When I first began blogging, there were a few sites that I really looked up to. Of course we had the obvious ones like 101cookbooks, and anything written by good ol’ Martha, but I was also rather obsessed with Design*Sponge. No, it didn’t really have anything to do with food specifically, but there was something so alluring about Grace’s site. I think the domestic goddess inside me just loved (and still loves) pouring over images of others peoples’ lovely homes, clever DIYs and the tasty recipes. It’s kind of a one-stop shop for all the lifestyle inspiration you’ll ever need.
Seeing as I was such a fan, after a few years of blogging I decided to take the plunge and email Design*Sponge in hopes of contributing something to their “In the Kitchen with” column. To date, I have written to them on three separate occasions, and receiving nothing but their auto-reply each time. No big deal. They are busy ladies over there. And I figured I was nowhere near cool enough to be included. BUT! What should appear in my inbox last month but an email from them. Fist. Pump. I finally made it into the club.
I really love entertaining, and making beautiful food for friends seems to be on the top of my list most days. This time of year I find myself having many casual get-togethers because people are actually up for leaving their houses to socialize and spend time outside. Hooray! I made these Daikon-Roll Ups with Miso Mint Pea Filling especially for guests because they are so beautiful and fresh for summer, but you could easily make them as a little meal for yourself.
The roll-ups use daikon here, but you could also use thick carrots sliced in ribbons, or even cabbage or Swiss chard leaf cups. The miso mint pea filling is delicious as a dip and can be served on its own with crudités or toasts. Whatever you choose to do with it, I would still sprinkle the sesame on top – it’s a wonderful addition and a tasty compliment to the miso.
Hello friends! I am back from Turkey – what a fantastic trip. I have lots of stories, photos, and inspiration to share, but I was lucky enough to have my friends over at Green Kitchen Stories write the post this week while I get back into the groove.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Green Kitchen Stories, you are in for a real treat. Created by the über-talentedcouple David and Luise, GKS is a veritable gold mine of recipes, cooking techniques, and healthy advice for anyone in of need of culinary inspiration. The enormous success and popularity of their blog has allowed them to branch off into other avenues, such as their fantastic Green Kitchen app, and most recently, a cookbook deal! I can’t tell you how excited I am to hold a copy in my hungry little hands, along with the many other GKS groupies. I have been blog buddies with David and Luise for some time now (as you may recall the White Velvet Soup guest post I wrote for them back in the day), but it wasn’t until just a couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting them in person. Over green juices in the sunshine we finally got to sit face-to-face, connect, and discuss all the things we are so passionate about (you can guess that it was a long talk). They are a totally down-to-earth, humble, and immensely inspiring pair that I feel honored to know. I want to extend a huge thanks to both of them (and their adorable taste-testing toddler), for creating this gorgeous breakfast that will take us all out the morning meal rut!
Are you caught in The Bad Breakfast ritual? Are you sick of toast, coffee and orange juice? Are you always tired, stressed and grumpy in the morning? Fear not, pick up your phone and call the Green Kitchen Stories Breakfast Hotline – We Promise You a Better Morning!
Ok, just a little bit of hubris there. But seriously, we know how it is. You want to get those few minutes of extra sleep and make a quick decision to have a to-go coffee instead of eating a proper breakfast at home. We were totally like that before we had our daughter. We are both late sleepers. So much, that David often even skipped breakfasts completely and Luise more than once has been seen running out the door with her morning smoothie spilled over half her t-shirt, just to get a few minutes extra sleep. Well, that was then. Now Elsa pulls us up from our bed early every morning. And all of a sudden we have at least a full hour to spend in the kitchen before heading to work. So nowadays our breakfast rituals are constantly evolving. Porridge, baked oatmeal, pancakes, fruit salad, omelet, frittata, yogurt, rye bread, granola, smoothie. Been there done that. When you got a lot of time you realize that there is a whole world of breakfasts to explore. So if you don’t have kids yet, make sure to set that alarm clock half an hour earlier (no snoozing!), and you will find that breakfasts actually can be pretty darn delicious.
