Really Yummy Miso Citrus Dressing

Really Yummy Miso Citrus Dressing

Popping in today with a really quick recipe! It’s citrus season and this is a simple zippy dressing that I’ve been putting on everything lately. It’s a bright, tangy combination of clementine, lemon, miso, garlic and ginger. All of these ingredients also have detoxifying properties – so consider this a little health kick after last week’s Valentine’s treats.

Here are a few ways that I like to use it:

– Pour it over sliced cabbage and other crunchy veggies and make a slaw. Let it all marinate in the fridge together for a few hours or overnight.

– Over simple steamed veggies. Easy as that.

– Salads of course! And grain bowls. It makes simple veggies really sing.

– Tossed with cold noodles and stir fried veggies. Add a protein of your choice and some toasted cashews or peanuts.

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Most people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I personally get most excited about lunch. People who say “I was too busy, I forgot to eat lunch”… I don’t get you. But maybe I’m the only weirdo who eats breakfast and then immediately starts counting down the hours ’til lunch?

This bowl was inspired by one ordinary day last week when I made a quick lunch for myself with kale, sweet potatoes, some other things I had on hand, and these Yves Kale & Quinoa Bites. It’s definitely an “I work from home” kind of lunch, but the whole thing came together within the 20 or so minutes that it took to roast the sweet potato cubes. I usually have most of these ingredients on-hand so this sort of bowl is a go-to formula for me.

Easy Power Lunch Bowls Easy Power Lunch Bowls

What kicks this bowl up a notch are these tasty Kale & Quinoa Bites. I think they taste like mini falafels, plus they add some good veggie protein to your bowl. They’re a yummy little addition, especially if you’re not someone who has time during your lunch break to make homemade falafel.

I marinated my chickpeas in a zippy lemon-dijon dressing and then basically smothered everything in olive oil, lemon juice, and tahini. Done and done. Now I’m off to start thinking about what’s for dinner…

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia “Cheesecake”

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake"

Happy early Valentine’s day… or Galentines Day… or whatever holiday you like to celebrate with heart shaped treats and little paper cards. As I’ve written about many times before, Jack and I have this Chocolate Molten Cake Valentine’s tradition. This year I switched things up a bit and made this decadent yet mostly raw raspberry “cheesecake” slice. How cute are those layers!?

A few notes about this recipe – it takes a little time for each layer to freeze before you add the next, so be sure to make this either the morning of, or the day before you’re going to eat it. Other than the time it takes to freeze, this is a piece of cake to make.

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake" Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake"

I have two versions below – one version uses raw cashews for the white “cheesecake” layer and the other version uses vegan cream cheese. I wanted to offer these two options because one requires a fancy high powered blender to really cream the nuts out of those cashews and the second option will work with any blender.

Both versions also taste different – if you’re used to eating “raw” desserts you will love the cashew version. It has a fresh taste that I really like. Jack preferred option 2 which tastes a little more authentically like cheesecake. The topping was inspired by the raspberry chia jam that I make all the time – but instead of jamming it, I blended it the raspberries with chia seeds to create that bright pink layer.

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake"

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

When life hands you lemons – make lemon thyme cookies! When we first planted our lemon tree I had this romantic idea that I’d be able to pick fresh lemons all year round. Obviously, I’m not good with plants or I would have known that the famous saying is literally true. You get lemons once a year and you get a lot of them. Needless to say, life has been lemony lately in many ways, but today it’s all about lovely lemony cookies.

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

I must say, I made a ton of these. I tried a number of variations that were vegan, gluten free, different oils, all sorts of things. I was kind of stressing out. Some were dry, some were burned, and some flattened out like pancakes (although not good pancakes). I’m just lucky that Jack, being the kind food tester he is, made sure not a crumb went to waste.

So what did I end up with? A straightforward, delightful, lemon butter cookie. Sometimes complicated times demand simple solutions.

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

This flavor combination was inspired by our new partnership with method. I’m excited to be working with them because I’ve been buying their products for years. Also, as a graphic designer, I’ve always adored their package design. They have a new line of kitchen hand wash that is scented with a variety of essential oils and it’s as functional as it is beautiful. It’s made from plant-derived ingredients and is great for some sticky kitchen situations like getting that pasty flour/water mess off of your hands. This one –  thyme – gave me the idea to try adding fresh thyme leaves to my lemon cookies.

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

The recipe is pretty simple and straight forward. Mix the dough, chill the dough, and roll it out. Cut out hearts, bake them, and share with someone you love!

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Beets

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Beets

We celebrated Valentine’s day early this year. Actually, we celebrate most holidays early around here… at least food-wise. Christmas cookies in October, Thanksgiving food in late August and so on.

I’m not sure what we’re doing for “real” Valentine’s yet – but once I got this recipe just right and the pictures were done, Jack and I sat down to a romantic (albeit reheated) meal for two. The only caveat – Jack doesn’t like beets. He’s not a picky eater but beets are on his short list of foods he usually won’t touch. I originally tried this recipe with other roasted vegetables but the juicy sweetness of the beets went SO well with the creamy earthy flavor of the polenta. The little heart-like-shaped red beets combined with the pink and white striped Chioggia beets just needed to be here. Also, since I love beets and you love beets (right?), he was outnumbered this time.

IMG_2017_01_29_09341-2

Our dinner conversation went like this: 

Me: “So I know you don’t prefer beets, but don’t you think they work really well in this case – just a few of them – with the other vegetables and creamy polenta and this lemony dijon dressing kind of covers them up right? I mean, I know how much you love mustard.

Him: “They’re still beets.”

Me: “Remember that one time when I made beets and told you they were turnips and you ate them and you liked them?”

Him: “Yes, but this time I know they are beets and I can’t un-think that”

Me: “But if you didn’t watch me make this and you closed your eyes and ate this, you would probably be ok with this whole combination right? You would probably not even notice the beets.

Him: (as he’s licking his plate clean, btw.) “Ok… of all the way that I’ve had beets, this makes them taste the least beet-y. Plus this polenta is [flipping] awesome.”

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Beets

So I’ll leave it up to you whether you love or hate beets but let’s talk about the polenta. It’s creamy, made with my go-to unsweetened Almond Breeze instead of plain water or cream. It has olive oil instead of butter so aside from the tiny bit of optional feta sprinkled on top, this meal is dairy free and vegan (but you wouldn’t know it).

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Beets

This recipe is not difficult to make but I will say that it’s a tad on the fussy side, since each component needs to be prepared separately. If you’re good at multitasking, you’ve got this. If not, you can roast the beets ahead of time, make the dressing ahead of time, and (new discovery!) you can even make the polenta ahead of time.

That new discovery was a happy accident but it worked. I made the polenta and when it was almost done (not quite thickened), I let it cool, and put it in the fridge. I took it out the next day, heated it on the stove while whisking in a bit of water, and voila! The polenta was creamier in texture and had more mellow flavor than a “fresh” version I tested earlier.

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Beets

The rest of the dish is comprised of roasted red onions and chickpeas, sautéed spinach, and thinly sliced, lightly marinated Chioggia beets… I love the contrasting flavor, texture (and color) of the raw and roasted beets together.

This recipe serves 2, but can be easily doubled to serve 4.

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Beets