Heirloom Tomato Bean-LT Sandwiches

Heirloom Tomato Bean-LT Sandwiches

I love a faux BLT, especially during this time of the year when the T’s are in top form. Admittedly, I was never a bacon lover so just putting veggie things between bread is fine with me. My favorite version of a BLT sandwich is the crispy Shiitake BLT that’s on page 171 in the cookbook (it’s the closest to the real deal!). I also love this smoky marinated tempeh as the “meat.”

But this time, as I was deciding whether or not to “bacon” some coconut, Jack had the idea to call this a Bean-LT. The B in this version is the Bean spread that I used here instead of mayo.

This white bean spread is thick and tangy. It’s made with pureed cannellini beans, lemon, capers, and garlic – all ingredients that go well with fresh tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, and grainy Seeduction bread. A few pinches of smoked paprika add a little smokiness to this otherwise very fresh sandwich.

Farmers Market Asparagus & Potato Pizza

Farmers Market Asparagus & Potato Pizza

If you caught Monday’s post, I wrote all about my strategy for coming up with a dinner recipe while shopping on the fly at the farmers market. And, drumroll please… here’s what I made! It’s a big green, veggie potato pizza loaded with chopped asparagus, asparagus ribbons, cheese, flowering thyme, chives, and those pretty chive blossoms that I got at Chicago’s Logan Square Farmers Market. It’s spring on a plate… or rather, spring on dough.

I know I say this all the time, but I LOVE letting local produce lead my meal planning. These fresh impromptu meals just really make me excited to make and play with food. Which is why we love this partnership with Sub-Zero – their Fresh Food Matters Initiative is all about getting into the kitchen to make meals for your family using fresh fruits and vegetables.

Farmers Market Asparagus & Potato Pizza

So let’s get cooking!

To make these pretty asparagus ribbons, you don’t need a fancy kitchen tool, just a regular vegetable peeler. This peeling technique works best with asparagus that’s on the medium-to-thick side so that you can get nice long peels. After you’re done peeling, chop up the bits that are left and toss those onto the pizza as well.

Layer the pizza with olive oil, garlic, cheese (I suggest gruyere or white cheddar – your favorite vegan cheese would work too), thinly sliced small potatoes and the chopped asparagus bits. Bake it until the potatoes and the dough are both nicely browned.

Farmers Market Asparagus & Potato Pizza

After the pizza comes out of the oven, layer on the pretty toppings – the asparagus ribbons, and chive blossoms if you have them (if you don’t – just use more chopped chives!)

Farmers Market Asparagus & Potato Pizza

Heat this up for a few more minutes so that the asparagus lightly wilts. Serve this fancy pizza with a pale rosé. Cheers!

Farmers Market Asparagus & Potato Pizza

Healthy Green Breakfast Tacos

Healthy Green Breakfast Tacos

If you ask anyone in Austin where they get their favorite breakfast tacos, you’ll get a different answer from every person. Austinites have opinions about breakfast tacos like Chicagoans have opinions about pizza. Since I moved to Austin a number of years ago, I’ve eaten more breakfast tacos than I could ever begin to count – most I’ve loved (some I haven’t) but after all that, my favorite place to have them… is at home. For 2 reasons:

First, I like to eat breakfast right when I wake up, so I usually don’t have the patience to even run down the street to get tacos in the morning.

Second, I can make my version however I want – which means goodbye greasy tacos and hello tons of veggies. The base of these tacos is a very green egg scramble that’s filled with green peppers, scallions, arugula, and a scoop of fresh yellow tomato salsa. These tacos are fresh, healthy, and lighter than anything you’d find at a restaurant or truck.

Healthy Green Breakfast Tacos

And speaking of things that are green – this post is in collaboration with GreenPan and their Healthy Cooking starts with Healthy Cookware campaign. Years ago, long before this blog existed, I got rid of all of my scratchy teflon pans and switched to the non-toxic GreenPan. GreenPan was the first company to start making ceramic non-stick cookware (they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary this year!) and I think I was among the first to start buying them. I get tons and tons of use out of mine – especially for eggs, pancakes, and generally any foods that I don’t want sticking to the bottom of my pan. The slick ceramic surface also means that I can get away with using less oil in my cooking, so these chemical-free pans are a must-have in my opinion. 