Our latest breakfast love affair is this raw sprouted granola. It is less sweet and more crunchy than a normal granola, and if you serve it with a blueberry sauce, yogurt and some fresh fruit, you have yourself a perfect breakfast (and if you add some honey on the top it could also become the perfect dessert). We are not going to loose ourselves in nutritional values, or explain the advantages with sprouting, nobody does that like Sarah B! We can however tell you that both buckwheat and quinoa are gluten free seeds, so hooray for that!
How to sprout Buckwheat & Quinoa Seeds
You will need:
2 glass jars 2 screen lids (if you don’t have a screw on sprouting lid you can make your own with a cheesecloth, a hardware cloth OR a nylon stocking and a rubber band) 1 cup buckwheat seeds (hulled groats) ½ cup quinoa
1. Start by rinsing your seeds in a strainer under running water, then pick out any dark seeds, stones or any imperfect seeds. Transfer your seeds into the sprouting jar.
2. Add 2-3 times as much, fresh water. Soak for at least 30 minutes (buckwheat take up all the water they need quickly), then drain off the soak water. Rinse the seeds until the water runs clear and drain very thoroughly. 3. Set your sprouting jar in a bright place (out of direct sunlight) at room temperature. Rinse and drain well about every 4 hours (no, you don’t have to go up at night). The sprouts will be done in 36-48 hours or when the sprouting tail is as long as the seed. (Quinoa sprouts quicker than buckwheat). Store in a sealed container and put them in your refrigerator. Use within 1-2 weeks.
Raw Sprouted Granola with Yoghurt, Blueberry Sauce and Fresh Fruit
Granola ½ cup golden linseeds ½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup dried apricots & prunes 2 cups buckwheat sprouts (see above) 1 cup quinoa (see above) 1 tsp. vanilla extract OR ½ tsp ground vanilla powder 4 Tbsp. sweetener of your choice (liquid honey, agave, apple syrup etc)
1. Put linseeds, pumpkin seeds, apricots and prunes in a large bowl and cover with water. Let them soak for at least 1 hour. Drain the excess water.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir around. Evenly spread the batter onto two baking sheets or dehydrator sheets. Place in the oven on the lowest temperature possible OR in a dehydrator for about 6-8 hours or until golden and crispy.
Blueberry & Apple Sauce
Ingredients: 1 cup blueberries (frozen are fine) 1 medium size apple, diced 2 TBSP unsweetened apple juice (or sweetener of your choice)
Place all ingredients in a small pot on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil and lower the heat, let simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and puree with an emersion blender or fork if you like it chunky.
How to Assemble: - Blueberry & Apple Sauce - Buckwheat & Quinoa Granola - A full-fat organic yoghurt (Greek/Turkish) - Fruit salad
Place 2 spoonful of blueberry sauce in the bottom of the glass, then 2-3 spoonfuls of granola, 2-3 spoonfuls of yoghurt and finally some fruit salad on top. Good morning!
Copyright 2012 My New Roots at mynewroots.blogspot.com
Hallelujah! We have a winner! Congratulations to Megan B. and her incredible Cranberry & Pear Tart!
I have to say, this was not an easy decision my friends. And of all things to win this challenge, a dessert?! Yes, I too am shocked. Entries upon entries poured in with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, Hokkaido pumpkins, and I was seduced by a tart? But I was. And I am. And so shall you too, because this pastry totally gives it.
I think I will start off by saying a few words about this process, which was kind of like a dream come true. I ask for awesome, and everyone steps up to the plate. But I can’t quite believe the culinary prowess so many of you possess, of which you have never had the decency of sharing? C’mon people. I think the majority of you should consider starting your own food blogs because you’ve clearly been holding out on us all. Not fair.
