sprout for joy

emerge, spring up, grow


2 Comments

sweet potato chips with black bean pineapple salsa

002

This is easily one of the simplest light meals I’ve ever made, and considering it only takes 20 minutes start to finish, the results far outweigh the minimal effort involved. My kind of recipe. All that’s required is preheating an oven, mixing in a touch of coconut or olive oil and seasonings with the sliced sweet potatoes, and chopping fresh vegetables, which, as strange as it may sound, is probably one of my most favorite things to do – in a meditative sort of way. The hardest part, for me, is being patient for 20 minutes. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that, but it’s true… hence needing meditation.

But I didn’t discover the best part until today: the leftovers. This recipe is even better the second day, after the peppers, black beans and onions have marinated in the pineapple and tomato juices. The sweet potatoes will be softer rather than crispy, but they too have soaked up the glorious flavor, so really who cares. I just topped everything with Sriracha and packed it for my lunch tomorrow at work, but realistically speaking, it will probably be my breakfast. That darn patience thing again.

001

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced 1/8” thick – try to make as uniform as possible for even cooking

2 T coconut oil

2 T garlic powder

1 T cayenne pepper

1 T black pepper

2 medium banana peppers, seeded and sliced into rings

3-4 small vine ripe tomatoes, diced

1/2 small red onion diced

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 avocado, sliced into chunks

1/2 can diced pineapple

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

3. Combine potato slices with oil and seasonings (I used my hands in a big bowl), then spread evenly across baking sheets

4. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip potatoes, bake another 10-15 minutes until slightly browned and crispy

5. While potatoes are baking, combine all other ingredients in a large bowl

6. Top sweet potato chips with salsa mixture

Serve with cashew sour cream and cilantro

Makes enough for 2-3 people.

Advertisements


2 Comments

chewy chocolaty peanut-buttery protein bars

010I’m really not sure why I’ve always been so intimidated by baking, but I have. And while I fully believe in conquering the things in life that hold us back, for some reason I haven’t felt the need to apply that notion to this area of my life yet. Maybe it’s because, well, not to down-play it or anything, but it’s just baking. Just baking?! I don’t think I really mean that. After all, what could be better than a fresh, buttery croissant right out of the oven… or a slice of indulgently rich chocolate cake… or heck, even a hot and gooey glazed donut? There clearly is something magical that happens when flour is mixed with some combination of sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. The joy is most certainly not lost on me.

This does seem like something I need to tackle at some point. If for no other reason than to open up an entirely new world of food, which sounds quite motivating. I just haven’t ventured there yet. One step at a time I suppose. And while I’m openly sharing my apparent struggle over this issue, I may as well get to the heart of the matter. I think I carry the belief that baked goods, as delicious as they may be, just aren’t as healthy. I also know that I can’t resist breads, cookies, or sweets in general with much discipline (if there’s chocolate involved, it’s just over), so making them is almost like setting a diet trap for myself. But I think that’s being pretty small minded, not something I aspire to be. So rather than close myself off to an entire method of cooking, and basically an entire food group, maybe it’s time I prove myself wrong and find a way to make healthy versions.

Consider these no-bake protein bars my very first step into the world of baking – irony intended – but hey, I used flour; it’s a start. The hemp seeds were a bit of a splurge, but they are loaded with healthy fats, fiber, and protein, and give a nice nutty flavor and texture. Sunflower seeds would probably work just as well, and save a few bucks. The bars are really everything you could want… chewy, crunchy, salty-sweet, additive-free and packed with protein. Let’s just say, I made them last night, and I’m down to one. I’ll be sad to see it go.

015

(Recipe adapted from oh she glows)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole grain oat flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 cup Garden of Life RAW protein powder (or powder of your choosing, unflavored is best)

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp chocolate covered hemp seeds (or plain hemp seeds for vegan)

1/2 cup rice based cereal (I used Nature’s Path Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla and crushed up into pieces)

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1/2 cup agave syrup sweetener

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp mini dark chocolate morsels (for vegan, use vegan brand chocolate)

1 tbsp coconut oil

Steps:

1. Use an 8 x 8 pan, lined with parchment paper

2. Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl:  flour, protein powder, 1/4 cup hemp seeds, cereal, and salt

3. Add in peanut butter, agave syrup, and vanilla, mix to combine – can splash in a little water or almond milk if too dry

4. Press down into pan then put in freezer

5. Melt chocolate chips with coconut oil in small sauce pan over low heat, careful not to burn

6. Cut frozen dough into bars, drizzle with melted chocolate and top with remaining hemp seeds

7. Place back in freezer to set, keep stored in freezer (bars soften as they get warmer)

008

 

 


2 Comments

kitchen catch up

I seriously can’t believe how backed up I’ve gotten on posting recipes, it’s really been driving me crazy. So today I’m playing catch up, which means you get six recipes in one post. I mean, what kind of food blogger am I? I wish I had some good reason for blog neglect… traveling? sick dog? busy schedule? Hmm, all possible causes in fact… maybe just laziness? I really hate to think that… Nah, I’m going to blame it on my other love, running. Actually, I’m happy to report that within the past few weeks, I’ve completed a marathon and two half marathons. There, that sounds better. Not only has all the training, planning, preparing, and 4:30am long runs been time consuming, it’s been all consuming. I’ve had to focus a lot of energy, but race season has come to an end, and I’m definitely ready to relax a little. (And stay posted for race reports).

