Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprout Grain Bowls

IMG_7914After a couple of food and drink-filled trips to Chicago and Louisville this year, I've been trying to get back in the groove of eating healthily (at least for breakfast and lunch.) One big thing that helps me do this is prepping at the beginning of the week—if I can just throw some vegetables, grains and dressing in a bowl when lunchtime rolls around, I'm much more likely to go for that instead of a grilled cheese (though of course, there's a time and place for grilled cheese too.) I prefer a ratio of 3:1 vegetables to grains, but you can adjust according to your preference. I typically make this on Sundays, and then it lasts me the entire week for lunch!

Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprout Grain Bowls (serves 6)

1 cup quinoa

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1 teaspoon fish sauce

6 eggs

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

 

Sliced cabbage, quick pickles, or other greens of your choosing

Salted roasted peanuts

Hot sauce

 

  1. Make quinoa: Add quinoa and 2 cups water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°. Spread sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until tender and browned.
  3. Spread Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with remaining olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 minutes, until very crispy. Toss with fish sauce.
  4. Make dressing: Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Add eggs to a saucepan filled with water. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn off heat and let eggs sit in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, rinse under cold water and carefully peel.
  6. To serve: Add quinoa, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts to each bowl and drizzle with dressing. Carefully cut each egg in half and add to bowl. Add additional vegetables, hot sauce and peanuts as desired.

Matcha Lattes

IMG_3639I'm going to be honest with you guys. I really wanted to like matcha, a super refined green tea powder that's supposed to have great health benefits (and has become pretty trendy recently). It has so many anti-oxidants! It's so much less acidic than coffee! It's such a pretty color green! IMG_3632I made these lattes one afternoon looking for a caffeine fix, and I just...didn't like it at all. Maybe I needed to add more sweetener? Maybe I need to try a different brand of tea?

IMG_3634In any case, I still wanted to post this recipe for a couple of reasons: one, to show that even food bloggers fail at recipes. And two, to see if there are any matcha aficionados out there who have suggestions (also, I'm kind of obsessed with those handle-less mugs.) I'll be sticking to cappuccinos to get my caffeine fix for now, but I'm always on the lookout for new things to try.IMG_3636

Matcha Lattes (adapted very slightly from Bon Appetit, serves 2)

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

teaspoons matcha powder

2-4 tablespoons agave syrup

Bring almond milk to a simmer in a small pot over medium-high heat. Once milk has been heated, foam with a milk frother if desired.
Place 1 teaspoon matcha powder each in two heatproof cups. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup boiling water in each cup, then add 3/4 cup almond milk, tipping cup slightly to help create more foam. Whisk in agave syrup, adding more if desired.

Kale Caesar Salad Remixed

  IMG_3687Kale salad has become pretty ubiquitous recently (I blame it on Bon Appétit calling it the best restaurant dish of the year a few years ago) but I still love it. My current favorite iteration is a take on the traditional Caesar, with plenty of crunchy greens, a lemony dressing with lots of umami flavor from the anchovies, and (the best part) a runny poached egg instead of mixing the eggs in the dressing.

IMG_3690Since kale can be a little tough to swallow (literally), I love cutting it in ribbons like a slaw to make it easier to grab with a fork and bite. You could also easily add a different protein like chicken or salmon for a heartier meal, but as-is, this makes a pretty lovely lunch.

IMG_3684Also, some news! Ari and I are leaving for Bologna, Italy (where we both studied abroad in college) and Nice, France this afternoon! It's the first time I'm going back to Italy since studying there, and I can't wait. We'll be back on the 26th, and I'll report back on restaurants, gelato, and all of the pizza–and I'm planning on writing a bit more about moving across the country and adjusting to a new city. IMG_3692

Kale Caesar Salad (adapted from Bon Appétit)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
8 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil + 3 or 4 tablespoons, divided
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vinegar
4 eggs
1/2 baguette or other crusty bread, torn into bit-size pieces
14 ounces  kale, center stalks removed, thinly sliced crosswise (about 8 cups)

Combine lemon juice, anchovy fillets, garlic and dijon mustard in a blender; purée until smooth. With machine running, slowly add 3/4 cup oil, drop by drop, to make a creamy dressing. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. (Dressing can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)

Heat remaining olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add bread and toss to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until bread is golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.

Bring a small pan of water to boil, then add vinegar. Carefully crack 1 egg directly into pan, then quickly move egg so it stays together with a slotted spoon. Let cook (water may boil over) until egg is just set, 2-3 minutes, then remove egg with spoon. Repeat with remaining eggs.

Toss kale and dressing in a large bowl to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, croutons and poached eggs.

Soba Noodle Salad

IMG_1062 We've been eating a lot of soup lately. Winter, unsurprisingly, usually makes you crave hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of food, like stews, baked pasta and occasionally Shake Shack. But when you are tired of lasagna, sometimes a cold and light noodle salad will do the trick, even when it's 5 degrees outside. Cucumber and radishes add excellent crunch, and thanks to buckwheat soba noodles, you can eat a heaping plate and not feel too full (all the better to save room for dessert.)

IMG_1053

IMG_1068I probably shouldn't be writing this now considering we likely have at least two more months of chilly weather, but I for one am looking forward to spring. I love squash and apples and potatoes as much as anyone, but you know, one can only eat so much. We're leaving for Paris(!) in a week, and I'll be back in March with pictures (and of course, where we ate–I have a running list of approximately 50 places right now.)

