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Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini-Honey Sauce and Everything Bagel Spice

October 24 2018 My New Roots 

Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini-Honey Sauce and Everything Bagel Spice   Ive now been blogging for eleven years (11years!!!). And in those eleven years, you know what Ive learned about you? You love sweet potatoes. You love tahini. And you love sauce. And if I post anything with those things - or even better - a combination of those things, I know its going to go over well. I often get preoccupied with making my recipe posts totally out there with crazy ingredients, involved techniques, and lose sight of the fact that a lot of you like really simple things too. Just like me. And just like me you like sweet potatoes and tahini and sauce. The sweet potato wedges with tahini-honey sauce and everything bagel spice that I posted on Instagram drew many requests for the recipe. I thought it would be way too easy, but your encouragement reminded me that its okay if its easy! We all have a place for uncomplicated in our lives.     I was first introduced to everything bagel spice while teaching cooking classes down in the states this past summer. One of the women in the group proclaimed that it took avocado toast to the next level, and after trying it once, I was totally hooked. She gave me two jars of the flavour confetti before I flew home, and I have just recently shaken out the last grain of salt. Without a clue on where to buy such a random thing in Canada, I set out to make my own - only I decided to be highly practical and mix up a laughably large batch because it is literally good on everything. For those of you who arent familiar with everything bagel spice mix, its the simplest combination of flaky salt, onion flakes, garlic flakes, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds, which classically tops an everything bagel. It doesnt sound like that much, but trust me, if it can make a white, doughy   this blend far more than the sum of its parts. A generous sprinkle on any dish makes it all that much more dimensional, seasoned, and delicious. My favourite applications for it include sliced garden tomatoes, cucumber, steamed green beans, roasted beets, goat cheese, cauliflower, popcorn, green salads, steamed brown rice or quinoa, eggs, hummus, and sweet potatoes...you see where Im going with this. Maybe its faster to write a list of the foods that it wouldnt be good on? Chocolate cake. There, that was easy.     But Im actually here to talk about sweet potatoes. These gorgeous golden roots are now in season, and the last local tubers being pulled from the earth as I write this. Since I live so close to a number of organic farms here in Ontario, I thought it would be fun to go see them being harvested. I called around my area to see if anyone still had them in the ground, and I got lucky when one place, Fiddlehead Farm, called me back with good news and an invitation out to their field. Fiddlehead Farm is run by a tribe of boss women who support over 150 local families through their CSA program, and hold stands at four different markets. These ladies are busy, and growing a diverse range of vegetables, greens, and herbs that seemed to stretch on for miles. I could tell from walking around the property how passionate they were about their work, and how deeply they care for their little corner of the earth. What an inspiration! Heather, the farms co-owner, hopped off her tractor to introduce herself and show me the goods. She pulled back a tangle of stems and gave a good yank to unearth a juicy bunch of sweet potatoes, all clumped together like a vegetable cuddle puddle. Jackpot! She said it had been a really good year for this particular crop, and right under my feet were literally hundreds of roots waiting patiently to be harvested before the impending frost. Seeing how things grow and meeting the people that work so hard to bring these food gifts to us gives me a deeper appreciation for every bite I take.     Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses, as one of natures best sources of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid form of vitamin A - an essential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrient. The intensity of a sweet potatos orange flesh is a direct reflection of its beta-carotene content, so find the most vibrant ones you can, and dig in. Remember that you need a little fat to help your body absorb beta-carotene, so a drizzle of olive oil, or dousing your taters in a sauce like the one in this recipe is an important step in receiving those life-giving nutrients. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed roasted, steamed, sautéed, or even eaten raw, but however you choose to eat them, keep those skins on! The skin of a sweet potato is loaded with extra fiber to regulate blood sugar and support digestion, potassium to maintain normal blood pressure, and iron to deliver much-needed oxygen to your cells. Scrub sweet potatoes firmly with a soft vegetable brush - you want to remove the dirt but not take the skin away. When purchasing sweet potatoes, look for smooth, even skin without bruises or soft spots. Avoid buying sweet potatoes that are in the fridge, since cold temperatures negatively affect their flavour. Once you get them home, store them in a dry, and well-ventilated place away from a hot spot (like near the stove or on top of the fridge). Instead of keeping them in plastic, which can cause them to mold, store them in an open paper bag to extend their life.   Some notes on the recipe. Other methods Ive seen online for everything bagel spice do not suggest toasting the seeds beforehand, and I think this is a major miss. It makes a huge difference giving the sesame and poppy seeds a quick tour in a hot pan to coax out more of their flavour. If youre in a rush or simply cant be bothered, thats fine, just know that youll be missing out on some bonus taste points. And if you dont want to make three cups of the mix to start, simply half, or even quarter the recipe. I am pretty confident that youll love it though, especially once you try it on avocado toast. The Tahini Honey Sauce makes about one cup (250ml), which is plenty to cover the sweet potato wedges, but make a double batch if you want a great staple dressing for the week ahead. Its delicious on simple green salad, folded into cooked grains, drizzled over roast vegetables, or on avocado toast. The honey taste is present, but not overpowering, so feel free to add more if you want to ramp up the sweetness. For a vegan version, use maple syrup or date syrup in its place.       Print recipe     Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini- Honey Sauce and Everything Bagel Spice Serves 4 Ingredients: 3 medium organic sweet potatoes (about 1 1/­­2 lbs. /­­ 650g) coconut oil (expeller-pressed and flavour-neutral) sea salt flat-leaf parsley and /­­ or cilantro for garnish chili flakes toasted pumpkin seeds Tahini-Honey Sauce (recipe follows) Everything Bagel Spice Mix (recipe follows) Tahini-Honey Sauce Makes 1 cup /­­ 250ml Ingredients: 1/­­3 cup /­­ 80ml tahini 1/­­3 cup /­­ 80ml water 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 Tbsp. extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil 1 Tbsp. raw liquid honey (substitute with maple syrup for a vegan version) 1 small clove garlic, minced 1/­­4 tsp. fine sea salt Big Batch Everything Bagel Spice Mix Makes 3 cups /­­ 430g Ingredients: 1/­­2 cup /­­ 80g garlic flakes 3/­­4 cup /­­ 85g onion flakes 3/­­4 cup /­­100g sesame seeds (any colour you like) 1/­­2 cup/­­ 85g poppy seeds 1/­­2 cup /­­ 80g flaky sea salt (I used Maldon) Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F /­­ 200°C. 2. Scrub the sweet potatoes well under running water. Slice them lengthwise into wedges of your desired thickness. Place them on a baking sheet with space between them (if theyre too close together theyll steam each other and get soggy), and roast for about 20-25 minutes, depending on their size. Remove from the oven when fork-tender. 3. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make the Tahini-Honey Sauce by placing all the ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. To thin, add a little water and blend or stir until the desired consistency is reached. Store leftovers in the fridge for five days. 4. Make the Everything Bagel Spice Mix In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool. Place poppy seeds in the same skillet, and toast over medium heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool. In a large jar combine the cooled sesame and poppy seeds, garlic flakes, onion flakes, and salt. Shake or stir to combine, and secure with an airtight lid. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct light. Keeps for 3-4 month. 5. To serve, drizzle the Tahini-Honey Sauce over the sweet potato wedges (you can keep them on the baking sheet or plate them as desired), then sprinkle generously with the Everything Bagel Spice Mix, and top with fresh herbs, toasted pumpkin seeds, and chili flakes (but get creative, these are just suggestions!). Enjoy. I want to sign off with a sincere thanks for the past eleven years of support from all of you. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been creating in this space for so many years now (I’ve never done anything for this long!), but I wouldn’t have the motivation to keep going if it weren’t for your curiosity, enthusiasm, and appetite for the heart work I put in here. I know that I’ll stay hungry if you do Let’s keep going, together. In sincere gratitude and love, Sarah B. *   *   *   *   *   * I have great news, dear friends! Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the Life-Changing Loaf Subscription Box, we have reopened the sales so that you can still receive (or give!) the box before the holiday season. Click here for more information, and to subscribe. Thank you very much for your ongoing support of My New Roots! The post Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini-Honey Sauce and Everything Bagel Spice appeared first on My New Roots.