I have this set, which is super versatile and the white & blue color combo is just so pretty.

Healthy Green Breakfast Tacos

So the first step to this recipe is to make the salsa. This can be done the night before to make your morning cooking easier.

Next, cook the veggies. I like to do this in a separate pan from my eggs because I find it easier to judge the cooking times. Needless to say, GreenPan nonstick cookware is a breeze to clean up.

Healthy Green Breakfast Tacos

When the salsa and veggies are finished, I start cooking the eggs and stir the vegetables in halfway through. This might be a personal preference, but I like to take my eggs of the stovetop while they’re still a little bit runny to keep them from overcooking while I assemble the tacos.

Once off the heat, I stir in a big handful of chopped leafy greens. I often go for spinach, but this time I had some great looking arugula. I also tossed in some cilantro for good measure.

Healthy Green Breakfast Tacos

Assemble the tacos with more salsa, avocado and a dash of pepper. These are dairy free because I’m not a huge fan of cheese in my eggs. If you use corn tortillas, they’re also gluten free (check the label of your tortillas to make sure).

Healthy Green Breakfast Tacos

Maple-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Maple-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Let the Thanksgiving countdown begin! This year we’re starting with the vegetable that everyone used to hate that everyone now loves – Brussels sprouts! This recipe is a spin on one of our first-ever blog posts where I roasted the sprouts with a combo of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup – they become nicely sweet and caramelized and have a great tang from the balsamic vinegar. The photos were so bad that I would have deleted it by now if it weren’t for the continuous emails I still get about that recipe.

Maple-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The basic concept of this recipe is the same – Brussels sprouts are roasted in the oven with maple and balsamic. This time I added roasted onions and farro to make this side dish a little more substantial, and I added cranberries and pecans because they’re so festive for fall. It’s all tossed with fresh lemon juice and a little Dijon for extra brightness. I really love the balance of flavors and textures here – it’s perfect as a holiday side dish or as a delicious weeknight dinner.

Maple-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Bonus – if you end up with leftover farro and Brussels sprouts, you’re already halfway to having Farro Fried Rice the next night!

Maple-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Julia Turshen’s Afternoon Lemon Cake

Julia Turshen's Afternoon Lemon Cake

“This not-too-sweet, very simple cake is perfect for that ‘it’s four o’clock and I need a little something with a cup of coffee’ moment,” says Julia Turshen about this recipe and I completely agree. I’ve had a little slice of this every day this week and it’s been delightful.

This recipe comes from the book Small Victories. If think you’re not familiar with Julia Turshen’s work, you probably actually are – she’s co-authored books with Gweneth Paltrow and Mario Batali, to name a few. During the month of November, she’s teaming up with a bunch of bloggers to share recipes and help raise money for No Kid Hungry’s Friendsgiving program.

She writes: “This cookbook, like most cookbooks, assumes that whoever is reading it has access to food and not only the desire, but also the time, energy, and means to cook. How great would it be if that were the case for everyone? I firmly believe that if you have the privilege of eating however much you want whenever you want, you should spend some time ensuring that others have the same opportunity.” You can click here to read more about it and give a little something!

Julia Turshen's Afternoon Lemon Cake Julia Turshen's Afternoon Lemon Cake

What I love about the recipes in Small Victories is that Julia has spin-off ideas for every recipe (I know how all of you love recipe options and I do too!). Her original Afternoon Cake recipe calls for orange, but since she said any citrus would work, I went with lemon… for obvious reasons.

Each recipe also comes with a little tip (the titular small victory). Here’s a tip she shared for cutting parchment paper to fit in a round pan, which is much easier than the way I used to do it:

Julia Turshen's Afternoon Lemon Cake

Rip off a piece of parchment that’s a bit bigger than your pan. Fold it into a square then fold it in half to make a triangle and fold it in half again to make an even more narrow triangle. Place the tip of the triangle in the center of the pan. Use scissors to cut off the excess parchment that extends beyond the pan. Unfold the parchment and, voila, you have a perfect circle that fits into your pan.

Julia Turshen's Afternoon Lemon Cake Julia Turshen's Afternoon Lemon Cake Click here to check out this sweet book 🙂

Small Victories by Julia Turshen