IMG_1057

IMG_1051

Soba Noodle Salad (adapted from Bon Appétit)

Chile-Scallion Oil

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 star anise pods

2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

½ cup vegetable oil

Noodles And Assembly

12 oz. soba noodles

tablespoons soy sauce

tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

scallions, thinly sliced

½ large English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced

4 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced

1 cup cilantro leaves or any sprout

Chile-Scallion Oil

Cook all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until scallions and garlic are just golden brown, about 3 minutes. Let cool; transfer oil to a jar and cover until ready to use.

Noodles And Assembly

Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions; drain. Rinse noodles under cold water, then shake off as much water as possible.

Whisk soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and oil in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Add noodles, chicken, and scallions; toss to coat.

Toss with cucumber, radishes, and cilantro and drizzle with chile oil just before serving.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

_MG_7459Brussels sprouts were one of those vegetables I stayed away from as a kid because someone told me they were gross, and once I finally tried them as a teenager, made me kick myself for missing out all those years. _MG_7469We eat them all the time in the winter, usually simply roasted with olive oil and salt and pepper until they are super crispy, but when I came across this salad from one of my favorite little restaurants in NYC, I knew I had to give it a try. I made do with what I had, but since you only need a few ingredients, the salad comes together in minutes and is a study in simplicity. It goes perfectly with roast chicken or short ribs, and makes a great alternative to traditional winter roasted vegetables. _MG_7465

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad (adapted from the New York Times)

24 brussels sprouts

½ cup raw walnut halves (I only had almonds, so I used that instead)

¼ cup fork-crumbled parmiggiano reggiano

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more to taste

Kosher salt, to taste

Trim bottoms of brussels sprouts and discard any discolored or loose outer leaves. Using a mandoline, the slicing attachment on a food processor or a very sharp knife, shave sprouts into the thinnest of slices.

In a large bowl, combine shaved sprouts with the other ingredients, mixing roughly by hand so that the greens begin to wilt a little. Season to taste with salt and add a little more olive oil and lemon juice if necessary.

 

Shrimp and Asparagus Salad

_MG_6418 Hotter temperatures call for lighter meals, generally. I don't usually feel like a giant bowl of pasta when it's 80 degrees out (though there are , of course, exceptions) so we have been eating a lot of salads lately. When it's hot I'm always craving Thai or Mexican food (I think it's something about the spices),and I think the shrimp and asparagus go really well with a soy dressing. The peanuts add a little crunch, and the lime provides a hit of acidity – pair with a cold beer, and what else do you really need on a hot June night?_MG_6422

_MG_6421

Shrimp and Asparagus Salad (serves 3-4)

For dressing:

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/8 cup fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon grated peeled ginger

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 bunch asparagus, woody ends snapped off and cut into 1-inch pieces

10 oz. mixed greens

1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shrimp, and asparagus and sauté until shrimp are pink and cooked through and asparagus are bright green and crisp-tender. Remove from heat and place shrimp and asparagus in a large bowl. Pour dressing over, then add greens and peanuts and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

 

 

Watermelon Granita

_MG_6399  

_MG_6405

When I was little, I was obsessed with the color pink. All of my clothes were pink, my bedroom was pink, my cousin Kari and I even talked about how we would one day live in an entirely pink house. Needless to say, this hasn't happened (yet), particularly given that my current roommate probably wouldn't be too pleased. But I can post recipes in my favorite hue, and given the last couple of posts, there seems to be a trend. _MG_6393

 

_MG_6387It hasn't been particularly hot in NYC yet, but this granita is still super refreshing. It's a great way to use up the other half of that watermelon that you bought but didn't get a chance to eat – plus, you could add tequila or rum and make it into an adult slushie (which obviously, we did). _MG_6406

_MG_6397

Watermelon Granita (adapted from Food & Wine)

1/3 cup sugar 5-6 cups 1-inch watermelon cubes, seeds removed 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1/3 cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Transfer the syrup to a blender or food processor, add half of the watermelon cubes and lemon juice and pulse until smooth. Add the remaining watermelon cubes and blend until smooth.
Pass the puree through a coarse strainer, pressing down on the solids. Transfer to a 1-lb. loaf pan  and freeze, stirring every 30 minutes with a fork, until all the liquid has frozen completely, about 3 hours. Will keep, covered, in the freezer for up to a week.

 

Coconut Flour Pancakes

_MG_6381Since Ari has been making an effort to eat less gluten, I decided I would try to do so as well (but don't worry bread, I could never leave you forever.) It's actually kind of fun to be challenged sometimes – not being able to use traditional flours or starches forces you to be more creative and try new things. He picked up some coconut flour last week, which I had never used, and I made these coconut pancakes for brunch over the weekend._MG_6376  

_MG_6370I love coconut, but if you aren't a fan of it then this might not be the recipe for you. These were also a little drier than regular pancakes and you could really taste the eggs (although, I found that the pancakes that I was keeping in the oven tasted less like eggs than the ones that came directly off the griddle). I liked the eggy taste, but you could try it both ways. And I would highly recommend serving these with the amazing strawberries that are in season right now!_MG_6373

Coconut Flour Pancakes (makes 8 3-inch pancakes, adapted from Bob's Red Mill)

4 eggs 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil 1/4 cup milk (we used almond milk) 1/4 cup coconut flour1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon baking powder

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, oil and milk until well combined

In a separate bowl, sift coconut flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add dry to wet and thoroughly mix until there are no lumps.

Coat a cast-iron skillet or  griddle with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Ladle 2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto skillet. Cook until bubbles begin to form on the top and pancake begins to set, about 4 minutes, then flip and cook on the second side, about 2 minutes. Brush griddle with additional oil, then repeat until batter is gone. Serve with maple syrup and fruit.