Secret Ingredient Frozen Hot Chocolate

June 11 2017 My New Roots 

Secret Ingredient Frozen Hot Chocolate When I was in high school, the cool thing to do at lunch was eschew the basement cafeteria (obvi), leave the grounds altogether, and go to the local coffee shop. This made us feel like adults or something, sitting on plush velvet sofas, gossiping about so-and-sos new haircut, and whose older brother wed make out with while sipping a beverage that cost at least an hours worth of babysitting. Of course none of us really liked coffee, so we would blow our money on Italian sodas, fruity teas, and smoothies. When the warmer months rolled around, sandwich boards everywhere would announce that our very favourite, coffee-free drink was back in town: the Frozen Hot Chocolate. Now, if you have never lived in North America, the name and entire concept of this beverage Im sure eludes you. Isnt it an oxymoron, frozen hot chocolate? Yes, I suppose it is, but then I also suppose that is the point - to confuse you enough that you want to buy one. There is a famous restaurant in New York City that first came up with this drink, and although Ive never had the original, plenty of franchised cafes have made their own versions of what it essentially, a frothy chocolate milkshake. In the past few weeks the weather here in Copenhagen has warmed up and Ive finally been in the mood for cool, blended drinks again. But instead of using frozen bananas and other blood sugar-spiking fruits, Ive been experimenting more and more with frozen veggies instead. The results are surprisingly delicious and Im thrilled to have a few new veg-centric smoothies on lock. This is just one of them. The surprise ingredient in my frozen hot chocolate is...wait for it...cauliflower. Now this may sound totally weird, but please trust me, its delicious. Not even in a compromising way. The first sips are pure chocolate paradise, followed by a slight cruciferous waft, which then disappears again, conveniently, for those of us who perhaps dont like vegetables at all (Im looking specifically at my three-year-old son right now). All in all, this is one frosty, chocolate-y miracle of a drink for summer and Im making it every morning to celebrate liquid vegetables tasting like candy. Cauliflower Power Did you know that a cauliflower is actually a little head of thousands of compact flowers? Call me a hippie, but I like the idea of mowing down on a meadow. It makes me smile. Cauliflowers are white because they do not contain any carotene, the pigment found in things like carrots and broccoli, but what it lacks in vitamin A, it makes up for in potassium, folic acid, and vitamin C. And it may surprise you to learn that cauliflower is 25% protein and among the cancer-fighting cruciferous family that includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. Since this recipe calls for frozen cauliflower, I know some of you will be wondering if that changes the nutritional content in any way. Im happy to report that a recent study done on the freezing of cauliflower has shown its nutrients to be fairly stable after one-year freezer storage. Cauliflower in the study was blanched in near-boiling water for three minutes prior to freezing for one year. Numerous phytonutrients were evaluated in the study, including cauliflower’s sulfur-containing compounds. While nutrients levels were typically reduced after this year of freezer storage, loss of nutrients averaged about 15-35%. Although I always recommend eating fresh vegetables, there are some (fun!) applications that benefit from using the freezer. And its great to know that it doesnt pose too much a treat to those precious nutrients. Plus, frozen veggies (and fruits) can be lower cost, especially when the fresh version is out of season. If youre on a budget, frozen produce is a respectable way to get your plants in! The important part of this recipe is that you use frozen cauliflower, either purchased that way, or a head of cauliflower prepared ahead of time - washed, chopped into florets and frozen overnight. Similarly to how a frozen banana behaves in a blender, cauliflower too takes on a creamy-frothy consistency that works extremely well in this context. I also like to freeze the milk into cubes since this helps to keep the drink very cold and light. Dates sweeten the mixture, and you can scale these up or down depending on how hardcore you are. The cacao powder Ive used is raw, but you can also use regular cocoa powder in a pinch, or if youre on a budget. This recipe is a mere 4 ingredients, but if you feel like gettin fancy, by all means top that frozen hot chocolate with coconut cream (from a can of coconut milk, chilled in the fridge overnight) and some cacao nibs. You can also add some ingredients to the blend itself, like a handful of soaked cashews for extra richness, a scoop of protein powder (I like sprouted pea, sprouted brown rice or hemp), vanilla, or even fresh greens (spinach is very good at hiding in this too). The point of all this is to have fun and enjoy something that tastes like its pretty indulgent, but secretly good for you. Secret Ingredient Frozen Hot Chocolate Serves 2-3 Ingredients: 2 cups /­­ 250g frozen cauliflower florets 1/­­3 cup /­­ 100g pitted dates 6 Tbsp. raw cacao powder approx. 1 1/­­2 cups /­­ 350ml plant-based milk (I used oat milk) handful of ice cubes (made from either plant-milk ice or water) Optional ingredients: Pinch of vanilla powder coconut cream (from the top of a can of coconut milk)?cacao nibs handful soaked cashews protein powder Directions: 1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary (mixture should be relatively thick). 2. Top with coconut cream and cacao nibs, if desired. Enjoy immediately. *   *   *   *   * You guys!!! I am so pumped to finally announce my upcoming wellness retreats this fall. We are going to two spectacular European locations: Ibiza, Spain and Comporta, Portugal. Both simple and luxurious, we have found the perfect settings to unwind, and press the reset button. Our Wild Heart High Spirit program combines inspiring cooking classes and nutrition workshops (lead by yours truly) with delicious movement classes, yoga, pilates and dance by Living Yolates that will both strengthen your body and open your heart. These seven days will nurture you on all levels of your being, help you realign with your internal guidance system, and ignite you on your journey towards greater health! Join us for this incredibly special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, with Golden Circle Retreats. The post Secret Ingredient Frozen Hot Chocolate appeared first on My New Roots.

Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba

November 2 2016 My New Roots 

Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba Danes are not big pumpkin eaters. Carrots, sure. Cabbage, indeed. Potatoes, definitely. But even though they seem to have caught on to the Halloween jack-o-lantern carving thing, actually consuming pumpkins is not high on their list. Just last week I was at the grocery store and saw a display of huge spaghetti squash on clearance, being promoted as autumn decorations.  Pfff, what?! I scooped up as many as I could (I mean, they were less than two bucks a pop) and I excitedly starting telling the cashier about the wild and crazy deal in the produce aisle, all the amazing things you could do with this gourd, and how it turns into freakin noodles. She raised an eyebrow, but was largely unimpressed. Maintaining conviction, I awkwardly carried my bushel of spaghetti squash to my bike, but not before telling two random customers on the way out as well. Just trying to spread the word, people! So aside from decorative (and reminder: totally edible) spaghetti squash, there is really only one proper pumpkin here in Denmark, and that is the Hokkaido. These spherical, bright orange beauties are available at most grocery stores, and for good reason: they are a very delicious and super versatile variety. They are yummy roasted, stuffed, baked, blended into dips, or in soups and stews. I dig them because you can eat the skin, which gives a serious boost of carotenes and fibre. Hokkaido pumpkins can also be called Kuri squash, and similar varieties include red Kabocha, Hubbard and Ambercup. As a PSA to Denmark, I would love to suggest growing these or other varieties of pumpkin since every single type has something special to offer, besides a being a decoration that is. Anyway, on to the recipe! As soon as the one-and-only pumpkin hit the stores a couple weeks back, I made this soup. Craving something creamy and soothing to combat autumn drizzle, I blended the steamed pumpkin with ginger and miso for the most luscious of broths, made even more satisfying with the addition of soba noodles. A few nights later I made it again and added even more goodies: spring onion, seaweed, toasted sesame and sautéed shiitake mushrooms. So. Good. I am obsessed with the combination of the sweet pumpkin and savoury miso, especially with the spicy warmth of the ginger to bring it all together. I also love the consistency of the soup, which is thinner than most of the purées I make. Its really more broth-like, and coats the soba in the perfect way. Unbelievably comforting on a chilly fall night, this dish will be on heavy rotation here this season, and I hope in your home as well. Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba comes together in under 30 minutes, so its the perfect weeknight dinner. Plus, it is made mostly with pantry staples, so all you need to pick up at the store is a pumpkin! If you want to make this meal even faster, you can skip the toppings altogether, as the soup on its own is totally delicious, and can be made in under 20 minutes. It also freezes well, so make a double batch and store half in the freezer for your next there-is-nothing-to-eat emergency. You can thank me later. Miso delicious! Most people are familiar with miso from Japanese restaurants where miso soup is served, but beyond that I think Westerners greatly under utilize this miraculous umami gift from the gods! It is a consistent condiment in my kitchen repertoire and most times when I use it in something Ive served to guests, they often ask why the dish tastes so special. The answer is miso. Miso is a Japanese word meaning fermented beans. Traditionally, miso is made from soybeans and is found in the form of a thick paste. The process of making miso involves soaking cooking, and mashing soybeans, then finally inoculating the mix with koji (a specific mold spore) and salt. This mixture is transferred to a crock or barrel where it is left to ferment for months or years. Miso comes in various colours, depending on whether or not other legumes or grains were used in the fermentation process, and the length of fermentation. White, yellow, red, brown and dark brown miso are some of the shades youll see in the store. In general, lighter miso tends to be sweeter and milder, while darker miso leans towards the saltier and pungent. I generally keep two kinds in my fridge, since they taste so incredibly different. This recipe calls for light miso, and I really stress using this variety since a dark miso would be far too rich and overwhelming. I prefer to use dark miso in things like gravies and sauces. Either way though, miso is an explosive umami bomb that will add tons of complex, satisfying flavour to many of your favourite foods. Because of this six taste, miso gives plant-based foods that umph that it can be lacking. When buying miso, look for an organic or non-GMO product that is raw /­­ unpasteurized. Unpasteurized miso will always come in the form of a paste, whereas the instant miso soup that you can find on the dry goods shelf is likely pasteurized and therefore not as health-promoting. If your miso comes packaged in plastic, transfer it to an airtight clean glass jar or ceramic crock when you get home, and store it in the fridge for up to a year. Unpasteurized miso is full of live cultures and for that reason it should never be boiled. If you read this recipe through, youll see that I only add the miso at the end when the soup is in the blender. This is to ensure that we preserve all of those delicate nutrients and precious enzymes that would be destroyed with high heat. If you are going to reheat this soup, make sure to do so gently and stir constantly to avoid scorching. Some notes on the recipe ingredients: if you absolutely cannot find light miso, a simple vegetable stock or bullion can be used in its place. But it’s worth tracking down. Soba noodles can be found at Asian supermarkets, health food stores, and gourmet foods shops. Make sure to look for noodles that are 100% buckwheat flour, as many brands of soba will add wheat flour to act as a binder, and keep in mind that these will not be gluten-free. Some people also find the taste of pure soba noodles off-putting since buckwheat can taste very strong, but I love it! Finicky kids (and adults) may prefer the milder-flavour of brown rice noodles, or even whole grain pasta.     Print recipe     Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side Ingredients: 1 Tbsp. coconut oil 2 medium yellow onion 3/­­4 tsp. fine grain sea salt 3 cloves garlic 1 medium, 2 lb /­­ 1kg Hokkaido pumpkin (or other favourite hard winter squash) 3 – 4 cups /­­ 750ml - 1 liter water 3 – 4 Tbsp. white or light miso 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger 175g /­­ 6oz. soba noodles (100% buckwheat) toppings: spring onion sesame seeds sautéed shiitake mushrooms seaweed, optional (I used oarweed, but any sea vegetable is good!) Directions: 1. Roughly chop onions, mince garlic. Wash the pumpkin well (as youll be eating the skin), and chop into chunks. 2. In a large stockpot, melt the coconut oil. Add the onions and salt, stir to coat and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are just starting to caramelize. Add garlic and cook for about a minute until fragrant. 3. Add the pumpkin and stir to coat. Add 3 cups /­­ 750ml of water, cover, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender. 4. While the soup is cooking, prepare the toppings: Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Cook soba noodles according to package directions, drain and lightly rinse. Slice spring onion, lightly toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, about 2-3 minutes. Sauté mushrooms in a lightly oiled skillet over high heat for 5-7 minutes. 5. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high until completely smooth. Add more water if necessary - youre looking for a creamy consistency, but it should not be thick like a paste. I like the soup to be on the thinner side for this dish. Add the miso, ginger and blend again until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Transfer soup back to the pot and keep warm (reheat if necessary, but try not to boil). 6. Ladle soup into bowls, top with soba, spring onion, sesame seeds, mushrooms and crumble the seaweed over top. Serve immediately and enjoy. This soup is wildly tasty and saisfying, and will probably make you look forward to cooler temperatures and nights spent in. I hope you all are having a lovely fall so far. Sending big love and cozy moments to you all, Sarah B. Show me your soups on Instagram: #MNRpupmkinmisobroth The post Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba appeared first on My New Roots.

October Is Vegtoberfest: Celebrate All Month Long!

October 3 2016 Meatless Monday 

October Is Vegtoberfest: Celebrate All Month Long! Fall is a prime time for enjoying ripe, fresh-picked vegetables and fruits. Whats more, its also Vegetarian Awareness Month, the perfect chance to acquaint yourself with the beans, greens, grains, nuts and seeds that make meatless meals so delicious. Thats why were so excited to join Oldways and The Humane Society of the United States in celebrating Vegtoberfest all month long! And its easy join the fun. Just choose to put more plants on your plate this month. For instance, you could go Meatless Monday each week. Or explore new vegetarian or vegan recipes. Or maybe challenge yourself to do a full month of meatless meals. All through October, well be sharing insightful infographics, tasty recipe videos, plus lots of other goodies that show how nourishing and delicious it is put more plants on your plate. Our Vegtoberfest Favs Not sure which plants to add to your plate? Get started with these flavorful seasonal picks. Beets - You cant beat beets in the fall. Stay with the classic reddish purple color or try white, golden or even multicolored beets. Roast them tender for their betaine - a compound that may help prevent liver and heart disease. Pumpkins - A perfect choice for all the right reasons - luscious soups, delectable pies, even toasted pumpkin seeds. Theyre a great source of alpha- and beta-carotene, which can be converted into retinol to promote cell growth and healthy vision. Sweet Potatoes - Fall is when sweet potato flavor is at its peak. Imagine the fresh-baked aroma coming out of your oven. Theyre also a good source of vitamin C. Who needs orange juice? Apples - Yes, we know theyre a fruit. But this time of year, a basket full of fresh-orchard apples is simply irresistible. Sweet and crunchy, theyre also packed with antioxidants that may help slow aging and prevent chronic illness. Whats Your Vegtoberfest Story? We want to hear it! Tell us how and why youre choosing to put more plants on your plate this month by posting your photo and story on social media with the hashtag #Vegtoberfest. Let the whole world know youre all in on Vegtoberfest - and invite your friends to join in, too. ON FACEBOOK: Visit the Vegtoberfest tab on the Oldways Facebook page and submit your photo and story. ON INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: Simply post your photo and story with the tag #Vegtoberfest! For all of the latest updates on Vegtoberfest, plus more ways to get involved, visit the official page here. The post October Is Vegtoberfest: Celebrate All Month Long! appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Tropical Soba