Anyway, so the teasing went on as the recipes poured in, and I became a very hungry girl indeed. After begrudgingly eliminating the dishes that I wasn’t going to prepare (I wanted to eat everything), I set my focus on a select few that I knew had crazy-delish potential. Therefore, I will take this opportunity to give due shout outs to the following: Solstice Squash, Nut-Crackin’ Apple Salad, Stuffed Pumpkin, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Kale Pesto, and Quinoa Cabbage Rolls – you know who you are.
And now I know you are all thinking again: Sarah, seriously. A tart? The answer is still a resounding yes.
This dessert is amazing. Let’s forget for a moment that it is vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free, and just focus on the delectable elements that combine to create perfection.
First of all, fresh cranberries – where have you been all my life? I have only ever seen pictures of you on the bottles of fake neon juice, and urinary tract prevention supplements at the health food store. The closest I’ve come to you is craisins, which are a sad, sweetened excuse for a cranberry indeed. Fresh cranberries are oh so tart and vibrant, bursting with bright juices and tangy goodness. You are my new best friend and can’t wait to play with you more.
Then we need to talk about the crust, which I was totally skeptical of. After removing the dough from the food processor, it was wet. Like, really wet. And I could not begin to understand how it would cook under all that filling. Somehow this crazy mélange turns from healthy goop into flaky gorgeousness that it not full of lard and sugar. I would highly recommend you tucking this crust recipe alone into your back pocket for the next time you need a pie base – it is officially my new go-to.
The filling is a caramel-like mix of brown rice syrup, coconut oil, and chia seeds. The original recipe called for flax, but I find that flax seeds can sometimes give off that classic, Omega-3 ‘fishy’ flavour that I just don’t dig. I made the switch to chia seeds because they really are tasteless. I soaked them in pear juice instead of water for a little extra sweetness, but you could use apple juice or any other unsweetened juice you like.
On to looks – the tart is undeniably gorgeous. I could not stop photographing it. She worked those angles and made serious love to the camera. Although aesthetics were not a must in this challenge, I have to say that the glistening tops of those bright red berries completely begged me to capture them. And how unhealthy does it look? Very. No one dives into the mysterious bowl of brown mush on the Christmas buffet table. No matter how delicious it may be, we all know the prettiest dish gets eaten first. And this is the prettiest and the healthiest. Consider your meatball-lovin’ uncle fooled.
Whew. Enough talking. Here is the recipe. Blessings to you, Megan!
Cranberry & Pear Tart
For the crust:
1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if possible)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (I used walnuts)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla (I used 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
1/2 tsp. salt
75 g whole grain flour (I used buckwheat flour)
For the filling:
2 pears, sliced thin
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
2 Tbsp. ground flax (I used whole chia seeds)
6 Tbsp. water or pear juice
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla (I used 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
zest of 1 organic lemon
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse to mix. Grease a 9” tart pan with a little coconut oil and press crust evenly along the bottom of the pan. Place pear slices in a layer on top of the crust.
3. For the filling, combine the flax or chia with the water or juice and set aside until a gel forms. Mix the cranberries with remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Add the gel and fold to mix. Pour filling on top of crust and pear layer and spread evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow tart cool completely before removing from tart pan (approx.1 hour, or place in the fridge).
4. Slice and serve with an optional dollop of cashew cream, sheep’s milk yogurt (pictured), crème fraîche, or ice cream.
Afterthought: a drizzle of melted, dark chocolate. Ugh.
Overall, I’d say this challenge was a great success. A challenge – yes. I really had a hard time deciding between which unbelievably delicious dish to choose.
As a thank you to everyone who participated, and even those that did not, please check out My New Roots on December 25th for a very special Christmas gift from Sarah B. to all of you! I want to spread some love, but that is all I will say for now. You’ll have to return to see what I’ve hidden for you under the imaginary tree.
Until then everyone, have a spectacular and delicious holiday. And please make Megan’s tart. And visit her blog: meggsalad.com
Love and cranberries, Sarah B.
Copyright 2012 My New Roots at mynewroots.blogspot.com