee for frying

First thing you will need to do is squeeze some of the water out of the potatoes. Shred the potato with a food processor or cheese grater. Place the potatoes into a clean kitchen towel and gather the ends squeezing the potatoes over a sink until most of the water is gone. Place potatoes back into a medium bowl. Shred parsnip, apple and onion. Add flour, superfood powder, paprika, sage and salt (adjust to taste) and pepper. Mix everything together until coated by flour.

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Heat a cast iron skillet on medium/high. Place 1 tablespoon of ghee in the pan. Shape mixture into 2-3 inch patties. Place the patties into the hot pan and press down on the backs of them with the back of a spatula. Cook until golden brown and crisp (about 3-5 minutes) on each side. Remove from pan and let rest on a paper towel lined plate. 

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To Plate: Place latkes on a plate and top with a dollop of apple sauce or apple butter and sour cream. You can top with green onions or chives. 

ENJOY!

Warming Pumpkin Oats

Now that I've clearly stated that I am obsessed with anything pumpkin and anything pumpkin spice, I figured it was ok to make every recipe from here until January 1st pumpkin (JK). The other morning I was whipping up some oatmeal and has some pumpkin puree in my fridge. I starting throwing some stuff together and out came this delicious bowl of magic. 

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Recipe:

  • 1.5 cup organic rolled oats
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 1 T ghee
  • 1 T black strap molasses
  • 1/2 T maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • a pinch of ground clove

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium until simmering. Cook about 5 minutes until oats are cooked. I topped mine with coconut yogurt, homemade apple butter (recipe coming soon) and chocolate covered cacao nibs. Its like a warm fuzzy blanket in your mouth. :)

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Pudding

Something you should know about me: I am obsessed with pumpkin. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin spice scented candles. As soon as the cool weather hits and the leaves start to change, I am in the kitchen using as much of the orange stuff as I can. Last night, I threw together this super quick and delicious chia seed pudding. It is loaded with adaptogens, superfoods and good fats. Happy Pumpkin Season and stay tuned for more pumpkin-y goodness!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nut milk (I used homemade coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 T chia seeds
  • 3 T pumpkin puree
  • 1 T maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener of choice)
  • 1 T The Philosophie Cacao Magic
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • pinch of ground clove
  • pinch of sea salt

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients. Using a whisk, whisk until completely smooth. Pour into two 8 ox jars, cover and place in the fridge for 4 hours to overnight. I topped with homemade apple butter, cacao nibs, pine pollen and pepitas. 

Note: Use code "bodybliss" when ordering from The Philosophie to receive 15% off your order.

Sexy aMYLK Latte

I first discovered aMylk through instragram. I was drawn to a company that made organic, high quality nut milks that were not filled with a ton of extra sugars and thickeners.  I reached out to Amy to see if she would like to collaborate on a recipe. When she said yes, I was over the moon excited. As you know, I am always eager to support and collaborate with kick-ass women who run kick-ass companies. Then when she asked me to infuse my feminine self into the recipe, I could I have burst with excitement. So into the kitchen I went to play. I pulled out all my hormone balancing/aphrodisiac herbs and adaptogens. Meet this delicious aphrodisiac and hormones balancing latte. I will explain why I used each ingredient below. I could not be more pleased without this turned out. It is delicious, a little sweet, loaded with amazing things to support and ignite your feminine body, plus its pretty and who doesn't like pretty things?!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup aMYLK shop vanilla Hazelnut milk
  • 1 cup fresh brewed coffee (regular, decaf or sub a cup of filtered water to make without)
  • 1 T Ahara Rasa Hot Date Ghee (optional but oh so delicious)
  • 1 T The Philosophie Cacao Magic or cacao powder
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp cordyceps
  • 1/4 tsp pine pollen
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • dried rose petals (i bought mine at Whole Foods)

heat the hazelnut mylk on low until hot, but not boiling. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until creamy. Pour into your favorite mug and top with crushed rose petals. Indulge and enjoy.

CHOCOLATE has been known for centuries as a sensual food. It has been found to increase dopamine levels. Its aphrodisiac qualities come from a chemical called tryptophan, a building block of seratonin which a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal. 