June 1 2016 Golubka Kitchen 

Tropical Soba The hotter the weather gets, the more I find myself substituting meals with just a ton of watermelon, mango or papaya, or even some kind of iced and very hydrating smoothie or drink. The heat brings out those strong cravings for all things hydrating, juicy, and cooling, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. For something more substantial and nourishing, but still in line with all the aforementioned requirements for a hot summer day meal, there is this Tropical Soba. Papaya is one of my favorite tropical fruit. Of course, we didn’t have anything like it when I was growing up in Russia, so when I moved to Florida and tried papaya for the first time, I was blown away by its buttery consistency and complex, unfamiliar flavor. I was also pleasantly surprised by all its sunny health benefits – papaya is anti-inflammatory due to a wealth of vitamin C and beta-carotene, and some special enzymes, and contains other good stuff like potassium, magnesium, copper, fiber and folate, etc. (the list is quite long). I had a very similar story with mangoes, being completely overjoyed the first time I tried one. So when both of these fruit come into season, they sneak into all kinds of meals around here. Soba noodles are on high rotation in our house as well. Paloma, being in her very picky eater stage, will accept some kind of soba bowl any time of day, which I’m ok with, as the protein-rich buckwheat in soba makes the noodles filling and nutritious. For her, I tend to buy the 100% buckwheat soba, just to pack in as many extra goodies as I can into her meal, but I also like wheat/­­buckwheat blend soba, which tends to be more affordable. This recipe basically combines everything we want to eat at the moment. Nourishing, chilled soba noodles are the base, accompanied by sweet and luscious pieces of papaya and mango, jicama for a nice crunch, a sprinkle of desiccated coconut for some bite, basil, cilantro and mint for that herbal freshness, all dressed with a creamy coconut milk and lime sauce. A tropical dream in a bowl really. I hope you get around to making it sometime this summer :) Tropical Soba   Print Serves: 4-6 Ingredients 1 large, ripe mango - peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces ½ medium papaya - peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces 1 small or ½ large jicama - peeled and cut into small cubes basil, mint, cilantro - to taste juice of 2 large limes - divided 1 8 oz package of soba noodles (I used these) sea salt Thai chili paste/­­sriracha - to taste (optional) 1 can light coconut milk unsweetened desiccated coconut - for garnish Instructions Combine mango, papaya, jicama and herbs in a large bowl. Squeeze juice of 1 lime over the mixture, toss to coat. Cook soba noodles in well salted water, according to instructions on the package, take care not to overcook. Drain over a colander, rinse briefly with cold water and shake off any excess water. Add soba to the bowl with the fruit, toss gently and squeeze juice from the second lime over the dish. Add a little squeeze of chili paste, if using, followed by coconut milk. Toss to coat well. You can add more coconut milk to make the dish soupier, if desired. Distribute between bowls or serving plates, garnish with desiccated coconut and more herbs. 3.5.3208   You might also like... Raw Rutabaga and Crispy Sage Pizza No Noodle Pad Thai Raw Caramelized Vegetables in Crispy Coconut Cups Raw Thanksgiving .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Tropical Soba appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Butternut Squash, Leek and Apple Soup

November 3 2015 My New Roots 

Butternut Squash, Leek and Apple Soup Back in the summer, I was asked to be the guest chef at a restaurant here in Copenhagen for the upcoming fall season. But not just any restaurant: a hyper-local organic restaurant sourcing 95% of their ingredients from within 200 kilometers of their front door, and one that holds classes to educate and inspire city dwellers to eat sustainably all year round. Oh, just kind of up my alley. And it is run by a woman who I clicked with instantaneously, our first conversation touching on everything from mushroom foraging to manifesting ones own reality through the power of positive thinking. I said yes because I was so moved by her ultimate mission, what the restaurant stood for, and not really taking into account that I hadnt cooked in a professional kitchen in many years. But after giving me permission to call the event The Grand Pumpkin Orgy, how could I possibly say no? Fast forward a few months to a couple weeks ago. I am standing at the cutting board preparing vegetables for soup. The soup to be served at the restaurant, which will be full of guests, all there to eat my food. I feel confident and excited, using all of my pumpkin comprehension to develop a menu of stellar proportions, and not letting the true weightiness of the event bog me down. Once cooked, everything goes into the blender. I puree it. I taste it. And its delicious. Without any major adjustments at all, it is exactly what I wanted it to be: clean and pure and tasting of the ingredients it is made with, only better. Then the doubt creeps in. Wait a second. That was easy. Is this really good enough? How can I serve such a simple dish to all these people with undoubtedly high expectations of what this dinner is supposed to be? Why did I ever think I could do this in the first place?! BAH! I brought my recipes in for the chef to review, sheepishly handing them over as if there was something wrong with them; not impressive enough, flashy or complex – just what I believed to be delicious. After a raised eyebrow, he said that he wasnt sure apple and butternut squash would go together. I gulped, but told him as confidently as I could that I believe in the intelligence of the season, and trust that whatever grows together, goes together. Right? The soup was a hit. Clean and pure and tasting of the ingredients it was made with, only better. Not only was the chef impressed (and later excused himself for judging my soup before making it himself), but the guests as well. As I went around to the tables asking everyone how it was, they all reaffirmed my belief that my instincts are not completely out of whack, and that, quite simply, good ingredients make great food. After several years eating locally-grown, seasonal produce Ive learned that you can pretty much step back and let the ingredients do the work for you, since true deliciousness needs little intervention. Cooking like a pro, to me, means respecting the ingredients and doing as little as possible to bring out their tastiness. So, this soup is that soup. The one I served at the restaurant to all of those people that scared me, but also reminded me that simple is best. It is a deep and delicious love song to autumn. The ingredients are inexpensive, widely available and the process is foolproof. Its an oven soup! Thats right: everything cooked together right on a baking sheet so there isnt even a pot to wash. Me likey. Butternut Squsah: the Nutrient Storage Facility Winter squash rocks because it is a virtual storehouse of nutrients. Unlike summer squash (re: zucchini, crooknecks, pattypans), winter squash has had a lot more time to develop and pump itself full of vitamins and minerals throughout its lengthy life on the stem. Were talking oodles more vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and even some extra dietary fiber thrown in. This combination of nutrients spells good news for asthma sufferers, those with heart disease, elevated cholesterol, or inflammatory conditions such a rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Nature designed summer squash to be rather delicate, with a high water content for those hot summer days when we need a cool down. Naturally, their shelf life is rather short during our abundant harvest season when produce is plentiful. On the flip side, winter squash has a tough outer skin and lower water content, which allows it to be stored for a very long time - some varieties up to six months. This means that we can keep these vitamin bombs around for a long time after the first frost to provide our bodies with the nutrition we need to see us through the long months of winter when there is nothing fresh in sight. Put that in your oven and roast it! The Garlicky Rye Bread Croutons, although an additional element to create, are the crowning glory of the dish, and really make it special. If youre not into bread, try toasting some pumpkin seeds for the top, or something else crunchy to add contrast to the silky smooth soup. It begs mentioning that the apple cider vinegar in this recipe is not optional. Why? Because it adds acidity. Acidity is the one thing missing in almost every home cooks food because, well, we are never really taught about its importance. If you read the introduction in my cookbook, I have a section called The Holy Trinity of Flavour explaining that salt, sugar and acid are the three foundation flavours of any successful dish. Adding just a touch of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to almost anything you make (no kidding!) heightens and brightens the other flavours and creates a surprising balance of tastes. Try it and see for yourself.     Print recipe     Butternut Squash, Leek and Apple Soup with Garlicky Rye Bread Croutons Makes at least 2 quarts /­­ 2 liters, Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil (or ghee) 3 leeks 1 medium onion 5 cloves garlic 1 large butternut squash (mine was about 2 lbs. /­­ 1 kg) 1 large, tart apple 4 - 6 cups /­­ 1-1 1/­­2 liters vegetable broth, as needed 1 tsp. fine grain sea salt 1 tsp. ground cumin 1/­­2 tsp. ground cardamom 1/­­2 tsp. ground star anise apple cider vinegar to taste (start with 1/­­2 tsp. up to 1 Tbsp.) 1 batch Garlicky Rye Bread Crouton (recipe to follow) Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F /­­ 200°C. 2. Prepare all vegetables: chop leeks and onions, peel garlic (but leave it whole), peel butternut and cut into cubes, chop apple. 3. Place all vegetables on a baking sheet with the coconut oil, toss to coat, and set in the oven to roast for 25-35 minutes until tender. 4. Transfer roasted vegetables to a blender and add the spices and hot vegetable stock (you may need to work in batches). Blend on high until completely smooth. Taste, then add salt and apple cider vinegar, blend and taste again. Adjust seasoning to your taste, and add stock until the desired consistency is reached: I like mine quite thin so I use the full 6 cups /­­ 1 1/­­2 liters of stock. 5. Transfer soup to a large cooking pot over medium heat to warm, if necessary. Divide soup equally among bowls and serve with the Garlicky Rye Bread Croutons and freshly cracked black pepper. Garlicky Rye Bread Croutons Serves 4 Ingredients: 2 cups /­­ 200g stale dark sourdough, cut into generous cubes (any bread here would work, but make a healthy choice) 1 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee (ghee is definitely the tastiest) 2 fat cloves garlic, finely minced or grated on a microplane a couple pinches flaky sea salt Directions: 1. Melt oil in a small saucepan over low heat. When it is melted, add the garlic and stir to combine. Cook just until the garlic starts to simmer, immediately remove from heat and let cool slightly. Preheat oven to 350°F/­­175°C. 2. Cut bread into generous cubes and place in a medium sized bowl. Pour the garlic oil over the top and toss to coat, using your hands to squish the oil into the bread. Spread out bread cubes on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and place in the oven. Toast for 15-20 minutes, tossing a couple times during cooking. Croutons are ready when they are crisp and golden around the edges. Once cool, store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days. You guys. I’m making app! It’s almost ready! I can’t wait! The My New Roots iOS app will include your favourites from the blog, plus 5 exclusive app-only holiday recipes, perfect for the upcoming season. Click the link below to go to the App site where you can sign up to be notified when the app is out (soon, I promise!) and receive my brand-new recipe for Crispy Sweet Potato Shoe String Fries with Miso Tahini Gravy, like right now. Thank you for all for encouraging me to do this, and your ongoing support. I like you very much. xo, Sarah B  