While I may not have been sharing recipes, I have been eating, like a lot. I’ve been making very basic, quick meals full of healthy carbs, fats, and plant-based proteins. I’ve felt strong and energized for activity, experienced quick muscle recovery after workouts, and remained completely injury free despite logging hundreds and hundreds of miles in running this year. All of which I whole-heartedly believe are strongly linked to eating a plant-based, mostly whole foods diet. So, let’s get to it…

#1: roasted red pepper crusted tofu

106

Ingredients:

  • 1 package extra firm organic tofu, drained and moisture pressed out
  • roasted red pepper dressing (I used Annie’s Naturals – so, so good)
  • nutritional yeast flakes
  • organic green leaf lettuce, chopped
  • any and every raw vegetable you desire! I used green onion, mushroom, bell pepper, avocado… and pickles ;)… I like so many veggie toppings you can barely see any lettuce, obviously.

Steps:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. slice tofu in 1″ cubes, in batches coat tofu in dressing, then roll cubes around in nutritional yeast to coat
  3. spread evenly on baking sheet and bake tofu for 20-25 minutes or until browned, flip about half way through
  4. chop salad ingredients and add tofu when done!

 

#2: quinoa veggie super bowl

IMG_0301

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch organic kale, removed from stem, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup zucchini chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos all-purpose seasoning
  • pineapple salsa

Steps

  1. heat olive oil in non stick skillet over medium heat
  2. add mushroom, onion and kale, let cook about 5 minutes
  3. add garlic and remaining vegetables, season with Bragg’s, cook another 5-7 minutes
  4. remove from heat, stir in quinoa, top with salsa and enjoy

 

#3: spicy curry butternut hummus sandwich with pan-seared tofu

This sandwich was inspired by the most amazing hummus I’ve ever had, made by an independent local vegan family – owner’s of Rabbit Food and featured weekly at the Athens, GA Farmer’s Market

IMG_0360

Ingredients

  • 1/3 package extra firm tofu, drained and moisture pressed out, sliced into 2 large rectangles
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • your favorite bread and sandwich toppings. I went with steamed kale, sautéed zucchini, orange tomatoes, sliced red bell pepper
  • spicy curry butternut hummus

Steps

  1. heat oil over medium high heat, add tofu and let cook on each side about 5-7 minutes, try not to disturb tofu so it browns well
  2. I won’t insult your intelligence… just assemble your sandwich 😉

 

#4: creamy avocado angel hair with sun-dried tomato, kale, mushroom and brussels sprouts

IMG_0373

Ingredients

  • angel hair pasta
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 package mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • 10- 12 brussels sprouts, chop off ends and slice in half
  • 2 Tb balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tb olive oil

Sauce: adapted from this recipe on my favorite vegan food blog

  • 1 large avocado (halved and pitted)
  • juice from 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup Veganaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steps

  1. cook desired amount of pasta and drain
  2. sauté onion, mushroom, sundried tomato and garlic about 5-7 minutes, then add kale and stir
  3. sauté brussels sprouts in separate skillet with 2 Tb balsamic vinegar, cook until sprouts are slightly browned, about 15 minutes
  4. meanwhile add all avocado sauce ingredients to high powered blender and blend on high until well combined
  5. stir sauce into mushroom, kale sauté, add to pasta and top with brussels sprouts

 

#5: roasted baby butternut squash

This is great for a quick healthy snack! I picked these up at the farmer’s market and just sliced them in half, scooped out the seeds, drizzled on olive oil, salt and pepper and baked them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I never knew squash could be finger food… but it shall be from now on. 😉

IMG_0471

#6: crispy quinoa spinach cakes

049 (2)

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tb flour (I used gluten-free, worked great)
  • 2 Tb almond butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 package frozen spinach, thawed and liquid squeezed out, pat dry
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomato
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped

Steps

  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees, line baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. mix together in large bowl: egg, flour, almond butter, white wine vinegar
  3. add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well into flour mixture
  4. scoop out desired amount for patties and pat into shape, place on to baking sheet, makes about 8 patties
  5. Cook for 15 minutes. Flip over, then cook another 10 minutes.

 

I recommend making extra quinoa, adding a couple Tb of olive oil, white wine vinegar and a little salt… this goes great with the leftover quinoa cakes!