Chocolate always seems to get the spotlight when it comes to aphrodisia, but VANILLA is just as powerful. They enhance the hormones in the body that are associated with love and happiness. 

The caffeine in COFFEE ups the heart rate and makes the blood flow. 

MACA has a multitude of amazing benefits from mood boost and memory to female hormone balance, sexual health and fertility. This lovely root stimulates the organs responsible for hormone balance so they can function optimally. 

CORDYCEPS are the mushroom of sexual health. It increases the libido, make it easier for you to "get in the mood." It is also great for physical endurance.

PINE POLLEN is currently one of my favorite adaptogens. It helps to balance the testosterone levels in your as well as helps to increase libido. 

Because of GINGER'S of it's anti-inflammatory properties, ginger has been long revered in helping with menstrual cramps and chronic pain. It's also an effective treatment for morning sickness. In some Hindu traditions; garlic, ginger and onion are not consumed as they are believed to rev the first and second chakra too strongly. 

CARDAMOM is related to ginger and can be used in many of the same ways. I use it daily as it tastes so delicious and lessens the acidity in coffee. 

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Heavenly Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar

A couple weeks ago I was have a massive sugar craving. Like the kind where I was considering running down to the store at 10:30 pm just to get my fix. It was note cute. I managed to get through it but the next morning I decided to take matters into my own hands and make something healthy and delicious that would satisfy my sweet tooth. And this chocolate peanut butter chocolate bar was born. It is loaded with good fats, adaptogens to help my body cope with stress and that sweet salty flavor combo that this girl is always chasing. 

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Ingredients:

In a double boiler or a glass bowl fit into a saucepan with water (you do not want the water to touch the bottom of the bowl when it boils), add coconut oil, coconut butter and cacao butter. Stir until melted and combined. Remove from heat and add cacao powder, cacao magic, maca, reishi, he shou wu and honey. Whisk together until smooth and combined. Pour into a small parchment paper lines pyrex or chocolate molds.  Place flat in the freezer for about 10 minutes until slightly firmed. Remove from freezer and drizzle with peanut butter. use a butter knife to marble. Sprinkle with sea salt and place back in freezer until set. Remove and cut into squares.

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Why I used what I used:

Cacao has 40 times the antioxidants than blueberries, is loaded with iron, magnesium and calcium, has anti-depressant properties and elevates your mood. No wonder we crave it when we are on our moon cycle. 

Maca has long been used to enhance the libido and balance hormones. It also gives you a natural energy without caffeine. Yes please!

Reishi is one of my favorite mushrooms. Like all adaptogens, it helps the body to adapt to stress; however, Reishi specifically helps with stress on the body. It also helps with liver functions, adrenals, hormones balance and helps to fight of illness. This is just a small list of the amazing benefits of Reishi*.

He Shou Wu has been used throughout history for longevity. It blood building and is said to be a support for beauty (hair and skin). 

*Make sure to use code "bodybliss" when ordering from Root and Bones to get 15% off your purchase.

Summer Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

This outrageously delicious tart is perfect for a summer evening. It takes minimal time to make and minimal oven time (lets be real, nobody WANTS to turn the oven on in this hear). The crust is grain free, made with ghee and oh so yummy. Enjoy and if you make it, please tag and #bodyblissrecipes on instagram. Have a great week, loves!

Crust:

  • 2 cups almond flour or almond meal (I used trader Joe's)
  • 1 flax egg (you could also use an egg)
  • 2 T melted ghee. (I used Ahara Rhasa's bulb and rind)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. If dough seems a bitt too dry, add a bit more ghee or a drizzle of avocado oil. Press into tart pan or pie plate until even and covering all sides. Place in oven and allow to bake until golden brown on the top. Let cool while preparing filling.

Filling:

  • 1 medium package, room temperature goat cheese (I used the new zatar goat cheese form Trader Joe's. I HIGHLY recommend it)
  • 1 pint golden or heirloom grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 T toasted pine nuts
  • olive oil
  • sprinkle of sea salt

Set your over to broil and raise the rack to second from the top. Mix the goat cheese in a small bowl until soft and spreadable. If you want it a bit thinner, you could add a couple teaspoons of milk of choice. Spread into crust and arrange tomatoes. Sprinkle with pine nuts,  drizzle with good quality EVOO and sprinkle with salt. Place in the over, keep a close eye and remove once tomatoes are a little blistery and the crust is browned around the edges. Let cool about 5 minutes, slice* and serve along a beautiful green salad.