VegKitchens Top 10 Carrot Recipes

February 27 2015 VegKitchen 

VegKitchens Top 10 Carrot RecipesWith all the dark leafy greens and nutrient-dense seeds (like chia and hemp) out there, its easy to overlook common veggies like carrots as super foods. Carrots are a powerhouse veggie by any standard, rich in beta carotene and vitamin C. And in culinary terms, few vegetables can rival the versatility of carrots, which can star in soups, salads, roasted dishes, sides, and  even delectable desserts. Creole Creamy Carrot Soup, shown above, has a cheery orange color, and if good, fresh carrots are used, a subtly sweet flavor. In Daikon and Carrot Salad, crisp daikon radish is wonderfully cleansing food, and combined with carrots, makes a simple and tasty salad that goes well with most any type of meal. Classic Carrot-Raisin Salad might just be the first that kids will enjoy! A food processor is a must for preparing this salad quickly; or you can start with pre-grated carrots that come packaged. Sweet Cinnamon-Roasted Baby Carrots are an easy way to enjoy roasted veggies with no cutting or peeling involved. Simply use a bag of baby carrots! Garlicky Roasted Carrots are absolutely addictive! Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of carrots, and garlic and onion become sweeter with roasting as well. Sautéed Carrots and Leeks combines two vegetables with natural sweetness that mingle nicely. This is a mild and pleasant side dish, good with pastas as well as tofu or tempeh dishes. Carrots and orange juice concentrate pair up in these moist Vegan Carrot-Walnut Muffins, providing a dose of vitamins A and C, as well as an enticing golden color. Cranberry-Carrot Cake With Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting is festive and luscious, but with a minimum of fat and a plethora of fresh fruit (and a vegetable -- carrots, of course) in the batter, not the least bit guilt-inducing. Carrot-Apple Pudding is a sweet dish of spiced carrots and apples. It’s traditional to the Passover holiday as a side dish, but is also yummy enough to be an everyday dessert with a dollop of coconut yogurt.

Easy Meatless Meals the Whole Family With Love

November 3 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Easy Meatless Meals the Whole Family With Love Trying to get your loved ones to eat veg more often? It’s easier than you might think. Just focus on simple, filling, familiar meals (read: go easy on the tofu and tempeh, depending on how open-minded your folks are). Here are a few tried-and-true favorites that have gone over well with my meat-eating husband, who is usually very unenthusiastic about all things bean: Burritos Stuff them with hearty ingredients like potatoes and cauliflower (pictured) or black beans and plantains, and nobody will miss the meat. Don’t forget to slather with guacamole--avocado is rich in hunger-quelling fiber. Also popular: portobello tacos and sweet potato quesadillas. If you live with picky eaters, lay out different fillings and fixins, and everyone can make their own creations. Lasagna This comfort-food classic is a great way to sneak in lots of veggies, and pretty much everyone loves it. Try harvest-y butternut squash lasagna or kid-friendly tortilla lasagna. Short on time? Any stick-to-your-ribs pasta dish is sure to please--just don’t hold back on the sauce. Make sure it’s super-luscious and super-flavorful. Our go-to: 5-ingredient linguine in lemon cream sauce. Baked Potatoes Got a serious meat-and-potatoes-lover on your hands? Go for loaded baked potatoes. Kids can help scoop out and stuff them. Our best include mini loaded red potatoes and zucchini-artichoke baked potatoes. Also try stuffing sweet potatoes for a healthful dose of beta-carotene. If you’re short on time, use your microwave to cook the potatoes, and offer different toppings at the table. Fritters Not to be confused with veggie burgers, which can scare some people off, fritters are pretty much always a hit. It’s all in the name! A few top VT recipes: millet-spinach-feta fritters; vegetable fritters with tomato-corn relish; curried sweet potato fritters; and spinach and spaghetti squash fritters. Serve with a blended butternut squash soup, and everyone is happy. Pizza You don’t have to top pizza with handfuls of shredded mozzarella to make it delicious. Try zucchini-goat cheese pizza or butternut squash pizza. For weeknight ease, buy refrigerated ready-to-go pizza dough from any supermarket, and make a few pies with your family’s favorite toppings. Avoiding gluten? We happen to have a crazy-crispy gluten-free pizza crust recipe. What’s your favorite family-friendly veg dish? Share in the comments!

5 Superfood Berries You Should Know About

September 15 2014 VegKitchen 

5 Superfood Berries You Should Know AboutOf all the so-called superfoods -- the nutrient-rich foods high in antioxidants that are thought to fight the ills of aging -- few receive more accolades than the berry family. From humble blueberries to their exotic cousins from distant climes, berries have muscled out other super fruits to take a firm stand front and center. Sure, orange fruits and dark leafy greens   get their fair shake, but the berries seem to steal the show. And what about all the other berries that are regularly slapped with the miracle label by food marketers and importers? Although many of the exuberant health claims have yet to be confirmed, the bulk of berries are loaded with important nutrients that can go far in combatting common deficiencies that may be making you feel less than peppy.  With that in mind, here are a few lesser-known members of the super berry world.  Açai berry One of the earliest contenders in the miracle-food market, açai berries are harvested from açai palm trees native to the rain forests of South America. In the Amazon the berries are beaten into a pulp, diluted in water and eaten with manioc, meat, fish or dried shrimp. Proponents purport that this little berry can tame arthritis and cancer, help with weight loss and high cholesterol, give a boost to erectile dysfunction, aid detoxification and provide overall health exuberance. Açai berries have proven to be a good source of antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats, but research has yet to prove much else. Açai can be eaten raw, in capsules, in beverages such as juice, smoothies or energy drinks, and other food products. It is often sold as a frozen pulp. Its popularity in North America has had an unintended consequence: there is less of this healthy staple for native and often poor populations who have relied on it for generations, according to Bloomberg . [Related: Is the miracle berry a gimmick or a nutritional powerhouse? ] Acerola cherry Known scientifically as Malpighia emarginata, and commonly as acerola, Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry and wild crepemyrtle, this shrub is native to South America, southern Mexico and Central America, but is now also being grown as far north as Texas and in subtropical areas of Asia. The fruit is bursting with vitamin C -- about nine times the vitamin C found in a typical orange. It is most commonly available in juice, powder or supplement form. [Related: What can acerola do for you? ] Goji berry Also known as lycium or Chinese wolfberries, these go-to berries for the superfood set are native to the Himalayan region of China and Tibet. The small, red berries have been used by Chinese herbalists for millennia to help eyesight, boost immune function and promote longevity. Although there are few published clinical trials, many of goji berries reported health benefits are related to their high antioxidant concentration.  They have remarkable levels of vitamin C, beta carotene, amino acids, iron and B vitamins. Available dried, they taste kind of like a dried cherry with a slight metallic and salty tinge; they are also available is powder, juice or supplement form. They travel a long way to get to North America, though, so love them sparingly. [Related:  Goji berries: Health benefits, tips and recipes ] Maqui berry Maqui berry is a deep purple berry that grows wild throughout parts of southern Chile. The tart and flavorful fruit contains an abundance of vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium, anthocyanins and polyphenols, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Long consumed in whole and juice form, maqui is now found in a number of dietary supplements (including powders, capsules and juice blends). [Related: Simple superfood fudge truffles ] Noni berry The noni berry is the fruit of the evergreen shrub known as canary wood, which is native to tropical areas of the South Pacific. The green fruit, leaves and rhizomes were long used used in Polynesian cultures to treat menstrual cramps, bowel irregularities, diabetes, liver diseases and urinary tract infections. Noni is available in powdered pulp or juice form, but many of the nutrients are lost when the fruit is juiced. The main micronutrients of noni pulp powder include vitamin C, niacin (vitamin B3), iron and potassium, with lesser amounts of vitamin A and calcium. However, the juice only retains the vitamin C, and at levels about half as much as orange juice. [Related: Why not make your own energy drink? ] Adapted from Superfoods: 11 berries to improve your health by Melissa Breyer, reprinted by permission. Of course, the more common berries -- blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and strawberries have amazing benefits as well. Read about them in the entire article on Mother Nature Network. - For lots more features on healthy lifestyle, explore VegKitchens Healthy Vegan Kitchen  page.

Big Comfy Sweet Potato

January 31 2014 My New Roots 

Big Comfy Sweet Potato Comfort food is different for all of us. For some, its a big bowl of macaroni and cheese, for others, its ice cream and chocolate sauce. Me? Sweet potatoes. For real. There is something so soothing and grounding about digging into one fresh out of the oven, loading it up with ghee, salt and cracked black pepper. Its a simple dinner that saw me through my student years when I was living on a budget, held my hand when I dropped everything and moved across the world to Copenhagen, and continues to show me the love even now. Sweet potatoes are kind of like that favourite, threadbare white t-shirt, or the song I could listen to a thousand times without ever getting sick of it. Total comfort. Well, this time I dressed up that white t-shirt with a cornucopia of yumminess: black beans, avocado, sprouts and my Red Blanket Sauce that will knock your woolen socks off. Its the Big Comfy Sweet Potato and its simple, delicious and I reckon just the kind of thing that will make you feel pretty comfy too. The toppings for the Big Comfy Sweet Potato are up to you. I was digging the cilantro, sprouts and green onion, but you could put all manner of delights into this one, depending on the season and what is available to you. Cherry tomatoes would be great, freshly shucked corn, bell peppers too. These are the perfect clean-out-the-fridge kind of dinner, because as long as you got your sweet potato, you have a blank canvas that will only get better with a little help from some other veggies buddies.     But if you really dont have anything else on hand, the Red Blanket Sauce is killer. Just a plain sweet potato swaddled in this stuff is a proper meal. Super creamy and rich, and delicious draped across so many things - rice, lentils, roast veg - you name it. I tried to do a riff off of mole sauce, but I cant claim to know anything about authentic Mexican cooking, so Im going to avoid the comparison. What I do know, is that it tastes like a thousand layers of spice, herbs, sweet, savoury, tangy, bold, and chocolate-y without being chocolate-y...know what I mean? Guh. I want more. Comfy Digestion with the Sweetest of Potatoes Many people think that sweet potatoes are just regular potatoes that are orange, but they are in fact a completely different vegetable. Compared to regular potatoes, sweet potatoes have oodles more vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C and even more fiber. This means that sweet potatoes are excellent for your digestion. Sweet potatoes are composed mainly of starch, which is very easy to break down and is soothing for the stomach and intestines too. This makes them an ideal healing choice for those suffering from the pain and inflammation associated with stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. The roughage of sweet potatoes even prevents constipation. Comfy stuff!     Print recipe     Big Comfy Sweet Potatoes Serves 4 Ingredients: 4 medium-large sweet potatoes (organic, if possible) 1 1/­­2 cups black beans (equivalent to 1 can) 1 ripe avocado Optional toppings: cilantro green onion sprouts lime wedges crumbled goats cheese crushed chili flakes Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F/­­200°C. Prick sweet potatoes a few times with a fork. Place on a baking sheet in the oven and roast for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. You will know its done when a knife can easily pierce the skin and the center is soft. 2. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and slice each one down the center, almost through to the bottom. Open up to reveal its orange flesh. 3. Stuff the sweet potato with black beans and top it with avocado, and any other herbs, sprouts or veggies you like. Pour Red Blanket Sauce over the top. Serve and enjoy. To learn how to cook your own black beans, please see my instructions here. Red Blanket Sauce Makes 2 cups Ingredients: knob of coconut oil or ghee 1 medium onion /­­ 150g 3 cloves garlic 1 can whole, organic tomatoes 1 tsp. ground cumin 1/­­2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/­­2 tsp. dried thyme 1/­­4 tsp. ground chipotle pinch of cayenne, if desired 1-3 dates (depending on size and your taste) 2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder 1 Tbsp. nut butter or tahini 4 Tbsp. water, divided 1 1/­­2 Tbsp. lime juice Directions: 1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt oil and add all spices. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about a minute. Add onions, a couple pinches of salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another couple minutes. If the pot gets dry at any point, add a little of the tomato juice from the can. 2. Pour canned tomatoes into the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste. 3. Carefully transfer the tomato mixture to a blender. Add pitted dates, cacao powder, nut butter, lime juice and a couple tablespoons of the water. Blend on high, adding water to thin as needed, until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste. 4. Serve. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to one week. *   *   *   *   *   * Speaking of easy and delicious, if any of you are still in the mood for a simple cleanse, check out my article in the February issue Oprah magazine! I wrote a 4-day detox plan with tasty recipes that are all really easy to make using basic ingredients . If January has passed you by without a little clean-up, now is your chance. The program is also available online, here. I hope you enjoy!  