*Because of the nature of the crust, it doesn't come out in clean slices. I sliced and then scooped out. Not for great presentation but it tasted amaze-balls so who cares. :)

Summer Veggies and Lentil Fusilli

I know I have been MIA. We have been in the middle of a move and this crazy lady thought she would somehow be able to cook and or have the time to stop and write a blog post. That didn't happen :) I did; however, manage to throw together a delicious and easy dinner the other night. It is quick, loaded with plant-based protein and veggies. It is the perfect Summer evening pasta. I am happy to be back up and running. Stay tuned for some exciting content in the next couple weeks. 

 

A little about my pasta journey:  Living in Italy greatly influenced and changed the way I make Italian food. One of my most favorite ways to cook pasta is by adding lentils. It adds protein, texture and a delicious earthy flavor. Italians love to lace their pasta with beans. Trust me on this one!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz gluten free pasta
  • 2 small or 1 large zucchini
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup steamed lentils
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • Zest and juice from half a lemon 
  • 1 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • Chili flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • Pecorino cheese (optional, but oh so delicious
  • Micro greens
  • drizzle of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Bring a large saucepan with a small handful of course salt to boil. Add the pasta (I used this one). Cook until tender, drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water. 

Thinly slice the garlic. Cut zucchini down the middle lengthwise, turn so that flat side is on your cutting board and cut in half lengthwise again. Cute quarters into 1/2 inch slices. Wash, stem and chop the kale.

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat until hot, add 1 T olive or avocado oil and garlic. Stir until fragrant and add zucchini, a sprinkle of salt and dried red pepper flakes. Cook until softened and add lentils. Cover with a lid and let steam until zucchini is very soft. Add kale and cover with lid. Cook until kale is bright green and slightly wilted. Add lemon zest and cook until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and cook until reduced by at least 1/2. Squeeze in juice from half a lemon, kalamata olives and drained pasta. 

Plate the pasta, drizzle with a generous amount of EVOO. Top with shaved pecorino and micro greens of choice (I used pea shoots)

Nut Milk 101

About 3 years ago I started making my own nut milk. I started with a nutribullet and a colander. I had to make it in batches because the blender cup wasn't big enough, but I was determined. I was never pleased with what was on the market and wanted to feel good about what I was putting in my body. It took some trial and error, but I have settled on a recipe that is no fail and works every time. I'm lucky if a batch makes it 3 days in our house (as soon as I make a new one, my husband is all over it like bees to honey). I thought I would share what I have learned

The possibilities and combination are nearly are endless. I usually just use whatever I have on hand. I will do a single nut or seed or I will mix them together. Some need to be strained through a nut milk bag and some do not need straining. I listed all the ones I have tried below and categorized them into strain and no strain. 

Strain:

  • hazelnut
  • walnut
  • pumpkin seed
  • coconut
  • almond
  • pecan
  • macadamia 

No Strain:

  • hemp
  • sesame
  • cashew

You can use any combination you like. If you mix a nut or seed under the strain list with one under the no strain, you will need to strain it. 

Once you get the hang of it, making nut milk takes about 10 minutes or less.

You will need:

  • 1 cup of nuts or seeds (if using hemp seeds, only use 1/2 cup)
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 pitted date or 1 T honey, maple or coconut syrup
  • a generous pinch of sea salt (this is not optional, it is what will keep it from spoiling)
  • vanilla
  • Options add ins: cinnamon, ground cardamom,  Philosophie superfoods blend

Place the nuts or seeds into a bowl and cover with filtered water. Let soak for at least 2 hours (overnight is optimal). Soaking the nuts will not only help with digestion but also help to remove some anti-nutrients. When ready to make the milk, drain and rinse the nuts or seeds. 

In a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix) add your soaked nuts, filtered water, sweetener of choice (if using), sea salt, vanilla and any add-ins. Blend on high for about a minute until creamy. You will need a double layer of cheese cloth or a nut milk bag.