Kale is the New Spinach

June 7 2016 VegKitchen 

Kale is the New Spinach Kale, a dark leafy green vegetable, thats become a favorite in recent years, is packed with vitamins and minerals. Its health benefits are indisputable,as one of the foods richest in vitamin A, vitamin K, beta carotene and even calcium. Kale is one of the oldest cultivating vegetables on earth and until the Middle Ages it was one of the most popular vegetables in Europe.

5 Meatless Leftover Hacks You’ll Love for Thanksgiving

November 23 2015 Meatless Monday 

Thanksgiving is almost here, and with it comes the season of family gatherings, festive traditions, and delicious leftovers! After the feast, the leftovers remain - delicious spreads and dishes with enough servings to last the weekend and fill you up on Meatless Monday! Here are a few inventive ways to enjoy your favorite holiday foods after the family meal is done. Mashed Potatoes If youve had your fill of the standard side dish, transform the rest of your mashed potatoes into potato pancakes for Eggs in Purgatory - an excellent brunch option with eggs and marinara sauce. This recipe comes courtesy of the Food Network and Giada De Laurentiis, a gourmet supporter of Meatless Monday!   Stuffing Love that fabulous stuffing, but in the mood for a different presentation? Turn it into bite sized stuffing nuggets with this recipe for Second Day Fried Stuffing Bites with Cranberry Sauce Pesto. Youll even have a chance to use up that extra cranberry sauce making the pesto dipping sauce included in the recipe!   Vegetable Crudite Vegetable platters are a popular dish at any holiday table, and on the big day they are enjoyed with any number of dips and dressings. But sometimes theres a bit of fresh celery, broccoli or carrots leftover after all the dip is gone. Make breakfast the morning after the dinner party into a special event with this recipe for a leftover crudité frittata.   Sweet Potatoes or Sweet Potato Casserole Packed with beta carotene and vitamin A, sweet potatoes are a treasured favorite in fall meals across the US. Whether baking them, mashing them, or making a casserole, leftover sweet potatoes can be re-purposed in this recipe for flavorful biscuits! You can even make this dish with leftover sweet potato/­­marshmallow casserole, just mash it all together first and bake as directed!   Dinner Rolls Once the meal is over, those fresh baked dinner rolls can start to get just a little bit stale. But what are stale dinner rolls perfect for? Bread bowls! This recipe for customizable breakfast bread bowls isnt just a great way to make use of those extra rolls - you can fill them with all the other tasty leftovers you’ve got in the fridge.   Looking for seconds? Find more ideas on our Thanksgiving Pinterest board, or visit the Meatless Monday recipe archive for entrees, side dishes, and desserts that are sure to please your guests. Get creative with those tasty leftovers and have fun!   The post 5 Meatless Leftover Hacks You’ll Love for Thanksgiving appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Sweet Potato Smoothie…

October 22 2015 Vegie Head 

While trying to find low-gi and low fructose smoothie ingredient that was as creamy and filling as banana, I started playing around with sweet potato. Not only mildly sweet, but high in fibre, vitamin A, C, rich in beta-carotene and readily available for most of the year, its also a great banana al...

Easy Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love

November 3 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Easy Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love Trying to get your loved ones to eat veg more often? It’s easier than you might think. Just focus on simple, filling, familiar meals (read: go easy on the tofu and tempeh, depending on how open-minded your folks are). Here are a few tried-and-true favorites that have gone over well with my meat-eating husband, who is usually very unenthusiastic about all things bean: Burritos Stuff them with hearty ingredients like potatoes and cauliflower (pictured) or black beans and plantains, and nobody will miss the meat. Don’t forget to slather with guacamole--avocado is rich in hunger-quelling fiber. Also popular: portobello tacos and sweet potato quesadillas. If you live with picky eaters, lay out different fillings and fixins, and everyone can make their own creations. Lasagna This comfort-food classic is a great way to sneak in lots of veggies, and pretty much everyone loves it. Try harvest-y butternut squash lasagna or kid-friendly tortilla lasagna. Short on time? Any stick-to-your-ribs pasta dish is sure to please--just don’t hold back on the sauce. Make sure it’s super-luscious and super-flavorful. Our go-to: 5-ingredient linguine in lemon cream sauce. Baked Potatoes Got a serious meat-and-potatoes-lover on your hands? Go for loaded baked potatoes. Kids can help scoop out and stuff them. Our best include mini loaded red potatoes and zucchini-artichoke baked potatoes. Also try stuffing sweet potatoes for a healthful dose of beta-carotene. If you’re short on time, use your microwave to cook the potatoes, and offer different toppings at the table. Fritters Not to be confused with veggie burgers, which can scare some people off, fritters are pretty much always a hit. It’s all in the name! A few top VT recipes: millet-spinach-feta fritters; vegetable fritters with tomato-corn relish; curried sweet potato fritters; and spinach and spaghetti squash fritters. Serve with a blended butternut squash soup, and everyone is happy. Pizza You don’t have to top pizza with handfuls of shredded mozzarella to make it delicious. Try zucchini-goat cheese pizza or butternut squash pizza. For weeknight ease, buy refrigerated ready-to-go pizza dough from any supermarket, and make a few pies with your family’s favorite toppings. Avoiding gluten? We happen to have a crazy-crispy gluten-free pizza crust recipe. What’s your favorite family-friendly veg dish? Share in the comments!

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Zucchini

November 2 2014 VegKitchen 

5 Surprising Health Benefits of ZucchiniZucchini, a vegetable originating from the Americas, has a variety of benefits. Though botanically it is a fruit, it is considered a vegetable world-over. Both raw and cooked zucchini are great for the overall health of an individual. Before we go into details about five major health benefits of zucchini, here’s a little trivia about this summer squash: Zucchini belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo which includes pumpkins and cucumbers. It is also known as courgette in French while the British call it vegetable marrow. The skin color can vary from light to dark green. It is best eaten prior to the skin becoming tough and seeds growing large. The flowers of the zucchini are also edible and used regularly in French and Italian cuisine for dressing meals or for garnishing cooked fruit, offering great taste in the process. Zucchini is extensively grown in Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt China, Japan, Italy, and India amongst other countries. Though grown all year long, the peak season is in the summer months. Zucchini cannot be stored for long periods unless frozen (you can freeze grated raw zucchini, or lightly steamed slices. Make sure to pack in air-tight containers). The five surprising health benefits of zucchini are: Zucchini Is Awesome For The Heart: Zucchini contains good amounts of potassium that helps reduce blood pressure. It also contains moderate levels of folate that breaks down amino acids like homocysteine that cause heart attacks and strokes. The considerable amount of magnesium helps in keeping blood pressure at a normal rate and the heart beat at a steady rhythm. Zucchini Helps In Weight Loss: Zucchini has incredibly low calories that make it a much-preferred part of any weight loss diet. Substituting calorie rich foods with a sizable portion of zucchini helps you in reducing the number of calories that are taken in. This makes it easier to burn off calories, thereby helping you lose weight. The fibre content helps in burning the fat in the body. Zucchini also keeps the body hydrated with its 95 percent water content. This gives you more energy and fewer headaches. Zucchini Improves Eye Health: The cousin vegetable, cucumber is beneficial for reducing the puffiness in the eyes. Similarly, zucchini when used externally helps to remove the puffy bags that develop around the eyes due to excessive water retention. The swelling around the eyes lessens due to the water-rich content. The carotenoid Beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A in the body. The presence of Vitamin A in the squash helps in active cell development in the eyes, which enhances vision and helps in preventing age-related medical conditions affecting the eyes such as macular degeneration. Zucchini Guards Against Asthma and Strengthens Teeth And Bones: Due to Zucchini being a good source of vitamin C, it is considered a good food for fighting asthma. Vitamin C, a powerful anti-oxidant, plays a huge role in keeping the immune systems healthy and fighting respiratory problems. The anti-inflammatory properties help keep the lungs open and clear. Zucchini also contains calcium that helps the nervous system to function properly and gives strength to the bones and teeth. Zucchini Helps Lower Cholesterol: The high-fiber content in zucchini helps in lowering cholesterol. The high levels of vitamin A and Vitamin C delays the beginning of atherosclerosis by keeping the cholesterol from oxidizing the body’s blood vessels. Zucchini rids the body of excess toxins. The benefits of zucchini are immense and not limited to just these. This versatile summer squash is also healthy for the skin giving it a glow and restoring its moisture. Recent studies indicate that zucchini assists in reducing symptoms of prostatic hypertrophy (BOH) or a condition in which there is an enlargement of the prostate gland. Complications with urination and sexual functioning can thus be checked. The anti-inflammatory properties can play a significant role in the protection against diabetes. Begin savoring this wonder-working vegetable as a regular part of your food habits! Resources : - http:/­­/­­www.choosemyplate.gov/­­food-groups/­­vegetables-tips.html - http:/­­/­­www.livestrong.com/­­article/­­334127-the-health-benefits-of-zucchini/­­ - http:/­­/­­www.stylecraze.com/­­articles/­­benefits-of-zucchini-for-skin-hair-and-health/­­ - http:/­­/­­healthyeating.sfgate.com/­­benefits-raw-grilled-zucchini-2771.html Vineetha Reddy is very passionate about nutrition, fitness, health & wellness. She strongly believes that the ingredients you find in your pantry are the best medicines that you can get. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Bali Bliss Papaya Salad

May 6 2014 My New Roots 

Bali Bliss Papaya Salad Bali is bliss. Its not hard to believe weve already been here for a couple weeks, as Ive clearly sunken into a new, slower rhythm and just allowing the days to unfold at their languid pace. I havent been this relaxed in...well, I cant even remember when to be honest. It feels amazing to not have a schedule to follow, to not have any major deadlines looming, no calls to answer. Ive had to travel halfway across planet earth to find this solace, but I also dont mind being surrounded by tropical jungle, dazzling green rice fields, rivers, and volcanoes, and sparkling starry skies. Bali has a kind of beauty to it, unlike anything Ive ever experienced before. It is rich, mesmeric, mysterious. Everywhere you go, you are greeted with wafts of burning incense, floral offerings, and the sounds of flowing water. Spirituality and everyday life are intertwined, and god seems to be truly in the details. The food? As wonderful as it is to eat at restaurants (dont do much of that in Copenhagen), Ive actually been cooking a lot. Surprise! Weve rented a house with a rather makeshift, but functioning kitchen, and the one-burner hot plate and I have become well acquainted during my experiments with all of the local produce. My family and I head out around 7am to the morning market, and for pennies fill our bags with all sorts of unusual fruits and veggies, then head home to play with it all. The other groovy thing about where we are staying is the front yard full of fruit trees and coconut palms. There are papaya growing - no, bulging - off of their trunks. Fruit larger then my six-month-old baby (and hes a big boy). The housekeeper picked one for me upon my request and it sat ripening on my counter for a couple days until I knew it was time. Total. Bliss-fest. You couldnt take me to the fanciest restaurant and see me more excited than eating that silly, homegrown papaya. Truly. As much as papaya is perfect all on its own, the flavours around me beg to be enjoyed. This was a simple breakfast I tossed together with fresh ingredients I had just picked up at the market: kaffir lime, ginger, and freshly grated coconut (wow, nothing like it!). It is all together sweet, citric, spicy and rich - a delicious combination for starting your day on the right foot, or maybe an afternoon pick-me-up. Papaya Paradise Party Papaya are buttery, rich, satisfying, and a delicious taste of the tropics, but are available in most grocery stores throughout the year. Papayas contain a cornucopia of nutrients, its most unique being papain. Papain is a digestive enzyme that helps digest proteins, similar to the bromelain found in pineapple. If you take digestive supplements, yours will likely contain papain. Papaya is rich in antioxdants, such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavanoids, folic and pantothenic acid, as well as the minerals copper, potassium and magnesium. These nutrients all add up to major cardiovascular protection, due to their ability to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Papayas vitamins, minerals and antioxidants also provide immune support, promote digestive health, and protect against macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis. Much like bananas, papaya contains a substance called chitinase, which is associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. If you have a latex allergy, you should avoid eating papaya (and banana too). If you cannot find kaffir limes, regular lime would be fine of course. Kaffir limes tend to be smaller, so if you are using regular lime, just one would likely be enough for the recipe below. And if you cant get yourself to a Balinese market and have someone grind your coconut for you this morning, no worries, just use shredded desiccated coconut in its place. You can even lightly toast it if your heart desires. The recipe for this salad is rather loose. Ive added some rough measurements, but the dressing here depends greatly on the size of your papaya, so just use the ingredients below as a guideline and make the dish to suit your taste. If you like a more citric flavour, go heavy on the limejuice; if you like it spicy, add more ginger, etc. I also drizzled in some local virgin coconut oil, which had the most incredible coconut taste, but this is entirely up to you. Keep in mind that the fat in the coconut and coconut oil will only help in absorbing the carotenes in the papaya.       Print recipe     Bali Bliss Papaya Salad Serves 2-4 Ingredients: 1 large papaya (mine was approx. 2lbs /­­ 1kg) 1/­­2 cup freshly grated or unsweetened desiccated coconut 1-2 organic limes 2-3 tsp. finely minced ginger, to taste pinch sea salt 2 tsp. honey, to taste (or any liquid sweetener) 1 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil, melted (optional) Directions: 1. Rinse the papaya well. Slice through the entire fruit lengthwise, the scoop out the seeds. Cut off both ends from each half. Stand one of the halves on its flat end and slice off the skin starting at the top and running down to the base. Repeat with other half. Next slice the papaya across into 1-inch sections, and then into 1-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl. 2. Rinse the lime and zest it with a microplane or box grater on the finest setting. Whisk together the ginger, lime zest, lime juice, honey, and salt. Add the coconut oil, if desired. Pour dressing over the papaya just before serving, add desiccated coconut, and fold gently to combine. Enjoy immediately. I served the salad with some sliced bananas on the side, and garnished with lime halves.  This salad is just a little warm-up here - I thought a slow work up to the more complicated and technique-intensive dishes I plan on making would be best. For now, its time to just relax and enjoy the simple and blissful flavours of Bali, unwind, breathe. Find a corner of your home to curl up with this dish, light a stick of incense and drift away on a papaya cloud...Ill meet you in paradise.


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