Place your nut milk bag or cheese cloth over a large bowl and slowly pour in the nut milk. Squeeze until all the liquid is pressed out. You can reserve the pulp for smoothies, balls or baked good or compost it. Pour milk into a mason jar or liquid container. Will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.  

Q&A:

Where to purchase nuts and should they be organic? I Purchase most of my nuts from Trader Joes, Natural Grocers and Thrive Market. In my experience, they have the best prices for the highest quality.  If organic is available and a reasonable price, I will always go with organic. It really depends on the individual nut and whether it should be organic or not. Cashews are one that I don't budge on as they are sprayed with an extremely toxic pesticide that has been banned in most countries but is still allowed in the US. When it comes down to it, you have to make your own decision on whether you would like to purchase organic or not. For more info on which nuts should be organic, click here.

Why do you have to use salt: I made the mistake of not using salt once and the batch of milk was spoiled by the next day. It acts as a natural preservative. 

Summertime Cast-Iron Asparagus and Leek Shoots

The time of year when it's too hot to turn your oven on has arrived. This is when I start getting creative in the kitchen because I want to eat delicious homemade food, but it's not worth the sweltering heat radiating through our apartment. We usually end up eating a lot of salads, sautéed veggies and pastas. The other night I threw together some veggies that needed to be used up from the farmers market and it was a winner! I served it along side a light pasta. Needless to say, my husband and I were satisfied!

This recipe is super versatile. You could switch up the veggies or the dressing depending on your mood and what it in your kitchen. I am a big believer in using what you have so if you don't have one of the ingredients, don't run to the store, just find something in your pantry that works. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 bunch leek shoots (I found these beauties at the farmers market. You could also use garlic shoots or green beans. Whatever tickles your fancy. :) )
  • 1 T avocado oil
  • Salt to taste

Dressing:

  • 1 T mustard of choice ( I used Trader Joe's dijon)
  • 1 T good quality olive oil
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 T honey (this one is magical)- adjust depending on your liking
  • 1/2 tsp Philosophie Green Dream Superfoods powder (optional, yet delicious!)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Wash asparagus and leek shoots and cut off any tough ends. Cut into 1.5 inch pieces. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat until pan is hot. Add oil and veggies to the pan. You want a nice sizzle so if they aren't hissing, turn the heat up a bit. Season with salt and stir every few minutes until you start to see seer marks. If you like your veggies al dente, they are done. If you would like them a bit softer, add 2-3 tablespoons of filtered water to the pan and cover until steamed to your liking. Remove from heat and season with pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for the dressing. Adjust seasoning to your liking. 

Transfer veggies to a serving bowl and top with the dressing. This can be served warm, at room temperature or cold. It is delicious, light and the perfect side to a light Summer dinner. 

 

Sunny Sunday Smoothie

You know those Sundays when you don't set your alarm, you let your body wake up to the sounds of birds and the warmth of sunshine radiating over your body? Those Sundays when you don't get out of your pajamas. You grab a good book, you do some cooking, sip on cups of tea. Those are the best! Far too often we find ourselves waking up and rushing. Rushing to get to work or to an appointment. This is why Sundays are my favorite. There are no obligations and I get to bask in the laziness of the day. This past weekend, was one of those days. We slept in, made a delicious brunch and lounged around the house. 3 o'clock hit and I was hungry and craving something sweet. I threw together this delicious, creamy smoothie. It reminded me of peach ice cream (even though there isn't an ounce of peaches in it, go figure.) I say we have more days like this!

1 cup homemade nut milk

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup frozen apricots (I got mine at Trader Joe's)

1/3 cup frozen figs

1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein (if making vegan, sub plant based option)

large handful of raw cashews

1/2 tsp moringa

handful of ice 

Throw everything into a high speed blender (i use a vitamix on the smoothie setting). Blend until smooth, poor into a cup and top with dried super berry mix and candied ginger. Sitting in the sun and soaking up all that natural vitamin D while sipping away is optional, but highly recommended. 

Variation:  follow the recipe as written and pour into popsicle mold. Freeze several hours until solid and enjoy.